CENTERVILLE – Butler’s baseball Saturday started off on the wrong foot and never got any better.
After a 2 1/2 hour rain delay caused by a thunderstorm that struck just before the original 11 a.m. start time, the Aviators quickly found themselves under water to the Fairfield Indians en route to a 7-0 defeat in a Southwest District championship game at Centerville High School.
Timely hitting got the Indians on the board in the first inning after a two-out walk. Brock Mathis hit a ball to deep left center field to drive in all the offense Fairfield would need.
Things didn’t get any better in the second inning after a walk was issued to the lead-off hitter. After a bunt by Trinidad Selvie, Tyler Burley fielded the ball and threw to second but the runner was called safe in a close play. That brought head coach Trent Dues out of the dugout to appeal the play – a harbinger of things to come.
Two batters later Noah Bauman made the Aviators pay with a single to left that drove in a pair of runs for a 3-0 lead.
The wheels came off in the third after a lead-off double by Kaleb Ford. After what appeared to be a strike out, Butler’s catcher couldn’t find the ball underneath him and Andrew Sams was able to get to first.
Three walks and a hit batsmen later and the Aviators trailed 7-0.
“We gave up a couple of walks, a couple of hit batters, and a couple of hits with runners on and two outs and that was about all she wrote,” said Dues. “We couldn’t swing – it didn’t matter if they scored one or seven, if we swing the bats like that it doesn’t really matter. They only had five hits, but they hit theirs at the right time.”
Meanwhile, Sams had a stellar day on the mound for the Indians throwing a complete-game shutout.
“Give their pitcher credit – he had three pitches right around the plate,” said Dues. “We hit weak fly balls and weak grounders, and if you swing like that all it takes is one run to beat us.”
The Aviators ended the season 25-5 and as district runners-up. Their disappointment was evident after the contest, however.
“They got a league championship and a sectional championship which is something to be proud of,” said Dues. “I’m proud off all these guys. They are really good kids, great group of kids. That’s baseball – some days you come out and win games like this, others you lose games like this. In single elimination, you are done.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.