A home doubleheader sweep of Pratt moved Butler baseball atop the Jayhawk West standings on Friday at McDonald Stadium. The Grizzlies took the opener with a 3-0 shutout of the Beavers, then defeated Pratt 5-2 in the second contest.
Entering Friday's conference doubleheader with Pratt, Butler was locked in a four-way tie for first place in the Jayhawk West standings. With the two wins, the Grizzlies (22-19 overall, 14-8 Jayhawk West) moved alone into first by one game ahead of Dodge City and Garden City. Hutchinson lost to Barton in the first of a four-game series, falling 1.5 games back of first.
Butler will host Pratt for the final two games of the conference doubleheader, with the first game starting at 1 p.m.
Game 1 - Butler 3, Pratt 0
The Grizzlies held on for a win in the opener, as Pratt loaded the bases with two outs against starter Corbin Osburn in the top of the seventh inning. However, Butler reliever Hayden Crowe got a groundout to end the Beaver rally.
Cory Slater broke the scoreless tie with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning, then Butler added two insurance runs in the sixth. Alex Weiss hit a two-out triple down the left-field line to score Ty Redington, then Weiss scored on Bryant Klusener's single to left-center to give the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead.
In the seventh, Osburn retired the first two batters via groundouts, but two consecutive singles and a hit-by-pitch gave Pratt new life. Crowe came in to relieve Osburn and recorded the final out on a fielder's choice to earn his first save of the season. Osburn (8-1) earned the win, pitching 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball while allowing just three hits and striking out six.
Game 2 - Butler 5, Pratt 2
Butler opened the scoring with two runs in the first inning. Singles by Ty Redington and Cory Slater put runners at the corners with one out. Alex Weiss then hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Redington. Slater would advance to second on a wild pitch, then scored when Bryant Klusener singled up the middle.
Pratt pulled within a run in the fourth inning as Taylor Graf's RBI groundout scored Julio Ibarra.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jake Huscroft's RBI single plated Ty Redington to give Butler a 5-1 lead.
Austin Dubsky (6-3) earned the win, going eight innings and allowing just two runs on five hits. Dubsky struck out nine and walked five. Crowe picked up his second save by throwing the ninth, giving up one hit and fanning one batter.
Redington led Butler with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate and scoring two runs, while Klusener went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.