It has been a season of streaks for the Butler baseball team and a weekend series against Horizon League opponent UIC confirmed that, as the Bulldogs (15-19, 4-8 HL) dropped three games to the Flames (19-16, 9-5 HL).
In the final game of the series, Butler kept it close until the eighth inning when the Bulldogs surrendered three runs and ultimately fell, 5-1.
Down 2-0 entering the seventh inning, sophomore pinch hitter Andrew Eckhardt brought home Butler’s only run of the game with a groundout.
Sophomore Jared Earle came in to pitch in the eighth inning for the Bulldogs, but he could not prevent UIC from adding on some insurance runs.
The first two batters of the inning reached base via a walk and a hit by pitch. Then, freshman third baseman Patrick Guinane did not field a ground ball cleanly, allowing the Flames to go up, 3-1.
A run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly gave UIC two more runs and solidified the final score at 5-1.
Senior first baseman Grant Fillipitch had two of Butler’s five hits in the contest.
Senior Jared Wagoner suffered the tough luck loss for the Bulldogs. He went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out six.
In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader between the teams, the Flames executed a squeeze bunt in the ninth inning to pick up an 8-7 win.
Both squads tallied seven runs in the first five innings of the game. The final four innings were a battle of the bullpens, in which UIC came out on top.
The Bulldogs’ offense got off to a quick start, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning after the Flames had scored a pair of runs in the top half of the frame.
Senior catcher Michael Letzter and sophomore left fielder Pat Gelwicks had back-to-back RBI singles to tie the game, 2-2. Guinane then drove in a run with a fielder’s choice before stealing home to score Butler’s fourth run of the inning.
UIC responded in the second inning with an RBI from sophomore center fielder Nick Addison and two RBIs from sophomore designated hitter Alex De LaRosa.
After Addison drove in two more runs in the fourth inning to put the Flames up 7-4, the Bulldogs went back to work offensively.
In the fifth inning, Letzter, Gelwicks and Guinane each drove in a run to knot the game at 7.
It looked like the game might go into extra innings until De LaRosa stepped up to the plate in the ninth inning. His squeeze bunt drove home the winning run and allowed UIC to sweep the doubleheader.
In the series opener, the Flames took advantage of several defensive mistakes by Butler to win the game, 8-4.
UIC tallied seven runs in the fourth inning, thanks in large part to three errors by Guinane.
Guinane led the way offensively, driving home two runs in a 3-for-4 day at the plate.
However, it wasn’t enough to overcome his defensive miscues.
Senior Dom Silvestri allowed three hits in his four innings of work. He was also tagged for eight runs—three earned—and surrendered six walks.
The Bulldogs will head to Notre Dame today for a non-conference showdown, followed by a trip to Valparaiso on Saturday for a doubleheader.
Butler will then have a quick turnaround when they head home to face another conference opponent, Wright State, the following day.