Senior Kollyn All runs down the line in the March 19 game against Northwestern. Photo courtesy of Lauren Gdowski.
JAKE KAUFMAN | SPORTS REPORTER | email@example.com
The Butler baseball team went 2-1 in the team’s first three home games of the season after splitting a two-game series against Northwestern and securing a win against Eastern Michigan. The Bulldogs then fell at Ball State on March 22 which dropped their record to 4-16.
Sunday, March 19 vs. Northwestern
Game one against Northwestern started off well for Butler, as the Bulldogs struck first in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI single from sophomore designated hitter Quentin Markle that scored senior pitcher/infielder Lukas Galdoni, giving Butler a 1-0 lead. The lead lasted until the top of the fourth inning when Northwestern outfielder Kevin Ferrer hit a home run to tie the game at 1-1. The teams would remain deadlocked until the top of the eighth inning. Following an error from sophomore infielder Carter Dorighi that allowed a Northwestern runner to score, Wildcat infielder Trent Liolios followed up with a two-run double, and would later come around to score giving Northwestern a 5-1 lead. The Bulldogs only managed one hit over the final two innings and the Wildcats went on to earn their first win of the season. Cory Bosecker struck out nine batters and allowed one run in five innings for the Bulldogs, but was given a no-decision. Northwestern pitcher Matt McClure was given the win after allowing just five hits and one run to the Butler offense, while senior pitcher Aaron Barokas was given the loss for Butler after allowing three unearned runs in two innings of work. Despite out-hitting the Wildcats 6-5, the Bulldogs were not able to push any additional runs across after their score in the second inning, falling to Northwestern 5-1.
Monday, March 20 vs. Northwestern
Game two against Northwestern would start similarly for Butler, as the Bulldogs once again scored first when Dorighi came around to score on an RBI single from Galdoni. Neither team scored again until the fourth inning when an RBI single from Butler first-year infielder Joey Urban knocked in sophomore catcher Cade Vota, who reached base on an error. The Bulldogs took advantage of a second Wildcat error in the inning when Dorighi hit his second RBI single of the day, giving Butler a 3-0 lead. Northwestern made a comeback attempt in the top of the sixth inning, first scoring a run following three consecutive singles and then scoring another one off a sacrifice fly from Cooper Foard to cut Butler’s lead to 3-2. However, Northwestern did not manage to score for the rest of the game as Butler senior pitcher Jon Vore pitched four scoreless innings to earn his first save of the season. Senior pitcher Dawson Taylor was given the win for Butler allowing two runs in two innings of work, while Sam Garewal was given the loss for Northwestern after allowing one earned run and three total runs in three and two-thirds innings of work to give Butler the 3-2 win. Butler also outhit Northwestern 7-6 in the victory.
Tuesday, March 21 vs. Eastern Michigan
The Bulldogs would again score first in the final game of the homestand vs. Eastern Michigan when Dorighi scored on a sacrifice fly from graduate infielder Jake DeFries in the bottom of the first to give Butler a 1-0 lead. Eastern Michigan would respond with a run of their own in the top of the second inning. The bottom of the second inning was a big one for the Bulldogs. After scoring an unearned run from an error on a Billy Wurch bunt single, Urban drove in two runners with an RBI single, Galdoni walked with the bases loaded to add a run and DeFries would add one of his own to give Butler a five-run inning and a 6-1 lead. Eastern Michigan would score two runs in the third inning and added one run in both the fourth and sixth innings to cut Butler’s lead to 6-5. Butler would tack on a run in the bottom of the sixth when Urban scored on a wild pitch, increasing their lead to 7-5. The Eagles would score another run in the top of the seventh off a Bulldog balk before Butler again rallied in the bottom of the inning. Wurch would score on an RBI single from Dorighi and senior infielder Kollyn All walked with the bases loaded in a pinch-hit appearance to give Butler a 9-6 lead. Josh Kross would homer for Eastern Michigan in the top of the eighth inning to cut the deficit to two, but Barokas would shut down the Eagles in the ninth to give the Bulldogs the win and earn his first save of the season in the process. Sophomore pitcher Nick Miketinac earned the win for Butler after allowing one run in two innings of work while Dylan Wolff took the loss for Eastern Michigan after allowing two earned and five total runs in one inning.
Wednesday, March 22 at Ball State.
The Bulldogs fell behind the eight ball early, as the Cardinals scored a total of seven runs over the first two innings, and never looked back. Ball State added on five runs in the fourth and three runs in the fifth to give them a 15-0 lead heading into the sixth inning. Butler’s offense showed a sign of life in the fifth when Galdoni scored on an RBI single, and then picked up another run when All came around to score on an RBI double from first-year shortstop Evan Parks. However, Ball State would add on another run in the bottom of the sixth, before plating three more in the seventh to give them the 19-2 win. Owen Quinn was given the win for Ball State after pitching two scoreless innings, while first-year pitcher Shane Kilfoyle was given the loss for Butler after allowing seven runs in one inning of work. The Bulldogs were outhit 13-5.
The Bulldogs will head to Cincinnati, Ohio to play a three-game series against the Cincinnati Bearcats starting Saturday, March 25.