COLDWATER – The Aviators have had an entire off-season to think about how they wanted to respond to last season’s stunning and disappointing end to their 22-6 (10-0) season. If Saturday’s 18-2 opening win over host Coldwater is any indication, Butler has not only moved on, they are moving full-steam ahead.
The Aviators wasted little time, jumping ahead of the host Cavaliers 5-0 after just one inning of play.
Senior Damon Dues got things started early with a lead-off double. Four batters later, Joe Jackson ripped a single line drive to left, scoring Dues and Tyler Burley, to give Butler and early 2-0 lead. Matt Grossman came across shortly after, courtesy of a passed ball and Jake DeMoss’ two RBI double put the Aviators up 5-0 and in complete control.
Sophomore pitcher Braedon Norman (1-0) would have all of the runs he would need to secure his first win of the season from the mound. Norman shined, striking out six and allowing just one hit in four innings of work.
Butler plated another five runs in the fourth inning, one in the fifth, and exploded for seven more in the sixth.
Seniors Gavin Kohler and Zach Crawford combined in relief, to close out the final two innings.
Offensively, a host of Aviators had a healthy day at the plate. Dues led the way going 4-for-5 with 3 RBI, 2 doubles and a triple. Burley notched his first homerun of the season and added 2 RBI.
Henry Barwick went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Jackson had 3 RBI and DeMoss added 2 RBI of his own.
The Aviators hope to have those hot bats next week as well, as Butler travels to Myrtle Beach, SC to participate in the Ripken Experience.
Butler will face five teams in five days, getting the party started bright an early Monday morning with a 9:00 AM showdown with St. Charles North.
Reprinted with permission from VandaliaButlerBaseball.com.