The Butler baseball team opened the 2019 season with a pair of road wins on Monday at Northwestern Oklahoma State.
The Grizzlies won the first game, 4-2, then had four pitchers combine on a shut out in the second game, winning 4-0.
Butler is now 2-0 on the season, with a scheduled series against Coffeyville this weekend.
GAME 1 – Butler 4, Northwest Oklahoma State JV 2
Butler went five innings without scoring, trailing 1-0 after the Rangers got a run on a sacrifice fly against Butler pitcher Zach Bravo.
Finally in the sixth inning, Butler broke through, tying the game without a hit. Patrick Bethea walked, and then went to third when an errant pickoff throw from the pitcher went down the right field line. Moments later, he scored on a wild pitch.
Butler would add one more run that inning. Colby Deaville reached on a single, then stole second and third. He scored when Josh Cox reached on an infield single to the shortstop, making it 2-1.
Bennett Scherer allowed a run in the bottom of the seventh, but was able to close out the game without further damage and earned the save.
GAME 2 - Butler 4, Northwest Oklahoma State JV 0
Butler had four pitchers combine in the shutout effort in the second game. Alex Jacobs went one inning with a strikeout, while David Henderson, Jayton Haggard and Chase Van Steenberg all went two innings apiece with three strikeouts each. Haggard (1-0) earned the win, as he was the pitcher when Butler scored the go-ahead run.
Butler was shut out itself for the first three innings, before getting a run in the fourth. Joshua Cox singled, stole second, went to third on an infield single by Javier Pena and scored when Patrick Bethea lifted a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Grizzlies then got three runs in the top of the sixth. Cox singled and Pena walked. Patrick Bethea tried to bunt the runners over, but both scored on an errant throw by the first baseman, making it a 3-0 game.
Bethea went all the way to third on the error and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Dawson Kabler.