EL DORADO, Kan. – Trever Ezell earned saves in both games of a doubleheader on Sunday at McDonald Stadium as the Butler baseball team swept Cloud County to win three of four games in the series from the Thunderbirds.
The Grizzlies overcame three-run deficits in both games of the doubleheader, winning 8-6 and 10-9.
With the wins, Butler moves back above .500 at 9-8 overall and is 4-2 in Jayhawk West Conference play. The Grizzlies are currently second in the conference standings behind Seward County at 5-1.
Game 1 – Butler 8, Cloud County 6
Starting pitcher Brennan Walker allowed three runs in the first inning on a home run by Cloud's Jesse Rall, but eventually settled in and allowed just one unearned run over the next five innings to earn the win, making him 4-0 on the season.
Meanwhile, the Butler offense quickly answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the first. Michael Cerullo had an RBI groundout to start the scoring. Alex Weiss knocked in a run with a double to right and then scored on a two-out single by Jake Huscroft.
The Grizzlies led 8-4 going to the seventh inning but Walker allowed a second home run to Rall, getting Cloud within two runs with two outs. Trever Ezell came in to get the third of the inning and final out of the game for his third save.
Alex Weiss and Jake Huscroft each went 3-3 at the plate in the game, with Weiss driving in two runs and scoring twice. Beard was 2-2 with a run scored and run driven in.
Game 2 – Butler 10, Cloud County 9
Grant Hamilton made his first start of the season and also surrendered three runs in the first inning. Like Walker in the game before, Hamilton also settled in as the game went on. He threw five innings, allowing five runs.
Greg Houser came on in relief in the sixth and allowed four runs on four hits before being replaced by Austin Dubsky. He threw 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just one hit. That put him in line to earn his first win. Trever Ezell then threw a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the game and earn his fourth save.
Offensively, Butler used the long ball to its advantage early. In the bottom of the first, the Grizzlies scored on a sacrifice fly by Evan Koehler, followed by a solo home run by Michael Cerullo.
In the second inning, Dalton Wheat and Evan Koehler both hit two-run home runs. By the time the inning was over, Butler led 6-4. The Grizzlies had led 7-4 before Cloud scored five straight to take a 9-7 lead.
Butler managed to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh when Evan Koehler drove in a run with a single up the middle and Michael Cerullo doubled to right field for another run.
The Grizzlies scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth when Logan Beard hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Jake Huscroft from third.
Koehler's four RBI in the second game give him 20 for the season, which leads the team. He joined Dalton Wheat, Ty Redington, Michael Cerullo and Zach Baker as Grizzlies with multiple hits in the game.