Trevor Ezell hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Butler baseball team to a 7-6 victory over visiting Fort Scott on Saturday at McDonald Stadium, putting Butler in the Region VI Tournament quarterfinals.
That win, coupled with a 12-1 run-rule win earlier in the day, allowed the Grizzlies to eliminate Fort Scott in the best-of-three sub-regional. Butler (36-21) will face Cowley on Friday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita.
This is the first appearance in Wichita since 2010 and also the most wins since that team went 38-21.
GAME 1 - Butler 12, Fort Scott 1 (7 innings)
A week after nearly shutting out Seward, starting pitched Grant Hamilton did the same against Ft. Scott. He struck out the side in the top of the first inning, setting the tone for six straight shutout innings. The only run Fort Scott scored came in the top of the seventh. Hamilton (6-4) struck out five batters, while walking only one.
Offensively, Butler exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second. Zach Baker and Jake Huscroft had RBI singles, Ty Redington drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left and then Dalton Wheat singled up the middle to drive in two more runs.
In the sixth inning Jake Huscroft singled to drive in two runs, giving him three RBI in the game. Cameron Knight also drove in a run with a single and Trevor Ezell drew a bases-loaded walk to force in another run.
Cameron Knight and Jake Huscroft both went 3-4 in the game while Dalton Wheat, Alex Weiss, Zach Baker and Shane Bridges had two hits apiece.
GAME 2 - Butler 7, Fort Scott 6
Both starters in the second game struggled early. Both Butler's Greg Houser and Fort Scott's Cody Tolbert allowed three runs each in the first half and both were relieved in the second inning. At that point, Butler led 6-5 in what looked to be an offensive slugfest.
Butler brought in Brennan Walker and Fort Scott went to its closer, Matt Peterson. Those two battled for the next six innings, with the only score being an unearned run scored by Fort Scott in the top of the sixth.
The game remained tied 6-6 going to the bottom of the ninth. Butler's Zach Baker led off the inning and reached on an error by the shortstop. That was when Ezell, who had been 0-4 in the game with three strikeouts, came to bat and delivered the game-winning base hit.
Walker, who would pitch the final 7 1/3 innings of the game, allowing just one unearned run on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts. He earned the win to improve to 6-5 on the season.
Dalton Wheat continued his hot hitting in the second game, going 4-5 at the plate with two runs scored and three runs driven in, including a home run and a double. Alex Weiss went 3-5, while Evan Koehler was 2-3. Every Butler batter had at least one hit or an RBI.