April 16, 2009

Big Ninth Inning Spoils Strong Start, As SIUE Tops Butler, 7-1

Indianapolis, Ind. - A six-run ninth inning ruined what would have been an otherwise dominant pitching performance by senior right-hander Jeff Sinkiewicz, as visiting SIU-Edwardsville escaped with a 7-1 triumph over Butler on Thursday (April 16) afternoon at Bulldog Park.

Sinkiewicz handcuffed the Cougars through eight innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out four.

The Butler offense, meanwhile, manufactured its only run of the contest in the first, giving the right-hander a 1-0 lead to work with early. After SIUE starter Luke Vine set down the first two Bulldog hitters of the inning on strikeouts, Grant Fillipitch kept the first alive with a walk before moving to third on a first-pitch single through the left side. A walk to Michael Letzter loaded the bases for Luke Duncan, who worked an RBI free pass of his own to put the Bulldogs in front early.

The SIUE pitching staff would settle down from there, however, and go toe to toe with Sinkiewicz over the next seven frames. The Cougars would pick up the tying mark in the fourth on a lead-off home run by Josh Street.

Butler looked as if it might break the deadlock in the bottom of the eighth, as walks to Fillipitch, Duncan and Griffin Richeson loaded the bases with two down, but the Cougars would escape after inducing an inning-ending pop-up.

SIUE broke the game open in the ninth, jumping for six runs on seven hits, before holding off the Bulldogs in the bottom of the inning for the win.

Butler has little time to rest before heading to Lorain, Ohio, on Friday (April 17) to open a three-game series against Horizon League opponent Cleveland State beginning at 6:00 p.m.