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Butler baseball splits Oklahoma series

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Butler redshirt freshman Cade Phelps pitches in the fourth inning against Seminole State on Sunday, Feb. 21 in Edmond, Oklahoma. He pitched 2 1/3 innings with no runs allowed.

EDMOND, OKLAHOMA—Butler baseball had their season delayed by a few days but made up for it right away as they split their opening series of the season, splitting a pair of games against out of state competition. The Grizzlies beat Seminole State 14-7 but fell to nationally ranked Crowder College, 12-9 in a thriller. 

"I thought we played pretty good," Butler Head Coach BJ McVay said. "Our pitching will be much better as the season moves along."

The Grizzlies now 1-1 turn their attention to conference play where they will travel to Cowley on Thursday, Feb. 25 for two games. They will come back and open their home schedule on Saturday, Feb. 27 against the Tigers at McDonald Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 

Butler 14, Seminole State (OK) 7

Seminole State—0;1;2;0;0;0;3;1;1;—8;9;2

Butler—1;0;7;0;0;0;0;6;X;—14;10;3

WP—Nate Adler (1-0)

LP—Brett Russell (0-2)

Butler opened their season with a 14-7 win over Seminole State 

Brett Zimmerer scored on a Josh Cameron sacrifice groundout to give Butler their first run of the season. Zimmerer would also have Butler’s first hit of the year. 

He would get into scoring position after being caught in a tough position by the Semiole State starter, Brett Russell. Zimmerer wiggled out of the run down as the third basemen didn’t apply the tag, giving Butler runners at second and third with one out. 

Cameron would then ground to second to score Zimmerer.

Seminole State would score three unanswered, including a solo home run by Brett Cobb in the second inning to tie the game at 1-all.

The Grizzlies plated seven unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning and did it all with two outs. 

It started with Jackson Syring reaching on a wild pitch and then it snowballed from there. Butler would once again have Josh Cameron reach on a third strike, this time on a passed ball, forcing all of the runs to be unearned.

Cash Stone doubled to right center to score two with the bases loaded and then Cesar Garcia followed that up on the next at bat with a double to score two more and forcing a Seminole State pitching change.  

"I tell our guys all the time, when they give you two extra outs, good teams make them pay for that," McVay said.

After Seminole State put two on with two out, relief pitcher, Tanner Leslie, came in and struck out Jordan McCladdie to end the sixth to preserve the Butler 8-3 lead. 

Seminole State’s Cody Aker sent a two-run home run over the right field fence to bring Seminole State within 8-6 in the seventh and they would add another on in the eighth to cut the Butler lead down to 1. 

Butler plated six runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win for Butler. 

No. 6 Crowder 12, Butler 9

Butler—4;0;0;0;2;3;0—9;7;1

Crowder—0;3;1;2;3;3;x-—12;8;4

WP—Breven Yarbro (1-0)

LP—Zach Zach Chiolis (0-1)

This box score is unofficial

Crowder's Logan Chambers was a one-man wrecking crew as the sixth-ranked team nationally remained unbeaten by topping Butler 12-9. Chambers finished 3-for-4 on the night with two home runs and five RBIs.

"He had a pretty good day," McVay said. "He made us pay today."

Butler opened with four runs in the top half of the first inning and it felt as if it was going to be a precedent for more to come. However, after Zach Stroh doubled to score Cameron and Stone, the Grizzlies would go three-up and three-down for the next three innings.

While Butler did that, Crowder went to work. 

Crowder would score at least two runs in four of the next five innings, including three in an inning on three different occasions. 

First is was Chambers' three-run home run in the second inning to bring the Roughriders (4-0) to within a run. Then, Rod Criss scored Landry Wilkerson in the fourth inning to tie the game up at 4-all. 

After Crowder had taken the lead, it was Butler's turn to answer back. Cameron singled passed the first basemen's dive attempt to bring the Grizzlies even as Syring would score. Then, as the Roughriders tried to throw behind to get Cameron napping, Argenta would score on the passed ball, making it 6-all through 4½ innings. 

However, it was Chambers who gave Crowder another 3-run advantage as he cranked one over the right field fence for his second home run of the night and the 9-6 advantage. 

Butler then would get three runs in the top of the sixth on wild pitches. However, it wouldn't be enough as Criss hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to answer back. 

Though, Butler would threaten in the top of the seventh, they would strand the bases loaded to end the game. 

Butler racked up seven unofficial hits, while striking out nine batters.

"When you score nine, you expect to win games," McVay said. 

The Grizzlies used six different pitchers, in the loss to Crowder, with the starter, Brayden Meeks going two innings. 

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.