Power Surge Not Enough, As Valpo Takes Two From Bulldogs

April 26, 2008

Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score

Valparaiso, Ind. - Butler scored 20 runs and mashed seven homers in two games at Valparaiso, but the high-octane offense would not be enough as the host Crusaders claimed a pair of league contests on Saturday (April 26) at Emory G. Bauer Field.

The Bulldogs belted a season-high six home runs in the opening game in building up as much as a 13-0 lead on Valparaiso, but the Crusaders would mount an enormous late inning rally to claim a 16-15, 10-inning victory.

The game was all Butler in the early going, as the Bulldogs scored in each of the first five frames, including four-spots in the second and fifth, to build up an overwhelming 13-0 lead.

Joe Pauley got things going in the first, ripping a two-out solo home run for an early 1-0 Butler lead.

An RBI single by Kyle McLaughlin and a three-run home run by Michael Letzter - the first of his career - pushed the Bulldogs out to a 5-0 lead in the second before Grant Fillipitch belted the second of his career to lead off the third.

The power surge continued in the fourth, as Pauley returned to the plate to collect his second home run of the game - a three-run shot to right center - to put the Bulldogs ahead 9-0.

Butler added a run in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Rick Betsch before Pauley delivered a hat trick with his third bomb - another three-run shot - to boost the difference to 13-0.

Valpo would cut into the lead, scoring five times in the next three innings to trim the deficit to 13-5, but a lead-off homer by Fillipitch and an RBI single by Ryan Neat extended the Bulldog lead back to double-figures.

The run support would be all Butler would get in the game and seemed to be more than enough, but Valparaiso would stun the Bulldogs by scoring 10 runs in the next two innings, including a seven-run ninth, before pushing across the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the 10th.

Pauley becomes just the second player in Butler history to homer three times in a single game and the first since Gordon Hansen in 1983. The senior shortstop also came within a RBI of tying the school record, finishing with seven, while adding four hits and three runs scored.

Neat added three hits in the contest, while Letzter drove in three runs.

Butler would come up on the short end in the night cap, as Valparaiso held on for a 7-5 decision.

The Crusaders would take a 1-0 lead in the first before Colin Ziegel led off the top of the second with a solo shot to straightaway center to bring the game even. The game would remain tied until the third, when Valpo pushed ahead to a 3-1 lead with a two-run single.

The lead would be short-lived, however, as Butler plated three in the top of the fourth to take its first advantage in the contest. A lead-off walk by Kyle Schultz and a double by Fillipitch put runners on second and third for Ziegel, who delivered an RBI double to left center. Neat followed with a run-scoring single to bring the game even, before an RBI grounder by Letzter pushed the Bulldogs in front at 4-3.

Valpo answered with a run in the bottom of the frame before taking a 7-4 lead in the fifth with three unearned runs.

Butler would try to stage a comeback of its own in the ninth inning. A lead-off single by Pauley and a one-out double by Fillipitch again put runners in scoring position for Ziegel, who once again delivered a run-scoring hit to left.

The rally attempt would end there, however, as Valpo cut down Ziegel attempting to steal second before working a strike-out to end the game.

Ziegel finished with three hits, three RBI and two runs scored, while Fillipitch and Neat each added a pair of base knocks.

Butler returns to action on Tuesday (April 29) when it heads to cross-town foe Indianapolis for a 3:00 p.m. contest.