VANDALIA – The Butler Aviators baseball team kicked off their 2016 campaign on Saturday when they hosted the Coldwater Cavaliers.
Butler showed a flair for the dramatic as they overcame a 3-2 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning Tyler Burley laced a single to drive in a pair of runs.
Burley was also the winning pitcher by throwing a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Mitch Gremling who went six innings and struck out seven batters while surrendering just one earned run.
The Aviators, coming off a 22-6 season a year ago, looked to continue that success against the Cavaliers who also enjoyed a successful season last year even as they face a challenging schedule against some of the area’s top teams.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after an error on a throw to first base.
Butler struck back in the third inning as they scored two runs off a hit to center field by Damon Dues.
The Cavaliers reclaimed the lead 3-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth giving up multiple hits, and then snuffed a potential rally in the bottom half of the inning as Butler stranded runners on base.
In the seventh inning Logan Flatt started the Butler rally with a single and then Torin Fletcher reached after bunting and an error by Coldwater. Nathan Stogdill laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third.
Dusty Lewis was walked intentionally to load the bases which was followed by Burley’s single to drive in a pair of runs for the win.
Gannon Godsey is a senior at Butler High School. Reach him at 684-8983.