Butler falls despite two homers apiece from Pena and Cox

Butler baseball action shot

Four home runs, including two apiece from Javier Pena and Joshua Cox, weren't enough for the Butler Grizzlies in a 12-11 loss to Northern Oklahoma-Enid on Tuesday at McDonald Stadium.

Butler is now 17-9 on the season. The Grizzlies will be back in conference play later this week, playing a doubleheader at Colby on Thursday and a home doubleheader against Colby on Saturday.

On Tuesday, the Grizzlies led 11-9 going into the ninth inning, but Bennett Scherer, who has five saves on the season, allowed three runs. Butler had no answer in the bottom of the ninth, losing their first non-conference game in nearly a month.

Butler has jumped out to a 1-0 lead after started John Rubeo threw a scoreless inning in the top of the first and Javier Pena hit a solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the inning.

Enid tied the game with a solo homer in the top of the second, but the Grizzlies answered with two more in the home half of the inning. Dawson Kabler walked and Dylan Werries reached on an error with two outs. Tanyon Schafer then drilled a ball to the gap in left-center, allowing both runners to score and Butler was up 3-1.

Northern would load the bases in the top of the third, chasing Rubeo from the game. Reliever Jayton Haggard would walk in a run and allow an infield single before coaxing a double play ball. By the time the inning was over, Northern led 4-3.

Butler used the long ball to tie the game, as Cox went deep to left-center to make the score 4-4 in the bottom of the third.

Enid would get solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings off Haggard to go ahead 6-4.

Zach Nagel came on and threw a scoreless inning of relief in the top of the sixth and Butler got one run back in the bottom of the inning as Parker Base tripled and scored on a single by Austin Portner.

Alex Jacobs pitched the seventh inning and gave up a solo homer that put Butler down 7-5. 

The Grizzlies responded in a big way in the bottom of the seventh.  Cox hit is second homer to straightest center, scoring Schafer and Patrick Bethea. One batter later, Pena hit his second homer of the game, this one a gargantuan blast that cleared a building beyond the left-field fence.

Portner, Kabler and Jack Maki followed that with consecutive singles, with Maki's hot allowing Portner to score. 

At that point, Butler led 10-7.

Northern closed the gap, getting a two-run homer off Jacobs in the top of the eighth to make it 10-9.

Butler added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Pena doubled to drive in Cox. It was Pena's fourth hit of the day and gave Butler the 11-9 lead.

Scherer takes the loss, making him 1-1. It is his second blown save of the season in seven tries. The first was a home game against Seward that the Grizzlies were able to win regardless.

For Pena, the two homers were his eighth and ninth of the season. He now has 26 for his career, moving him into sixth on the all-time home run list, just one behind Cory Slater, who had 27 in 2014 and 2015.