WICHITA, Kan. - The Butler baseball team knocked off #1 Cowley 7-5 in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament early Saturday morning at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Ty Redington's two-run homer to left field broke a 4-4 tie during Butler's three-run sixth inning, while the Grizzly bullpen held Cowley to just one run over the final four innings for the win.
With the win, Butler (30-28 overall, 17-15 Jayhawk West) will face Dodge City (38-17, 20-12) in Saturday's winner's bracket quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Dodge defeated Neosho County 5-2 in Friday's opening round action. In other Region VI first-round action, Coffeyville upset Jayhawk West champ Seward County 7-2 in 14 innings, while Fort Scott stunned #4 Johnson County 5-3. Coffeyville will face Fort Scott in the other winner's bracket matchup at 4 p.m.
Originally scheduled for 7 p.m., the Butler-Cowley contest didn't get underway until 10:20 p.m., thanks to the Coffeyville-Seward 14-inning game to start Friday's schedule and an 80-minute rain delay during the Dodge-Neosho game.
Despite the late start, the Grizzlies wasted no time by jumping out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning. Redington, who went 4-for-5, led off the game with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Zach Baker then hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Redington. Three batters later, Alex Weiss smacked a two-run double to left-center to score Bryce Whitchurch and Channing Williams.
Cowley answered in the third with Cory Linn hitting a two-run single and Bobby Bassler following with a game-tying RBI single to center.
In the fifth, Bassler hit a RBI single to center to score Dillon White as Cowley took a 4-3 lead. Butler escaped further damage in the inning by turning a double play.
The Grizzlies quickly responded in the sixth inning when Luke Reynolds doubled to right-center to score Alex Forge't from first base. Redington then followed with a two-run blast to left to give Butler a 6-4 lead.
"It was big," said Butler head coach BJ McVay of Redington's home run. "It got us the momentum back after (Cowley) took the lead."
Cowley pulled within a run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth, but Butler added an insurance run when Alex Weiss hit a two-out single up the middle to plate Cory Slater.
Butler reliever Hayden Crowe closed the door on Cowley's rally in the bottom of the ninth. Crowe came on to pitch after a leadoff single to start the inning, then Bryce Fischer reached first on a fielding error. Crowe recorded a strikeout, flyout and a fielder's choice to earn his third save of the year.
Grizzly starter Corbin Osburn (11-3) picked up the win, despite giving up seven walks in five innings pitched. Osburn allowed four runs - one earned - on five hits in the 26 batters he faced. Drake Harper added three solid innings in relief, giving up just one unearned run on three hits and striking out two before giving way to Crowe.
In addition to Redington's four-hit game, Weiss went 3-for-5 with three RBI, while Cory Slater had two doubles with a run scored.
Butler also turned three double plays in the contest and did not allow an extra-base hit, as Cowley managed just eight singles.