Mound masters

Wyatt Daugherty reared back and unleashed a fastball that buzzed past the swinging bat of Addis Crouch.

Daugherty pumped his fist as he walked off the mound at
Kelly Automotive Park. The Butler right-hander had wiggled out of a sixth-inning jam with arguably his best pitch of the night on his final offering of the game.
Left-hander Nick Reamer needed just six pitches to put Knoch away in the seventh as the Golden Tornado edged the Knights 2-1 Thursday night.
The Daugherty-Crouch showdown was an epic one with Knoch runners at second and third, two outs and the count going full before the
Butler right-hander won the battle.
“Addis did a good job. I thought he battled that kid,” said Knoch coach George Bradley. “It was a real battle. That kid threw a real hot fastball and Addis wasn’t backing down.”
Daugherty struck out seven, walked just one and gave up just one run on five hits in earning the win for
Butler, which has gotten stellar pitching already this season.
The Tornado (2-1) have given up just three runs this season and have already matched their win total from all of last season.
“(Daugherty) pitched a great game for us out there today,” said
Butler coach Todd Erdos. “He worked the ball up and down and changed speeds some, and when he needed it, he made some good pitches, especially the last inning he was in.
“We’re very excited — pleasantly surprised,” Erdos added about the quality of the pitching so far this season. “We knew we had some decent arms coming through here and it’s good to see them stepping up and showing us they are capable of going out there and pitching solid games. Hopefully, they can build on this success as we get to section play.”
Butler needed Daugherty and Reamer to pitch as well as they did because Knoch’s duo of Gavin Miller and Alex Stobert pitched just as well.
Miller only went two innings after a high pitch count in the first chased him early.
“Gavin pitched better than what it appeared,” Bradley said. “His pitch count was up — I think he was at 52 pitches and I was only going to let him go 60 anyway.”
Butler got to Miller for a run in the first inning on a RBI single by Garrett Goslaw that scored Ryan Vero.
Miller got out of the jam as the Tornado left the bases loaded.
Butler left two more on — both in scoring position — in the second inning.
“We were one or two hits away from breaking the game open,” Erdos said.
Instead, the game turned into a pitcher’s duel.
Stobert relieved Miller and went five strong innings, striking out seven and giving up just two hits, one a double that got lost in the lights.
Stobert, though, picked up the loss as Butler’s Ryan Denny scored on a throwing error to give the Tornado a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.
“It easily could have been 2-1 the other way,” Bradley said. “That’s the kind of game you want to see, especially early in the year.”

Butler 100 100 0 — 2 5 0
Knoch 010 000 0 — 1 5 2
W: Wyatt Daugherty 6IP (7K, 1BB). L: Alex Stobert 5IP (7K, 2BB). SV: Nick Reamer 1IP (1K, 0BB)
Butler (2-1): Ryan Vero 1B, Cory Wheeler 2B, Garrett Goslaw 1B RBI, Kyle Campbell 2B, Nathan Kibbie 1B
Knoch (0-1): Hyte Eurich 1B, Cole Shinsky 1B, Asa Adams 2B, Zachary Junk 2B, Traiggia 1B
Today: Ellwood City vs. Butler at Kelly Automotive Park, 4 p.m.