OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Butler baseball had its 2017 season come to an end with a 4-2 Region VI opening-round series loss at No. 14 Johnson County on Sunday.
Johnson won Friday's opening game 5-1, but Butler evened the best-of-three series with a 4-3 win on Saturday to force a third game.
The Grizzlies (23-29 overall) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning with a Blake Blessie sacrifice fly to score Jackson Soule. Johnson answered back in the bottom-half of the frame with an RBI single from Jake Karst.
In the fifth, Johnson's Matt Warkentin put the hosts in front 3-1 with a two-run double.
Butler cut the margin to one when Soule hit a double to drive in Connor Hurst.
Warkentin then added an insurance run for the Cavaliers in the seventh with a triple to score Brandt Ollinger.
Butler's last chance to keep the season alive came up short, despite ninth-inning singles from Alex Brough and Mason Goade. With runners at first and second with two outs, Garrett Chalker flied out to right to end the game.
Sloan Baker took the loss, finishing with a complete game in his final pitching appearance as a Grizzly. Baker threw eight innings and allowed four earned rund on nine hits, walking two and striking out five.
Butler managed just five hits off Johnson County pitching, with Brough getting two singles to lead the Grizzly offense.
Johnson County (44-14) moves on to the Region VI Tournament at Wichita's Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, which begins on Friday. The Cavaliers will face Dodge City (38-17-1) at 7:00 p.m.