EMPORIA, Kan. – The Butler baseball team won its first game of the 2016 season with a 9-6 road win over Emporia State JV on Wednesday at Glennen Field.
Butler (1-2 overall) used a four-run fifth inning to take a 6-3 lead, then held off a late rally by the Hornets to win the game.
Tied 1-1, Emporia State took the lead in the second inning when Alex White doubled to left then advanced home when two outfield throws were off the mark trying to throw White out. Zack Shaw then followed with a solo home run to put the Hornets up 3-1.
The Grizzlies got a run back in the third on an Aguirre RBI double to score Josh Rogers. Butler the exploded for four runs in the fifth, beginning on a game-tying RBI double by Aguirre to bring in Channing Williams.
With two outs and the bases empty, Klusener and John Gardner hit consecutive singles, then Alex Van Pelt walked to load the bases. Klusener scored from third on a wild pitch, then Luke Reynolds doubled to score Gardner and Van Pelt to put Butler up 6-3.
Leading 7-4 after a Klusener sacrifice fly in the sixth, Grizzly sophomore pitcher Corbin Osburn came in to throw three shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six batters.
Butler added two more runs in the ninth on back-to-back RBI doubles by Hearon and Rogers, putting the Grizzlies up 9-4 with three outs to go for the victory.
Emporia State managed to load the bases with nobody out against reliever Drake Harper, who then struck out the next two batters before walking two runners into score. Marcus Washburn then relieved Harper to get the final out.
Travis Edgar was credited with the win, striking out seven hitters in just three innings while allowing one run on five hits. Edgar and Osburn combined for 13 of the 17 strikeouts by the Butler pitching staff, who used a total of six arms.
The Grizzlies will next be in action on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at home against Brown Mackie College. First pitch from McDonald Stadium is at 2 p.m.