VCU Drops Atlantic 10 Opener to Butler 6-4 on Friday Night

FINAL: Butler 6, VCU 4 (Richmond, Va. – Final)

BUTLER STARTERS: M. Calderon (CF), Fries (LF), Dillon (RF), Risi (1B), Guinane (DH), Kseniak (3B), Haddad (C), L. Calderon (2B), Caponi (SS), Stout (P)

VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Weymouth (2B), Mikionis (1B), Prentiss (DH), Octavi (C), Dwyer (P)

THE BASICS: Butler scored four runs in the top of the second inning and held on for a 6-4 victory over VCU in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams on Friday night at The Diamond.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Butler (9-10, 1-0 A-10) exploded for four runs in the top of the second inning. Jimmy Risi led off the inning with a double, advancing to third on a one-out single by Mike Kseniak. Radley Haddad followed with a single to center field scoring Risi and moving Kseniak to third, Haddad moved up to second on the throw. The next batter Lucas Calderon laid down a squeeze bunt plating Kseniak. After a walk, Marcos Calderon grounded into a fielder's choice scoring Haddad. The final run of the frame came on a two-out double by Michael Fries to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 advantage.
  • VCU (12-7, 0-1) responded with one run in the bottom half of the second. Senior Taylor Buran doubled to start the inning, moving to third on a groundout to first by classmate Jordan Weymouth. Senior Brent Mikionis flew out to shallow-right-field, but it was deep enough to score Buran, making the score 4-1 Butler.
  • The Bulldogs countered with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Marc Caponi walked with one out, advancing to second on single by Fries. Jack Dillon followed with a doubled to bring home Caponi, giving Butler a 5-1 lead.
  •  VCU rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Junior Joey Cujas singled to start the inning advancing to second on a walk by sophomore Vimael Machin. With two outs, Mikionis doubled into left field scoring Cujas. Machin scored when junior Landon Prentiss reached on an error, cutting the Bulldogs' lead to 5-3.
  • Fries came through for Butler again in the top of the sixth inning. With a runner on second and two-outs, Fries roped a double into the gap in right-center-field, giving Butler a 6-3 lead.
  • VCU answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Prentiss reached on a walk advancing to second on a single from junior Nick Octavi. The next batter, junior Bill Cullen laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Prentiss and Octavi to second in third, respectively. Prentiss came around to score on a wild pitch, making the score 6-4.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Freshman James Bunn collected his team-leading ninth multi-hit game of the season. He went 2-for -4 on the day.
  • Mikionis had two RBIs for the Rams. It was the second time this season the Powhatan, Va. native had multiple RBIs.
  • Sophomore starting pitcher Heath Dwyer threw eight innings and struck out  five batters. He was charged with his third loss of the season.
  • Butler's Eric Stout tossed six innings to earn his second victory of the season. Chase Bylery closed out the ninth picking up his second save.
  • The game was the first-ever Atlantic 10 conference game for each team.

WHAT'S AHEAD
VCU and Butler will now play a doubleheader tomorrow, March 23, starting at 2 p.m. at The Diamond.

 

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