Sigh of relief

Butler gets help out of pen in win

John EnriettoEagle Staff Writer

April 28, 2018 High School Baseball 


WEXFORD — Grant Metzger figured he would be taking the mound for Butler at some point.

He just didn't realize it would be so quickly.

The right-hander entered the game with no outs in the second inning at North Allegheny, did not allow a hit until the sixth and earned the win in the Golden Tornado's 6-2 victory.

The win lifted Butler (8-4, 5-3) into sole possession of second place in Section 1-6A.

“Grant came in and didn't try to do too much. He had the right approach,” Butler coach Cody Herald said.

Butler scored five runs in the top of the first inning — a run-scoring double by Connor Ollio and RBI single by Metzger highlighting the frame — before Tornado pitcher Brandon Fleeger struggled with his control in the bottom of the frame.

Fleeger walked three and hit a batter as the Tigers scored two runs. When he walked the leadoff hitter in the second, Herald inserted Metzger on the mound.

“I told Brandon it just wasn't his night,” Herald said. “We haven't lost any confidence in him. He'll get the ball again.”

North Allegheny starter Jack Kenna struggled on the mound as well. After giving up the five-spot in the first, he allowed singles to Nick Kibbie and Garet Banner to begin the second. When Ollio walked to load the bases, the Tigers put junior Ben Tharpe on the mound.

Tharpe induced a double play ground ball from Metzger as Butler extended its lead to 6-2.

With two on and two out in the NA second, Butler catcher Justin Stewart cut down a runner trying to steal third to end the inning.

The Tigers didn't threaten again until the sixth. With runners on the corners and two outs, Merzger struck out Brett Heckert to end the inning.

Metzger whiffed eight and threw exactly 100 pitches. He threw 30 pitches in a relief effort Wednesday.

“I felt good tonight,” he said. “I was able to spot my fastball on the outside corner and the umpire was giving me a couple of inches off the plate.

“I kept throwing the ball out there to see how much I could get.”

North Allegheny drew six walks, but managed only three singles in the game.

“We had no fight at the plate tonight. None,” Tigers coach Andy Heck said. “That's what 90 percent of my postgame talk was about to our kids.”

North Allegheny had a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to third place in Section 1-6A.

Butler 510 000 0 — 6 11 0

N.Allegheny 200 000 0 — 2 3 2

W: Grant Metzger 6IP (8K, 2BB). L: Jack Kenna 1IP (0K, 2BB).

Butler (8-4, 5-3): Nick Kibbie 2B 1B 2-R, Garet Banner 2-1B Connor Ollio 2B 1B RBI, Grant Metzger 1B RBI, Ryan Lynn 1B, Jacob Keene RBI, Colby Anderson 1B RBI, Jake Slomers 1B 2B

North Allegheny (8-4, 4-4): Cam Medic 2-1B RBI, Anthony Hattrup 1B