PIQUA – After a week of playing down in South Carolina the Aviators (3-3, 1-0) returned to the cold reality that is early spring in Ohio. Despite the three inches of snow that fell overnight, the Aviators and Piqua Indians were able to move forward with the GWOC North opener Monday evening.
Because of the snow and quick melt, the start of the game was pushed back to 6:00, making already blustery game conditions even colder.
For the Aviators however, pitcher Braedon Norman absolutely sizzled on the mound. The junior righty pitched a complete game, striking out twelve en route to a 4-0 win over the Indians.
“Braedon pitched a fine game, striking out twelve and only walking one batter,” said Trent Dues after the win.
Dialed in, Norman set the tone early for Butler, keeping Piqua off balance all evening with a mix of pitches and a popping fastball.
The frigid temperatures and wind made offense hard to come by for both teams, but the Aviators were able to make solid contact throughout and capitalized when they needed to.
Junior Karter Peck got things started in the second inning with a one out single. Senior Jacob DeMoss hit a hard grounder to third, capitalizing on an error by Indians’ third baseman Spencer Lavey to get aboard. Freshman Carson Clark picked up the RBI two batters later with a single to centerfield, scoring Peck for an early 1-0 lead.
Butler struck again in the fifth inning. This time freshman Boston Smith hit a line drive shot to second base, scoring senior Dolen Fults for a 2-0 lead.
The Aviators added on insurance runs in the seventh to ice the win.
“We played some good small ball to manufacture our runs tonight in the cold, wet conditions,” said Dues.