April 17, 2009
Contact: Greg Murphy
LORAIN, Ohio - Ryan Franks went 4-for-5 with two RBI, including the game-winners, and Anthony Sambula worked eight strong innings as Cleveland State won the series opener from Butler, 5-3, on Friday night at The Pipe Yard.
CSU improves to 11-19 overall and 4-6 in the Horizon League, while the Bulldogs fall to 6-28 overall (2-11 HL).
"I am very pleased with the win tonight," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "Anthony gave us a solid performance on the mound and really battled. He never lost his composure and worked out of a lot of tough jams. And Ryan came through for us at the plate, especially with the big two-out single.
"This was a well-played ballgame with some good pitching performances. We have to be able to sustain this momentum tomorrow and try to get two more wins and keep fighting to improve our standing in the league."
However, Butler rallied with single tallies in the fourth and fifth to tie the game at 2-2. Grant Fillipitch delivered the big blow in the fifth with a solo homer, his third of the season.
But the Vikings answered back right away in the bottom of the fifth as Franks came through with a one-out double and scored on Hungerman's single to give the Vikings a 3-2 lead.
It remained that way until the seventh when Alex Montagano recorded a two-out, two-strike single up the middle to score Like Duncan and once again tie the game, 3-3.
CSU would then rally in the eighth after the first two batters struck out. Josh Federico started the rally with a single and stole second. Brad Buell drew a walk and Tom Carter was hit-by-a-pitch to load the bases for Franks.
Franks came through, sending a roller up the middle that Butler shortstop Griffin Richeson was able to dive and stop. Federico came in from third to score easily and Buell never stopped coming around third, scoring an insurance run to make it 5-3.
Sambula came out to start the ninth, but after giving up a leadoff single to Blaine DeCamp, was replaced by Drew Fronczek.
Sambula's final line read eight innings pitched, seven hits, three runs and five strikeouts. He earned the win to improve to 3-2.
Fronczek got a flyout, walked a batter and struck out Duncan for the second out. However, with a lefty scheduled to bat, Fronczek was relieved by southpaw Sam Suitca.
The Bulldogs countered with a right-handed pinch hitter in Bobby Mosser, but Suitca threw three consecutive pitches by him to end the game as Suitca earned his first save of the season.
Mike Hernandez (1-2) suffered the loss for Butler, going 7 2/3 innings. He gave up five runs (four earned) on 13 hits. He did strike out nine.
The Vikings outhit Butler, 14-7, as eight of the nine starters had at least one hit.
Hungerman finished 2-for-5 with two RBI, while Federico went 2-for-4 with a run.
CSU will conclude its three-game series with Butler when the two teams meet for a doubleheader on Saturday (April 18) at The Pipe Yard. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.