After a 12-day layoff due to weather postponements, the Butler baseball team returned to action but dropped three of four games at Seward County to open conference play.
The Grizzlies split Monday's doubleheader against the Saints, losing the first game 5-4 but winning the nightcap 7-6. Seward won both contests Tuesday 10-2 and 12-2 to take the series.
Butler is now 4-6 overall and 1-3 in Jayhawk West play. The Grizzlies will host Colby for a four-game conference series at McDonald Stadium this weekend, with the first game slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Despite nine errors by Seward, the Grizzlies dropped the conference opener by a 5-4 score.
Butler jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning when Ty Moore scored on an RBI single from Brandon Taylor. Trailing 2-1 in the third, the Grizzlies added three runs, including a steal of home plate by Levi Parker. Taylor and Dalton Wheat added RBI singles to give Butler a 4-2 lead.
However, Seward would add three runs in the bottom of the third and hold off the Grizzlies in the final four frames.
Travis Hendry took the loss, allowing five runs – three earned – in 5 1/3 innings. Ty Moore, Brandon Taylor and Dalton Wheat had two hits each in the loss.
Butler pounded out 15 hits, including a four-hit game from Ty Moore as the Grizzlies edged Seward 7-6 in Monday's second game.
Butler scored first when a bases-loaded walk brought home Taylor Parker in the first inning. The Grizzlies went up 2-0 in the third when Evan Koehler's sacrifice fly scored Ty Moore. In the sixth, Gabe Cook led off with a triple and scored two batters later on a sacrifice bunt.
Seward tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the inning, but Butler added three runs of its own in the seventh. Cook drove home Tory Bell and Dalton Wheat with a single. Two batters later, Gus Strunk came through with an RBI single to score Cook.
Once again, Seward scored three runs to lock the game at 6-all. Butler answered back with an RBI triple from Cook to score Koehler to go up 7-6.
Kyle Vogt earned the win, while Trever Ezell pitched two shutout innings and received the save. Jackson Rolfs had a quality start, as he struck out eight batters in six innings. Rolfs allowed seven hits and three runs, but did not walk a batter.
Moore finished with a 4-for-6 performance at the plate, while Cook went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Tory Bell and Shane Bridges also added two hits each.
On Tuesday, Seward won in dominating fashion with a 10-2 victory over the Grizzlies in the third series game. A six-run fourth inning helped the Saints jump out to a 10-0 lead after four innings.
Butler avoided a run-rule and a shutout when Micheal Cerullo scored in the fifth inning. The Grizzlies added another run on Gabe Cook's RBI groundout to score Ty Moore.
Connor Dempsey was credited with the loss, giving up six runs on 11 hits in just 3 1/3 innings.
Seward took the series with a 12-2 run-rule victory in eight innings. The Saints again jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after three innings, including a six-run third inning.
Butler would get on the board in the fourth when Ty Moore scored on a passed ball. The Grizzlies added another run in the seventh on an Evan Koehler RBI single that scored Cook.
Evan Koehler was the Grizzlies' leading hitter in the game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Greg Houser took the loss, allowing seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings pitched.