Baseball loses season-opening home doubleheader to Indy

Baseball loses season-opening home doubleheader to Indy

Butler baseball dropped both games of a home doubleheader to Independence on Thursday at McDonald Stadium.

The visiting Pirates doubled up Butler in both contests, winning 6-3 in the opening game and 10-5 in the nightcap.

Butler (0-2) will seek its first win of the 2017 season on Saturday when the Grizzlies will travel to Independence for a 1:00 p.m. contest.

Game 1 - Independence 6, Butler 3 (7 innings)

Helped by home runs from Chase Brown and Tyler Benge, Independence took a 6-0 lead oon the Grizzlies after four innings. Brown hit a solo shot in the second inning, while Benge added a two-run blast as part of a five-run fourth inning.

Butler finally got on the board in the fifth inning when Caleb Cox doubled to center field to score Connor Hurst. Cox would then score when J. Soule reached first on an error.

The Grizzlies added another run in the bottom of the seventh on a Blake Blessie RBI groundout to score Hurst.

Offensively, Garrett Chalker and Mason Goade had two hits each, while Hurst had two runs scored.

Starting pitcher Hayden Schaeffer took the loss for Butler, lasting just 3 1/3 innings while giving up five earned runs on seven hits. Reliever Drake Norton threw 3 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out four.

Game 2 - Independence 10, Butler 5 (7 innings)

Independence opened with three straight hits off starter Nathan Russell for the first run of the game. Tyler Benge's RBI single scored E. Allison to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

Butler answered with a leadoff triple to center by Javis Larson, who later scored on a passed ball to tie the game.

The Pirates broke the 1-1 tie in the fourth when C. Brown scored on a passed ball. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Jason Mueller and Jason Moyer put the Pirates up 4-1.

In the bottom-half of the fourth, Butler's Trent Smith cut Indy's lead in half with an RBI single to center to drive in Alex Brough.

However, Independence would strike for six runs in the final two innings of the contest.

Butler would get an RBI sacrifice fly from Blake Blessie in the sixth, then added two more runs in the seventh when Connor Hurst tripled to right to score Larson. Hurst then scored the game's final run on a passed ball.

Larson finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Caleb Cox added two runs for Butler. Trent Smith also went 2-for-2 at the plate.

Nathan Russell was tagged with the loss for the Grizzlies, as he gave up three earned runs on six hits in just four innings of work. Butler's pitching staff as a whole allowed eight earned runs on 13 hits with six walks and five strikeouts.