Tornado stay cool
Butler handles pressure in win over Franklin


By Sam Tallarico
Eagle Staff Writer


BUTLERTWP
Butler baseball coach Dave Florie was interested in seeing how his team would respond in a tight, late-game situation.
Even if it meant seeing a modest lead shrink to one run.
Franklin scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull to 5-4, but the Golden Tornado countered with a four-spot in the bottom of the inning and went on to post a 9-4 triumph over the Knights Wednesday at Highfield Park.
"That's what I told them after the game," said Florie about wanting to see how his team could stand up to pressure. "In a way, it was good that team stayed close. Our section is a pressure cooker. That's two days in a row we handled it well."
Butler defeated Ambridge 5-4 on Tuesday after holding off a late Bridgers' rally.
Against
Franklin, Jay McDonough's one-out, two-run double in the sixth inning gave Butler a 7-4 edge. With two outs, Ben Cress and John Marra tacked on more insurance runs with RBI singles to close out the scoring.
Franklin, which had only one hit through the first four innings and one run and three hits through five, mounted a rally to give the Knights a little hope.
With two outs and a runner at first, Brad Free singled and Jake Nulph followed with an RBI single. Tim Lynn followed with a two-run single to make it 5-4.
Tyler Moss then hit a hard grounder to Tornado third baseman Adam Miller, who made a strong throw to first base to end the threat.
Butler jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a run-scoring single by Jim McCaslin. The Tornado had the bases loaded with one out, but couldn't plate another run.
They did take a 4-0 lead after scoring three times in the fourth inning off Nulph.
With one out, Marra, Chet Link and Darren Blakely hit consecutive singles to load the bases. After Aaron Ordy struck out, Adam Miller's grounder to third was thrown off the mark and two runs scored. McCaslin followed with another RBI single.
"We're all sophomores and juniors, for the most part," said
Franklin coach Curt Ditzenberger. "There's not a lot of varsity experience. I expected to see some mistakes and I did. We just have to go out and practice."
The Knights finally broke through in the fifth inning with a run, but had to be disappointed they didn't come away with more.
With runners at second and third and one out, Nick Perrine smashed a single to score Moss, but Cameron Hovis was tagged out trying to score.
Butler answered that run on a Rob Cochran RBI double in the bottom of the fifth.
After a season-opening loss to Blackhawk, the Tornado have recorded consecutive wins. While it's a nice start, Florie knows that isn't good enough for his team.
"I think they want to do more than win a couple of exhibition games," said Florie.
"They're starting to get the idea of what the new system is. They're very attentive, very good students. They're starting to execute, but there's still a ways to go."

Franklin 000 013 04 7 2
Butler 100 314 x9 15 1
WP:
John Bell (5 IP) 5 strikeouts, 1 walk. LP: Josh Kahle (2 IP) 0 strikeouts, 3 walks
Franklin (1-0): Kyle Nulph 2B, RBI; Tim Lynn 1B, 2 RBI; , Nick Perrine 1B, RBI
Butler (2-1): Jim McCaslin 2-1B, 2 RBI, 2 SB; Rob Cochran 2B, RBI, SB; Jay McDonough 1B, 2B, 2 RBI; Ben Cress 1B, RBI, SB, John Marra 2-1B, RBI