Baseball: Bulldogs sweep VCU in A-10 opener

The Butler baseball team opened its first and only season in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a sweep of VCU.

The Bulldogs (11-10, 3-0 A-10) won their first A-10 game on Friday 6-4.  On Saturday, Butler won the first game of a double-header 4-3 and the second game 7-4, completing a sweep of the Rams (12-8, 0-3).

Butler didn’t trail the entire weekend.

Senior infielder Lucas Calderon led the way at the plate over the weekend for the Bulldogs, going 6-for-11 with six RBIs. Sophomore Michael Fries went 6-for-15 with two RBIs.

On Friday, sophomore starter Eric Stout got the win on the mound. Senior Kyle Kramp improved his pitching record to 4-0 in game one of Saturday’s twin bill, while senior Billy Laing improved to 1-1 in game two.

Senior CLASS Award nominee Chase Byerly picked up three straight saves, pushing his total to four on the season. Byerly was named co-Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week for the rare feat.

“It’s pretty rare that a pitcher even has the opportunity to save three games in a conference series,” Byerly said. “But my arm felt great, and we kept scoring runs, and I got that opportunity.

“It was the best pitching weekend of my life.”

Weather ended up causing a delay in the team’s flight back to Indy. Its flight Sunday night was delayed, and 28 players were forced to take five separate flights throughout the day Monday. The last five players arrived in Indianapolis around midnight.

Butler coach Steve Farley said he is happy with his team’s performance against the preseason conference favorite.

“I’m proud of our guys for winning three games in a Double-A ballpark against a good team,” Farley said.

The series was played at The Diamond, home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, an Atlanta Braves affiliate.

Snow postponed yesterday’s home game against Wabash. The Bulldogs travel to St. Bonaventure (5-11, 0-3) Friday to continue conference play. The Bulldogs have yet to play a home game this season.

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