Going Batty

Butler collects 13 hits in 10-0 shutout of Gateway

John Enrietto Eagle Sports Editor

April 09, 2022 Last Updated: April 08, 2022 10:16 PM High School

Butler's Cooper Baxter high-fives teammate Lance Slater after scoring in Friday's 10-0 baseball win over Gateway at Pullman Park. Baxter scored three runs in the game..Seb Foltz/Butler Eagle

Rain delayed the game in the first inning. Hail held up play in the fifth.

Nothing stopped Butler’s bats.

The Golden Tornado banged out 13 hits in cruising to a 10-0 non-section baseball win over Gateway in six innings at Pullman Park. The first five hitters in the Golden Tornado lineup — Cooper Baxter, Madden Clement, Colin Patterson, Conner McTighe and Brady Gavula — combined to go 10-for-17 with four doubles, a triple, eight runs scored and six RBI.

“I can’t say I’ve been displeased with our offense because we scored 35 runs in five games coming into this one,” Butler coach Josh Forbes said. “But we did take a different approach today.

“Everyone went up to the plate wanting to just hit the ball hard. Whatever happens from there, happens.”

A lot happened.

After going down in order in the bottom of the first inning, McTighe began the Butler second with a double to deep center. Gavula followed with a run-scoring single to right. Liam McElroy lined a single to right. He stole second, Gavula scoring on the back end of that play.

“It seemed like my hit sort of jump-started us,” McTighe said. “Our bats just got going. All we want to do at the plate is pass the torch, give the next batter a chance.”

Butler (6-0) scored in each of the game’s final five innings — including the fifth, when a brief hailstorm chased everyone off the diamond. The 10-run rule ended the contest with none out in the Tornado sixth.

Clement, Patterson and McTighe had two RBI each. Baxter hit in the leadoff spot and scored three runs.

Clement narrowly missed a home run in the third, drilling a line drive to right-center that caromed off the top half of the wall. He settled for a run-scoring double.

“While we’ve been scoring truns, this was the first game in which we’ve had this type of solid cotact,. hitting so many balls hard,” Forbes said.

“The way the weather’s been, we’ve been indoors for two weeks,” Patterson said. “I know we have a lot of good hitters. It was a matter of time before we broke out.

“We were definitely more aggressive at the plate today.”

Mac Schnur and Colin Casteel combined on a five-hit shutout for Butler. Schnur threw 67 pitches in four innings and escaped a major jam in the top of the first.

With rain falling heavily, he allowed a double to Carsen Engleka and walked a pair of batters to load the bases with out. The umpires pulled both teams off the field at that point.

After an approximate 20-minute delay, play resumed. Schnur gathered himself and struck out Taili Thompson looking, then induced Will Roper to foul out to third to end the threat.

Gateway’s (3-2) only other scoring threat was in the third inning. Nate Demchak led off with a single and Engleka seemingly executed a perfect hit-and-run single to right. As Butler second baseman Kyle Yost vacated his position to cover the bag, Engleka’s ball was ticketed for right field — but hit baserunner Demchak, resulting in an out.

“Mac showed his maturity on the mound again,” Forbes said. “He’s not getting rattled by anything. He gathered himself after that rain delay and gave us another quality outing. Our pitchers throw strikes. That’s all we an ask.”

Casteel struck out two and allowed one hit in his two innings of mound work.

“Our pitching is phenomenal,” McTighe, Butler’s catcher, said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in everybody we put on the mound.”

Butler returns to action Monday at Pullman Park, hosting Central Catholic at 7:30 p.m.

“We haven’t played our best game yet,” Forbes said. “We want that to come very late in the season.”

Gateway 000 000 — 0 5 1

Butler 023 221 — 10 13 0

W: Mac Schnur 4IP (3K, 3BB). L: Ryan Greggerson 3IP (2K, 0BB)

Gateway (3-2): Nate Demchak 1B, Carsen Engleka 2B 1B, Nolan Boehm 1B, Grady Otterman 1B

Butler (6-0): Cooper Baxter 2B 3B 3-R, Madden Clement 2B 1B 2-RBI, Colin Patterson 2-1B 2-RBI, Conner McTighe 2B 1B 2-RBI, Brady Gavula 2B 1B 2-R, Liam McElroy 1B RBI, Ethan Trettel 3B RBI, Lance Slater 1B