FAIRBORN — A trio of Vandalia-Butler pitchers teamed up to pitch a shutout Saturday against crosstown rival Northmont at Wright State University.
Just like last season, the Aviators are off to a fast start. The 6-0 victory was Butler’s tenth straight to improve to 10-0 overall. Northmont fell to 4-2.
“It was a good win for us today. We played good baseball,” said Butler Coach Trent Dues. “We got good pitching, played good defense, got some good hit-and-run plays and we got some bunts down. This was a good baseball day.”
The Aviators successfully pulled off three hit-and-run plays to help key the victory.
“The players executed very well. They did a good job,” Dues said.
He is optimistic that his team can sustain its fast start.
“Hopefully we can improve upon last year. We are just trying to get better every day,” Dues added.
Starting pitcher Gavin Kohler worked 4 and 1/3 innings and scattered five hits with three strikeouts and hit one batter with an errant pitch. Dylan Welch worked 1 and 2/3 of an inning in relief and surrendered only one hit. Zach Crawford pitched the final inning and gave up two hits with one strikeout.
Matt Grossman led the Aviators at the plate by going 2-3 with five RBI. Damon Dues went 2-3 with two runs and a stolen base. Dolen Fults went 1-3 with a run. Tyler Burley 2-4 with a run. Jack Mitchell went 2-2 and scored twice.
Butler scored two runs in the top of the third inning. Jack Mitchell led off with a walk and Damon Dues got hit by a pitch. Both players advanced on a passed ball. After back-to-back strikeouts Matt Grossman belted a single to score both runners.
In the top of the fifth Dolen Fults reached base on a bunt and a Northmont error. Tyler Burley singled to right with Fults advancing to third. Grossman hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Fults and Jackson singled to drive-in Burley for a 4-0 Butler lead.
The Aviators added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Jack Mitchell singled up the middle and Dues reached first on an infield single. Fults laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases and Grossman stroked a single up the middle to score Mitchell and Dues.
Northmont couldn’t seem to ignite a fire the entire game. Butler’s pitchers prevented the Thunderbolts from stringing enough hits together at any given time to post the shutout.
“We just didn’t have any offense today,” said Northmont Coach Chuck Harlow. “We lacked the intensity it takes to play good baseball. We won our first game 3-2 against Beavercreek today but we were pretty flat in the second game. I don’t know how you are going to compete in this league if you are going to be that flat. I’m just talking about having the focus and the ability to execute and we weren’t able to do that today.”
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Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind