Butler handles Labette in non-conference victory

Butler handles Labette in non-conference victory

Baylor Parker drove in four runs, while Travis Hendry and Gus Strunk pitched well in relief as the Butler baseball team beat Labette by an 11-6 score in a non-conference game on Wednesday at McDonald Stadium.

Butler took an early 2-0 lead as Ross Cunningham and Gus Strunk both hit two-out, run-scoring singles in the bottom of the first. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Grant Hamilton cruised through three scoreless innings on the mound for Butler before faltering in the fourth as Labette scored three runs to take a 3-2 lead.

Butler would tie the game 3-3 in the fifth when Brayon Colley hit a leadoff double and eventually scored on an RBI groundout by Matt Moore.

In the sixth, Baylor Parker drove in his first run with an RBI groundout that scored Mark Hutmacher. Two batters later, Levi Parker dropped down a suicide squeeze later in the inning to score Aaron Malone from third and then a double steal led to a run scored by Brayon Colley that put the Grizzlies ahead 6-3.

The Grizzlies would stretch the lead further in the seventh. Baylor Parker drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in another run and Levi Parker hit a ball that was booted by the Labette second baseman, bringing in another run to make the score 8-3.

Labette would cut into Butler's lead in the eighth, scoring three times to make it an 8-6 game, but the Grizzlies had an answer in the bottom of the inning. Gabe Cook hit a solo home run, his second in the past three games, to lead off the inning. Later, Baylor Parker hit a bouncing single up the middle to bring in Aaron Malone and Gus Strunk.

Strunk, who started the game at shortstop, pitched the final 1 2/3 inning in relief to earn the save, his second of the season. Travis Hendry threw 3.1 innings of scoreless relief of Grant Hamilton, earning his first win of the season.

Ross Cunningham and Strunk were both 3-5 at the plate with two runs scored and a run driven in. Aaron Malone was 2-4, Brayon Colley was 2-3 and Gabe Cook was 2-5 as Butler pounded out 13 hits against four Labette pitchers.

Butler is now 7-12 on the season, having won for the third time in the past five games. The Grizzlies return to Jayhawk West Conference play this weekend when they travel to Colby for four games on Saturday and Sunday, with doubleheader starting both days at 1 p.m.