VANDALIA – When it comes to sports, most coaches agree that a little adversity is a good thing for a team.
For the Aviators, Saturday’s match-up against #2 ranked Moeller provided plenty of adversity to go around, as the Crusaders rolled to a 15-3 win.
Unfortunately for Butler, the majority of the day’s woes were self-inflicted, as they Aviators committed an uncharacteristic five errors. Coupled with facing a sound, perennial power, it didn’t take long for things to quickly spiral out of control.
Moeller wasted little time getting on the board, as Missouri commit Cam Swanger ripped a two-out, two-run homer to centerfield for an early 2-0 lead after one inning.
A similar scenario unfolded an inning later, as with two outs, fellow Missouri commit Tyler McDonough crushed a three-run homer to right field, putting Butler in a 5-0 hole after two innings.
Moeller never looked back, plating an additional ten runs over the next five innings.
Butler showed signs of life in the third inning, as senior Tyler Burley hit a hard grounder to Swanger at third, scoring fellow senior Damon Dues, to put the Aviators on the board, down 6-1.
Butler would score again in the sixth inning, to stave off the run-rule.
With the bases loaded, junior Joe Jackson singled to left field, scoring Burley to make it a score of 11-2. Two batters later, senior Nathan Stogdill hit hard grounder to shortstop, plating senior Matt Grossman.
Unfortunately there would be no rally on this day, as the Crusaders snuffed out any hopes of a rally, and added a additional four runs in the seventh to slam the door shut.
Offensively Butler was paced by Damon Dues who went 3-for-4 from the plate with a double. Junior catcher Dolen Fults finished 2-for-4 with a double.
The loss gives Butler (13-1,6-0) it’s first taste of defeat on the season. And while the nature of this loss stings, the fact that it happened in the middle of April should provide at least some solace to an Aviators team full of talent and endless possibility.
And just as a little adversity is a good thing, it also reveals character. Fortunately for Butler, this team is rich on character.
Reprinted with permission from VandaliaButlerBaseball.com.