The Butler baseball team split a four-game conference series with Seward County this weekend at McDonald Stadium, winning the first games of doubleheaders on Saturday and Monday.
On Saturday, Butler won a pitchers duel by a 2-1 score and lost 3-1. Sunday's games were washed out due to rain, moving the final two games to Monday. Butler won the third game of the series by a 6-2 score before being run-ruled 18-2 in the series finale.
Butler is now 6-12 on the season, 3-5 in Jayhawk West Conference play. The Grizzlies play a single nine-inning, non-conference game at 2 p.m. Wednesday against Labette, then go on the road for four games this weekend at Colby.
Dakota McKaskle threw a complete game for Butler in the series opener on Saturday, allowing just one run on a solo home run by Seward catcher Troy Owen. He struck out three and allowed just two hits in seven innings of work.
Offensively, the Grizzlies got two runs in the fourth inning. Ross Cunningham led off with a single and stole second base. A Gus Strunk single put runners at the corners and Aaron Malone hit a seeing-eye single up the middle to drive in Cunningham. Brayon Colley drove in what would prove to be the game-winning run with a single that sent Strunk home.
Butler got another solid pitching performance in the second game, this time from sophomore lefthander Chase Haines, who struck out 10 in six innings of work, allowing just three hits and two runs. Nathan Briar was good in relief, striking out three in three innings of work, allowing two hits and one run.
But the Grizzlies' pitching couldn't match up with Gavin Glanz of Seward, who went nine innings for a complete-game victory, allowing four hits while striking out seven Grizzlies.
Butler's only run came when Ross Cunningham hit a ground ball to shortstop to score Levi Parker, who had doubled to left field.
Butler jumped on Seward early when Levi Parker reached on an error and scored when Gabe Cook crushed a two-run home run to left field. Cook would later drive in a run with a sacrifice fly to give him three RBI in the contest. Ross Cunningham also drove in two runs with a single.
Taylor Berthusen turned in Butler's third quality start of the series, throwing a complete game over seven innings, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out five and walking none.
Seward dominated the Grizzlies in the final game of the series, winning 18-2 in a run-rule shortened seven innings. Butler went through five pitchers, all but one allowed at least three runs. Only Weylin Hargove, who threw the final 2/3 inning in relief, did not allow a run.
Offensively, the Grizzlies were stymied by starter TJ Looney, who allowed two runs on one hit through six innings, walking five and striking out four. Levi Parker scored both of Butler's runs, once in the first inning and another in the third inning. Both times, he reached on a walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch.