Solid Pitching Efforts Not Enough, As UIC Gets Past Bulldogs In Twin-Bill
Indianapolis, Ind. - Butler received strong performances from four right-handers in a pair of games against UIC on Saturday (April 11) afternoon, but the visiting Flames were able to hold the Bulldog offense in check in claiming a sweep of the doubleheader, 4-1 and 4-2, at Bulldog Park.
Sophomore right-hander Jared Wagoner pitched a gutsy 6.1 innings in the opener, holding the Flames to just four runs while striking out six. Senior Jeff Sinkiewicz entered in relief and held UIC without a hit while striking out four in 2.2 frames.
Flames righty Adam Worthington, however, finished just one out shy of a complete game, allowing five hits and an unearned run while striking out 12 and walking one.
After trading zeros through the first three innings, UIC broke through in the fourth with a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly and a Butler wild pitch. The Flames manufactured another mark in the fifth, picking up a single run on a deep fly-out to left to take a 3-0 lead.
UIC threatened to break the game open in the seventh, loading the bases with one down before forcing in a run on a walk, but Sinkiewicz would end the threat by striking out the next batter before inducing an inning-ending groundout.
Butler took advantage of fielding error in its half of the seventh, as Blaine DeCamp reached base and motored to second after the UIC right-fielder dropped a fly ball to start the inning. A ground-out to the right side by Kyle Schultz put DeCamp just 90 feet from home with one down before Griffin Richeson smoked an RBI double over the head of the left fielder to score Butler's first run of the game.
It would be the only run of the game for the Bulldogs, however, as the Flames escaped the inning without further damage and held Butler to just one hit the rest of the way.
Fresh off his first win of his collegiate career on Tuesday against Wabash, freshman right-hander Mike Hernandez earned the start in the night-cap and pitched a dominant seven innings, allowing just two runs - one earned - on five hits while striking out nine and walking none.
Like the day's first game, however, the effort would not be enough, as UIC managed to hold on for the win despite allowing 10 hits to the Bulldogs.
After allowing a run in the second inning on an RBI single, Hernandez settled in and yielded just one hit while striking out six over the next four innings.
The Bulldogs had a chance to tie or take the lead in the sixth, as Grant Fillipitch, Colin Ziegel and DeCamp loaded the bases on three-straight two-out singles, but the Flames evaded the threat by getting an inning-ending ground-out.
UIC picked up an unearned run in the seventh to take a 2-0 lead, but the Bulldogs responded with a run in their half of the frame. Richeson led off with a single through the right side and moved to third after the Flames pitcher attempted to cut him down at second but threw wide of the second baseman covering to put runners at first and third.
Rick Betsch brought in the Bulldogs' first run two batters later, as the senior outfielder dropped down a squeeze bunt that allowed Richeson to sprint home and cut the deficit in half.
Two runs on four hits in the eighth inning by the Flames built the difference back up to 4-1. The Bulldogs would earn one back in their half of the inning on a sacrifice fly by DeCamp, but it would be as close as they would get.
Richeson and Schultz each finished the afternoon with three hits, while DeCamp and Fillipitch added two apiece.
The Bulldogs close out the series against the Flames on Sunday (April 12) with a single game beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Bulldog Park.