The downtown digs of the Indianapolis Indians became the home of Butler baseball yesterday as the Bulldogs (18-15, 6-6) faced Ball State at Victory Field.
Two eighth-inning home runs gave Butler an 8-6 comeback win over the Cardinals (7-22, 3-6).
After grabbing an early 1-0 lead, the Bulldogs gave up six runs in the third inning.
Senior pitcher Dom Silvestri was charged with all six of Ball State’s runs.
The first two Cardinal batters of the inning walked and singled, setting up four consecutive run-scoring at-bats.
Butler whittled away at the lead by scoring two runs in the fifth inning and another one in the sixth, cutting the score to 6-4.
Junior designated hitter Pat Gelwicks struck a two-run home run to tie the game at six in the eighth inning.
Two batters later, junior first baseman Jimmy Risi hit a go-ahead two-run home run to give the Bulldogs an 8-6 advantage.
With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, junior pitcher Chase Byerly held off the Ball State rally by striking out sophomore shortstop T.J. Weir and forcing a groundout from sophomore first baseman Cody Campbell.
Prior to the contest, junior catcher Radley Haddad said playing in a professional ballpark like Victory Field is the dream for many players.
“All of us as college baseball players have the goal to play at the next level,” Haddad said. “Playing in a bigger stadium, getting our name out there and putting Butler on the map is pretty cool.”
Junior infielder Lucas Calderon said he was also excited to play at Victory Field.
“Ever since you’re a little kid, you want to play on a professional field and in one of the nicest minor league ballparks,” Calderon said.
Calderon’s family in Florida was also able to watch the game since it was televised.
“[I’m looking forward to] the chance to play in a televised game because that means my family back home in Miami will be able to watch me,” Calderon said before the game.
Prior to taking on the Cardinals, the Bulldogs visited Horizon League opponent Milwaukee for a three-game series.
Butler fell to the Panthers (11-17, 6-6) in the rubber game Saturday, losing 16-4. The Bulldogs committed four errors that helped the Panthers score five unearned runs.
Butler junior centerfielder Jack Dillon picked up two hits and an RBI in the loss.
Butler picked up a 3-2 win in Friday’s game at Milwaukee thanks to an odd first inning inside-the-park home run in the first inning by senior right fielder Mike Hoscheit.
With runners on first and second, Hoscheit hit a fly ball to right field, and the foot of Milwaukee sophomore right fielder Ryan Solberg became stuck in the fence as he was fielding the ball.
With Solberg unable to break free from the fence to make the play, Hoscheit, Gelwicks and Risi scored the Bulldogs’ only runs of the game.
Butler lost the series opener Thursday in a 14-2 loss to Milwaukee.
The Bulldogs will host Illinois-Chicago for a three-game series starting Friday.