The Butler baseball team won the final game of a four-game road series this past weekend to open the 2014 season.
Butler (1-3 overall) dropped two games at Odessa, Texas on Saturday, losing 8-4 and 5-4 in 10 innings. The Grizzlies followed up Sunday with a two-game split at Western Texas, losing the first game 10-4 before winning the nightcap 8-7.
The Grizzlies will next be in action at home Wednesday, Feb. 18 against Independence. First pitch from historic McDonald Stadium is at 2 p.m.
Odessa (Texas) 8, Butler 4
In the season opener, Butler held a brief 1-0 lead after one inning when Zach Baker singled home Dalton Wheat from third. However, errors would plague the Grizzlies as Odessa took a 3-1 lead after three full innings.
Butler rallied back with a three-run fourth, including an RBI triple by Ty Redington. Wheat and Baker followed with consecutive RBI singles to give the Grizzlies a 4-3 lead.
Odessa answered with four runs in the sixth and kept the Butler offense scoreless for the final three innings to win the first game.
Dalton Wheat went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Zach Baker had two hits and two RBI in the loss.
Odessa (Texas) 5, Butler 4 – 10 innings
Butler jumped out to a 4-0 lead, scoring all four runs in the third as the Grizzlies sent all nine batters to the plate. Three consecutive singles by Shane Bridges, Ty Redington and Dalton Wheat opened the third, with Wheat driving in Bridges for the first run.
After an Evan Koehler sacrifice fly scored Redington, Michael Ceruillo forced a two-out walk. Jeff Christen kept the inning going with an RBI single to score Wheat. Ceruillo would eventually score on a wild pitch to cap the scoring.
Leading 4-2 in the seventh, Odessa sent the game into extra innings with two runs off closer Trever Ezell.
Wheat led Butler offensively with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate.
Starting pitcher Carson Corff pitched well despite getting a no-decision. The sophomore southpaw tossed six innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out four batters.
Western Texas 10, Butler 4
In Sunday's opening game against West Texas, Butler grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning. Evan Koehler's RBI single scored Shane Bridges to tie the game, then Jeff Christen followed with a single to drive in Zach Baker.
Western Texas responded with six runs in the bottom of the third. Butler managed to get a run in the fifth and sixth innings, but could not complete the comeback.
Koehler was the top Grizzlies' hitter, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Butler 8, Western Texas 7
Butler picked up its first win of the season, needing a four-run two-out rally in the sixth inning to win the game.
Butler benefited from Western Texas' defensive miscues as the Grizzlies scored on a wild pitch and three consecutive errors in the top of the sixth. Jeff Christen started the rally with a one-out walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Cameron Knight flied out to left, Alex Weiss was walked. Jake Huscroft then reached first on an error by the shortstop to load the bases.
With Garrett White batting, a wild pitch scored Christen and moved Weiss and Huscroft into scoring position. White then hit a pop-up to second base that was dropped, which allowed two runs tie the game. White scored the go-ahead run on an error by left fielder Colin Porter on a Ty Redington fly ball.
Brady Holcomb picked up the win, going the final 4 1/3 innings and retiring the last 11 batters of the game. Holcomb fanned six batters and allowed just two hits.
Offensively, Christen went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Weiss was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a walk.