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ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure pitching duo of Steven Klimek and Asa Johnson, coupled with a pair of 8th-inning runs, led the Bonnies (7-12, 2-4 Atlantic 10 Conference) to a 3-1 series-finale win over visiting Butler (12-12, 4-2 A-10) in the rubber game of the series Sunday.
Making his fifth start of the season, freshman Klimek (pictured) limited Butler to just three hits over 7.2 innings of work before giving way to Johnson with runners on first and second in the 8th. Johnson promptly struck out the final batter of the 8th and carried that momentum into the 9th where he struck out two more and didn't allow a single batter to reach en route to picking up his first win of the season.
The game was tied, 1-1, entering the home portion of the 8th, but Bonaventure loaded the bases with one out and scored its first run of the frame on a throwing error by the third baseman trying to force out Billy Urban at home. Michael Meredith then singled through the left side to plate pinch runner Bret Heath and give the Bonnies a much-needed series victory after being swept last weekend at Xavier.
The Brown and White had just seven hits, and two of those came off the bat of Mark Hutmacher (2-4), who made his first start of the year following his hitting heroics in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Jason Radwan (1-3, BB), Austin Ingraham (1-4), Nick Lohrer (1-3, RBI) and Jonathan Diaz (1-2) each added a hit, in addition to Meredith.
Neither team had a hit until the 4th inning, and in the bottom of the frame SBU loaded the bases with one out but couldn't push a run across.
The game remained scoreless into the 6th inning until Lohrer sent a single into left-center field to score Urban, who had led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. The lead was short lived, however, as Butler responded with a tally in the top of the 7th on a well-executed safety squeeze. Klimek was able to work out of further damage with runners on the corners as he induced an inning-ending ground out.
Klimek walked five, but was otherwise effective as he got the Butler hitters to chase early in the count and only tossed 90 pitches as he left with a tough no-decision. The one run allowed is tied for the season low by the Bona staff.
St. Bonaventure is scheduled to return to action on Tuesday at home in a doubleheader against the University at Buffalo. However, snow and cold temperatures are once again expected which may force the postponement or cancelation of the two contests. Any changes will be announced on GoBonnies.com and Twitter @BonniesBaseball.
GAME NOTES: The start time was moved up from 12 p.m. to 10 a.m. due to forecasted rain expected to begin in the early afternoon … the other one-run outing by the SBU staff came on March 17 against Rider, 2-1 … Lohrer reached base safely for the second straight day on a catcher's interference … Butler committed three errors … Lohrer threw out two runners … St. Bonaventure left 10 runners on base … Klimek lowered his ERA from 8.27 entering the game to 6.00 … the win is head coach Larry Sudbrook's 599th career victory.