April 14, 2007

Vikings Split Doubleheader With Butler

April 14, 2007

Game 1 Stats | Game 2 Stats

Contact: Josh Rattray

LORAIN, Ohio - Senior Stephen Procner led the Vikings to a victory in the first game before the CSU defense fell apart in the nightcap as Cleveland State split a doubleheader versus Butler on Saturday at Pipe Yard Stadium. CSU won the first game, 3-2, before committing six errors in a 4-2 loss in game two.

 

In game one, Procner (3-4) held the Bulldogs to five hits and two runs over 8.2 innings. He struck out eight and walked two and didn't see any trouble until the top of the ninth. After fanning the leadoff hitter, Procner issued two straight walks before getting Butler's Tony Barnes out on a fielder's choice for the second out. Alex Montagano and Ryan Neat each posted RBI singles to pull the Bulldogs to within 3-2.

 

Butler's Rick Betsch, who was pinch-running for Montagano, advanced to third on Neat's single to put runners on the corners against sophomore reliever Michael Babin. Butler then opted for a trick delayed double steal play, sending the runner on first to bait the Vikings while Betsch tried to steal home. Babin flipped the ball to junior catcher Josh Geric in time for the final out of the ballgame.

 

"We work a lot on defense with runners on the corners, so we were prepared," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "We executed the defense and made the play."

 

The final out gave Babin his second save in as many games. He also picked up a win at Youngstown State on Tuesday.

 

The Vikings (9-23, 6-5 HL) struck early when senior John Westra doubled and scored on an RBI single by senior Rich Ranells. Westra scored again in the bottom of the third on a wild pitch strike three with Geric batting.

 

Ranells went 3-for-4 and drove in a run and Geric had two hits to lead the Vikings in game one.

 

CSU didn't fare as well in game two, as Butler tallied runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead on senior Brandon Hewitt. Ranells then roped a two-run double to left in the sixth to tie the game 2-2.

 

The Vikings, who made six errors and collected just three hits in the contest, committed two key errors in the top of the eighth that allowed Butler to take a 4-2 lead. CSU couldn't rally in the late innings as the offense was held hitless in the final three frames. Only four Viking baserunners reached third base the entire game.

 

CSU has road games at Youngstown State and Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, before hosting a three-game set versus UW-Milwaukee on Friday, April 20 at 5:05 p.m. The game against the Panthers will serve as the dedication game to Pipe Yard Stadium with prizes, giveaways and a post-game fireworks display.

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