The Butler Bulldogs only scored runs in two of the first four innings on Monday. Unfortunately for BC, even with 10 runs on the board, it was all they needed.
Butler rallied from a 4-0 deficit to take a 5-4 lead, then added a seven run fourth inning against the Eagle pitching to take a 12-10 result in the second weekend of the Snowbird Classic.
After Butler starting pitcher Danny Pobereyko and BC starting pitcher Thomas Lane both got out of the first inning, the Eagles opened up the second by scoring four. Joe Cronin led off the inning with a double, moving up to third on a single by Stephen Sauter. He scored when Logan Hoggarth grounded to short, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Hoggarth was safe on the play, registering a single.
Mitch Bigras kept the offensive mojo going with a single to load the bases, and both Sauter and Hoggarth scored when Domenic Hardaway hit one up the middle, making it 3-0. Bigras would round out the scoring when a Johnny Adams grounder to short was misplayed by Garrett Christman.
After Lane retired two of the first three batters in the second, the Bulldogs got their bats really going. MIchael Hartnagel singled to put runners on first and second, and Chris Marras, who had the one-out hit earlier in the inning, scored when Drew Small singled him home, cutting the lead to 4-1.
After Gehrig Parker loaded the bases with a single to center on a 2-1 pitch, Tyler Houston tripled, clearing the bases and tying the game. He scored on the next at-bat when Jordan Lucio singled him home, giving the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead.
Both the Eagles and Bulldogs went down in order in the third, with Carmen Giampetruzzi relieving Lane to start the bottom half of the inning. But BC retook the lead in the top half of the fourth, pushing three across against Pobereyko.
Sauter led off the inning with a single to left, moving up to second on a wild pitch. He advanced to third two batters later when Bigras' grounder to first resulted in an error. That set up runners on the corners for Hardaway, who singled Sauter home to tie the game at 5-5, putting runners on first and second.
Both runners advanced up a bag on a wild pitch, and Bigras scored when Jake Palomaki grounded out to first, putting the Eagles up, 6-5. They made it 7-5 when Johnny Adams singled through the left side, scoring Hardaway.
The lead wouldn't hold. Small led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to left, coming home when Parker singled during the next at-bat. Houston then singled to put runners on first and second, and Lucio tied the game with a ground rule double to left.
With Giampetruzzi giving up hits to four straight to open the inning, Mike Gambino went to John Witkowski out of the bullpen in an attempt to stop the bleeding. But Witkowski threw a wild pitch against Chris Maranto, scoring Houston and moving Lucio to third. He then issued two straight walks to Maranto and Connor Dall, loading the bases still with nobody out after both worked full counts.
Marras then stepped to the dish, working another full count, but this time Witkowski induced a ground ball to short. Baseball's sad lexicon put two outs on the board, but it also sent another run home, putting the Bulldogs up 9-7. Still, it got Witkowski to the verge of getting out of the inning.
He wouldn't make it that far, however. He walked Christman, who stole second, then threw a pitch that resulted in a passed ball that scored Maranto. Now down 10-7, Hartnagel doubled to the left, scoring Christman to make it 11-7. That sent Gambino to his bullpen for the second time in the inning, this time for Jack Nelson. He promptly surrendered an RBI single to Small, who was up for the second time that inning.
By the time Nelson struck out Parker, the damage was adequately inflicted. Butler registered seven runs on six hits, leaving only one man on base, and they had a five run lead heading into the fifth.
BC didn't go away quietly. They gained one back in the fifth when Logan Hoggarth plated Joe Cronin with a fielder's choice. He had reached via four-pitch walk, advancing to third on a single by Sauter, cutting the lead to 12-8. Cronin made it 12-10 two innings later when he tripled home Donovan Casey and Michael Strem , both of which had singled with one out off of relief pitcher Tyler Rathjen, who started the inning.
The Eagles threatened in the ninth when they put the tying run on base, but they couldn't score with two down. Cronin led off the inning with a walk, and Bigras singled two batters later to put two on with two out, but Hardaway struck out swinging on a full-count pay-off to end the game.
Giampetruzzi (0-1) was tagged for the loss for the Eagles, who fell to 9-2 with their second loss of the season. He gave up four runs on four hits in one-plus inning of work. Thomas Lane pitched two innings to start the game, giving up five runs on seven hits, striking out one and walking two.
Nelson wasn't charged with a run, and he settled down after getting out of the fourth to throw three additional innings. He finished with 3.1 innings, charged with no runs and three hits, striking out three and walking none. Bobby Skogsbergh pitched a perfect eighth inning on nine pitches.
For Butler, Danny Pobereyko (1-2) earned his first victory of the season despite surrendering eight runs (five earned) on 10 hits. He struck out three and walked two. Rathjen pitched the sixth and gave up two runs on three hits, while Brock Balderson and Zach Barnes combined for three shutout innings on two hits, striking out two apiece. Barnes also walked one in earning his first save of the year.
At the dish, the two teams combined for 30 hits. Cronin had a monster day, going 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored, and two RBI. Logan Hoggarth added two RBI on one hit in four chances, scoring a run of his own. And Dominic Hardaway went 2-for-5 with three RBI. Stephen Sauter, handling the catching duties, tied with Mitch Bigras for the team lead in hits with three. Both scored two runs apiece.
For Buterl, Drew Small went 3-for-5, as did Jordan Lucio. They both drove in two runs apiece. Tyler Houston had three RBI with two runs scored, and Gehrig Parker went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Chris Marras, Garrett Christman, and Michael Hartnagel all scored runs, with the latter plated twice and registering an RBI.
Butler committed three errors while BC managed to get through the game without committing an error.
The Eagles, now 9-2 on the season, wrap up their trip to the Snowbird Classic on Tuesday when they take on Central Michigan. It's the last non-conference game before the start of ACC play, which opens up this coming weekeng against NC State. First pitch is slated for 2:30 PM.