MYRTLE BEACH, SC – The Aviators (6-0) picked up a walk-off win Friday night in the truest sense of the phrase.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, sophomore Braedon Norman took a five pitch walk, freeing the log jam on the basepaths, and giving Butler a 3-2 win over Germantown Academy.
Prior to senior Nathan Stogdill crossing the plate into a sea of jubilant Aviators for the win, the outlook for Butler was bleak.
Down 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, it looked as if the Aviators’ run of good fortune was coming to an end.
The magic however. was far from gone.
Senior Matt Grossman extended the inning with a seven pitch walk, and got himself into scoring position on a passed ball.
Junior Joe Jackson then sent a rattler to centerfield unleashing Grossman from second, past a windmilling Trent Dues at third and safely across homeplate to knot the game at 2-2.
Senior pitcher Ryan Townsend then sat the Patriots down in order, setting the table for the Butler win in the bottom half of the seventh.
Stogdill led the inning off with a walk, followed by junior Jack Mitchell’s perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. In fact Mitchell was able to leg out the bunt, putting runners aboard first and second with nobody out.
Senior Damon Dues took a four pitch walk to load the bases, and Norman’s walk officially sealed the win for Butler.
Senior Dylan Welch got the start and pitched a fine game, working five innings with two strikeouts and allowed just two runs. He was relieved by Townsend who closed out the final two innings, striking out two, while holding the Patriots hit-less.
The win lifts Butler to 6-0, and closes out the clean sweep in Myrtle Beach. The showing was the Aviator’s best in three trips to the Ripken Experience and gives Butler momentum as they return home and head into conference play next week.
Butler returns to action on Monday, April 3rd playing host to Piqua (0-3) at 5:00 PM.
Reprinted with permission from VandaliaButlerBaseball.com.