Butler salvages split with KCK to set up deciding third game

Butler salvages split with KCK to set up deciding third game

The Butler baseball team came up with four runs in the bottom of the ninth and then scored twice in the bottom of the 10th on Saturday, forcing a deciding game three in a sub-regional showdown against Kansas City Kansas Community College at McDonald Stadium.

The Grizzlies (28-28) lost the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday by a 13-7 score. but battled from behind in the second game winning 9-8 in 10 innings. The final game of the series will be played at noon on Sunday at McDonald Stadium. The winner advances to the Region VI Tournament next weekend in Wichita.


GAME 1 - Kansas City Kansas 13, Butler 7

Butler fell behind 5-0 as starter Corbin Osburn (9-3) suffered his worst start of the season.

The Grizzlies would come back to tie the game 5-5 by scoring five times in the third. Zach Baker, Bryce Whitchurch, Alex Weiss, Cameron Knight and Channing Williams all had RBI as the Grizzlies batted around.

KCK responded immediately by scoring twice in the top of the fourth, chasing Osburn from the game. The Blue Devils added another run in the fifth and led 8-5.

Butler got a solo home run from John Gardner in the bottom of the fifth ans a sacrifice fly from Cory Slater in the bottom of the sixth, closing the gap to 8-7.

The Grizzlies had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases, but could not score. KCK then scored five times in the top of the ninth to seal the game.

Butler had 13 hits in the game, led by Alex Weiss who was 3-4 with a run scored and a run driven in. Zach Baker and Channing Williams both went 2-4, with Baker scoring twice.

Corbin Osburn threw 3.2 innings, while Hayden Crowe allowed three runs in 4.1 innings of relief. Marcus Washburn was touched for three runs in an inning of relief.


GAME 2 - Butler 9, Kansas City Kansas 8 (10 innings)

Kansas City Kansas again struck first, getting four runs in the top of the first innings against Butler starter Austin Dubsky. The sophomore would settle in, however and throw six straight scoreless innings as Butler got back into the contest.

The Grizzlies got one run in each of the fourth, fifth and six innings, including RBI from Channing Williams and Alex Forge't.

Butler appeared to have taken a 6-4 lead as John Gardner hit his second home run of the day, this one a three-run shot with two outs in the sixth. But Kansas City appealed that he hadn't touched first base and the umpires called Gardner out, taking all three runs off the board.

Butler fell behind 5-3 on the eighth and gave up two more in the top of the ninth, trailing 7-3. The Grizzlies faced the end of the season with just three outs to play. 

The Grizzlies would score four times in the inning. Cory Slater singled to center to drive in two runs and then Bryant Kluesner scored on a wild pitch. Alex Forge't doubled to center to drive in Slater, and Butler had tied the game 7-7.

In the 10th inning, Butler reliever Drake Harper allowed an unearned run as KCK led 8-7.

Butler started the 10th with an infield single by Channing Williams. He later scored on an RBI double to center by Zach Baker that tied the game again. Baker advanced to third on a balk, then Bryant Kluesner reached on a walk. Cory Slater was intentionally walked to load the bases and Bryce Whitchurch was walked to force in the game-winning run.

Whitchurch has now had three walk-off at-bats this season, two by bases-loaded walk. The other was a walk-off home run against Coffeyville on Tuesday in the final game of the regular season.