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VANDALIA - The Aviators’ 2016 season came to a stunning end Thursday afternoon, as Butler (22-4) was upset by Tecumseh (12-15) 4-3 in the the Aviators’ sectional opener.

For Butler, it was another disappointing and premature exit from the tournament, painfully similar to last season’s ouster in the Sectional Final to Northmont.

The Aviators entered the game ranked #3 in the state and #5 in the USA Today Midwest Super 25, but that did not phase the upset minded Arrows.

When asked if it was the most difficult loss of his career, Butler head coach Trent Dues didn’t flinch.

“Yeah, it probably is,” he said. “I had a bad feeling about this game, I don’t know why, I just did. We got off to a bad start, got a lead and couldn’t get a bigger lead, and then gave them a run in the last inning. It was a nightmare.”

Tecumseh jumped ahead early when Hunter Hale hit a two RBI single, scoring Reid Hale and Nick Yeary for a 2-0 lead.

The Aviators battled back an inning later, when senior Dusty Lewis led things off with a double to centerfield. Damon Dues followed suit with a double of his own, this one an RBI shot, scoring Lewis from second, to cut the Arrows lead in half.

It would be Lewis again crossing the plate in the bottom of the third, this time a solo homerun to right field, knotting the game at 2-2.

Four batters later, junior Matt Grossman would hit an RBI single, scoring Tyler Burley and giving Butler it’s first lead of the game at 3-2.

The lead would be short lived, as Tecumseh tied the game an inning later, creating a stalemate that would last into the seventh inning.

The Arrows took advantage of two Aviator errors in the seventh, plating Caleb Ricks for the eventual winning run.

Butler had a final shot at redemption in the bottom half of the inning, but pitcher Jack Dague and the Arrows sat the Aviators down in order.

“We played the plays we needed too,” Tecumseh coach Chad Hale said. “We know we have played close games all year, and we have two top-notch pitchers who can play with anyone. We talked about going over there to win, and we expect to win. We had to play our best game and we did.”

While the season certainly didn’t end the way Butler had hoped, it does not take away from the incredible season that the Aviators put together.

Butler swept the GWOC North for the second straight year, giving themselves a 20-0 record against division foes in that span. Butler also registered it’s second straight 20+ win season, a feat that had not been achieved since 2005.

The Aviators graduate a strong senior class that made their mark on the program. The players and their contributions will be missed.

“I feel bad for these guys, everyone had big expectations,” said Dues. “These seniors worked for this a long time. We couldn’t get bunts down, we missed some signs, uncharacteristic stuff. We really didn’t hit the ball. I don’t know what to say really – there’s not much anyone can say. We were in this together, we collectively lost the game. Everybody had a hand in it.”



FAIRBORN - Tyler Burley came on in the seventh with two outs, and the bases loaded to strikeout Tommy Bell and preserve the 2-1 Butler (22-3) win over Fairmont (17-9) in Monday evening action at Wright State.

Senior Carson Schumann (4-1) picked up his fourth win of the season on the mound for Butler, combining with Mitch Gremling and Gavin Kohler to hold the Firebirds to just one run.

Junior Damon Dues ripped an RBI triple to left field in the first inning, scoring Burley for the early 1-0 lead.

The Firebirds battled back an inning later, knotting the game at 1-1 with an Elliot Kurtz single.

The Aviators took the lead for good in the third inning, courtesy of a sac-fly from Burley, scoring sophomore Logan Flatt from third, for the 2-1 lead and ultimate win.

The Aviators now turn their attention to the OHSAA Baseball Tournament, where they will host the winner of Tuesday's Piqua/Tecumseh match-up on 

Thursday at 5:00 PM.


CINCINNATI - Butler remained perfect against the GCL South this season, as the Aviators(21-2) cruised past Moeller 12-5. 

Freshman Braedon Norman (6-0) went 6 2/3 innings on the mound, earning the win. Norman allowed just three earned runs and struck out five along the way.

Junior Tyler Burley closed out the Butler win, coming on in the seventh to record the final out with a four pitch strikeout.

After a quiet night at the plate just a game ago, Butler put together a solid performance offensively.  Damon Dues and Chandler Craine each had 3 RBI, as the Aviators scattered thirteen hits from the plate.

A host of Aviators got in on the action.

Lewis 2-5 2 R 

Burley 1-2 3 BB 3 R 

Dues 2-4 3 RBI 

Craine 3-3 2B 3 RBI 

Grossman 1-4 RBI 

Ballard 2-5 

Kohler 1-2 RBI 

Martin 1-3 

Fletcher 1-3

Butler returns to action Saturday, traveling to Beavercreek (19-6) for a 12:00 PM game against the GWOC Central Co-Champion Beavers.


CENTERVILLE - The Aviators dropped a tough one on the road Thursday evening, falling to Centerville 4-3.  

The Elks handed Butler (20-2, 10-0) it's second loss of the season, and saddled pitcher Mitch Gremling (6-1) with his first defeat of the year. Gremling went the distance for Butler, allowing just one earned run on five hits, while striking out two.

The Aviators jumped out to the early 2-0 lead, but fell victim to a few uncharacteristic errors, that allowed the Elks to keep things close.

Meanwhile at the plate, after scoring three runs, the Butler bats fell silent as Centerville pitchers Quincy Hamilton and Brian Schutter held the Aviators to just two hits through the final five innings of play.

The road does not get any easier for Butler, as the Aviators look to bounce back under the Friday night lights at Moeller.  



VANDALIA -  Butler improved to 20-1, 10-0 on the season with a 19-1 win over Trotwood in Game Two, of Monday's double-header.

With the win, the Aviators completed their sweep of the GWOC North for the second consecutive season, compiling an eye-popping 20-0 record in division play along the way.

The Aviators begin a challenging road trip which begins Thursday at Centerville, resumes Friday at #15 Moeller and wraps-up on Saturday at #9 Beavercreek.



VANDALIA - The Aviators (18-1, 8-0) punished Northmont 9-1 in a Senior Night special, under the lights Friday night.

Senior Carson Schumann (3-1) earned the win, putting in another strong performance from the mound. Schumann worked four innings, striking out two and allowed just three hits.

Schumann was relieved by junior Zach Crawford, who worked the final three innings, with one punchout and a mere three hits.

The Aviators scattered nine hits throughout the evening, as each player in the lineup came away with a hit in this one.  Offensively Tyler Burley finished the game with two RBI and a run scored.

Weather permitting, the Aviators will play another one under the lights Saturday night at Hamilton (10-7, 9-4). Game time is slated for 7:00 PM.



PIQUA - Butler (17-1, 8-0) clinched a second straight GWOC Championship Tuesday evening, with a 4-1 win over host Piqua.  Furthermore, this marks the 17th division crown  for the Aviators, over the last twenty-two seasons.

Barring major upsets next week against Trotwood, Butler will look to complete it's sweep of the GWOC North, and post a 20-0 division record over the last two seasons.

Senior pitcher Mitch Gremling (5-0) earned his fifth win of the season, turning in a one-hit complete game.  Gremling surrendered just one run, while striking out eight, in yet another strong performance from the mound.

Butler wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard.  Senior Dusty Lewis led the game off with a walk, and two wild pitches later found himself in scoring position at third base.  From there, Lewis would score on a Tyler Burley single to center field, giving Butler the early lead.

A stolen base and balk later, Burley crossed the plate courtesy of Matt Grossman's RBI single to left field, and the Aviators were in business 2-0.

Two innings later, Butler would add to it's lead.  With two outs, and runners on the corners, Grossman engaged the Indian infielders in a game of pickle, just long enough to allow Burley to steal home, giving the Aviators a 3-0 lead.

Piqua finally got on the board in the sixth, but the Aviators quickly neutralized the run in the seventh with one of their own.

The Aviators return to action Thursday afternoon, facing off against a very good Lebanon Warriors (13-3, 5-2) team, of the GWOC South.  Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.


VANDALIA - The Aviators (16-1, 7-0) bounced back with a key 8-4 with over GWOC North foe Piqua (8-9, 5-2) Monday afternoon.

With GWOC North Championship implications on the line, the significance of the game was not lost on the visiting Indians.

Piqua went toe-to-toe with the defending champion Aviators, for five innings, as the teams traded leads and shifts in momentum.

The battle tested Aviators broke free in the sixth inning, plating four runs to take the lead and ultimate control of the ballgame.

Freshman Braedon Norman got the start for Butler, and worked 5 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and three earned runs allowed. Norman was relieved by senior Tyler Burley (2-0), who would be the pitcher of record, working the final 2 1/3 with three strikeouts and just two hits surrendered.

Offensive Highlights:

Craine 2-3 2 RBI
Lewis 2-3 2 R
Dues 2-3 1 R 2 SB
Burley 2 RBI
Ballard 1-3 RBI
Stogdill RBI
Fletcher RBI R
Gaskins 1-2 R
Grossman RBI

The Aviators will look to complete the sweep of the Indians Tuesday, as they make the trek north to Piqua. The first pitch is slated for 5:00 PM.



VANDALIA - The Aviators (15-1, 6-0) absorbed their first loss of the season Saturday afternoon, falling to Springboro (16-1, 6-0) by a score of 1-0.

It was a game pitting two the state's top Division I powers head-to-head, as Butler came in ranked #1 in the latest OHSBCA State Poll, with Springboro just three spots down the list at #4.

It became apparent early on that runs would be at a premium, as Butler's Carson Schumann and Springboro's Mark Nadeau would each turn in solid performances from the mound.  

Both teams struggled mightily at the plate through the early innings of the game.  The first threat of the game didn't come until the Panther half of the fourth inning.  Springboro opened the inning with back-to-back hits, in the form of a line drive and bunt, putting two on with no outs.

Undaunted, Schumann kept his composure, promptly striking out the next two batters.  The break appeared to come a batter later, when Panther third baseman Ethan Brickner ripped a liner tracking over the head of shortstop Damon Dues.  In an incredible display of athleticism, Dues timed the line shot perfectly, plucking it from the air to end the inning, and the Springboro threat.

The Panthers would eventually break through in the sixth inning, with one out.  Springboro's Cameron Rountree ripped a two strike offering right over second base and into centerfield, scoring Justin McConnell from second, breaking the stalemate for a 1-0 lead.

With the exception of a sixth inning walk, the Aviators were unable to generate any offense or baserunners from that point on. 

On a day where every ball hit seemed to be on a line directly to a Springboro fielder, two hits would be all that Butler could muster at the plate.

Schumann (2-1) deserved a better fate, working 5 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts, five hits and just one run allowed on the day.

But that's baseball.

The Aviators will look to bounce back Monday, as they return to GWOC North play, hosting Piqua (8-8, 5-1) in game one of a two game series.


VANDALIA Butler (15-0, 6-0) topped visiting Xenia 10-2 under the lights Friday evening, as the Aviators notched their fifteenth consecutive win of the season.

Junior pitcher Dylan Welch (1-0) earned the win for the Aviators, working five innings, while allowing just two runs on five hits. Welch was relieved by fellow junior Gavin Kohler, who worked the final two innings and notched three strikeouts.

Offensively junior Nathan Stogdill led the charge at the plate going 2-for-2 with 2 RBI and 2 runs. Matt Grossman and Dusty Lewis each added 2 RBI, while Torin Fletcher, Damon Dues and Tyler Burley also added an RBI in the win over the Buccaneers.

The Aviators return to action Saturday at noon, playing host to Springboro (14-1, 6-0), in what will be a showdown between the state's current #1 and #4 ranked teams in Division I.

Game Highlights



VANDALIA - Freshman pitcher Braedon Norman (4-0) once again performed well beyond his years, striking out twelve and allowing just one hit, in a 2-0 shutout win over Troy (8-6, 3-3) Tuesday afternoon.

When he wasn't mowing down Trojan batters at the plate, Norman was backed by a solid Aviators defense, which gave the Trojans fits all afternoon.

In fact Norman was merely a strike away from his second no-hitter this season, if not for an infield dribbler by Troy's Austin Barney with two outs and two strikes in the seventh inning.

On any other day, the performance by Troy's Jordan Peck might have been enough. Peck held Butler to just two runs on three hits, with two strikeouts.

But this day belonged to Norman and the Aviators, who made those two runs as good as gold.

Those precious runs would come with two outs in the bottom of the first.

Tyler Burley got aboard with a double to left field and Matt Grossman worked a six-pitch walk two batters later. Chandler Craine belted a liner to centerfield, scoring both Burley and Grossman, for the 2-0 lead.

From there, excellent pitching and stellar defense would propel the Aviators to their fourteenth straight victory.

With the win, Butler (14-0, 6-0) remains perfect on the season heading into a Friday Night Lights match-up with Xenia (6-7, 2-4) Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.


TROYButler (13-0, 5-0) picked up a key GWOC North win Monday afternoon, shutting out the host Troy Trojans 7-0.

The Aviators capitalized in the third inning, turning three walks and an error into five runs on just two hits, to give Butler a 5-0 lead.

Damon Dues got the scoring started with a line drive to centerfield  for an RBI single.  Two batters later, senior Chandler Craine ripped a shot to rightfield, scoring Dues and junior Tyler Burley.

Next up, Noah Ballard reached on an errant throw by Trojan third-baseman Jordan Peck, scoring Craine and Matt Grossman.  From there, the Aviators would cruise to victory.

Senior Mitch Gremling (4-0) was again stellar from the mound, striking out ten in the shutout win.  Gremling went the distance for Butler, pitching a complete game, while allowing just five hits.  

Behind the plate, Gremling's counterpart senior catcher Noah Ballard also put in a solid day's work, doing a nice job of keeping the ball in front of him.  A feat that isn't always easy with a pitcher of Gremling's caliber on the bump.

Off Notables:
Dues 2-4 2 RBI
Craine 1-3 2B 2 RBI
Grossman 1-1 3BB
Burley 1-3 2R 2 SB

Butler and Troy (8-5, 3-2) will wrap the series up Tuesday afternoon at Butler.  Game time is slated for 5:00 p.m.



VANDALIA - Butler (12-0, 4-0) shook off an early 1-0 deficit Saturday afternoon, plating eleven unanswered runs in an 11-1, run-rule win over the visiting Hilliard-Davidson Wildcats (5-7).

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, senior Torin Fletcher's two-out pop fly to right field bounced off of the glove of Davidson centerfielder Jake Lacher, turning what appeared to be a likely third out into two Aviators runs.  The blunder would give Butler the lead and control for the remainder of the day.

Junior Zach Crawford (3-0) went the distance on the mound for Butler, working five innings of six hit baseball.  Crawford allowed just one run on the day, and struckout three Wildcat batters.

Senior outfielder Chandler Craine let the Aviators at the plate, turning in a 3-for-3 performance, with three RBI and three runs scores.

Additional Offensive Highlights

Burley 3-4 2 R
Ballard 3 BB, RBI
Martin 1-3 RBI
Fletcher 1-3 RBI
Lewis 1-4 RBI
Stogdill 1-3

Butler will be back at it Monday afternoon, as GWOC North action resumes at Troy.  Game time is set for 5:00 PM.


MIAMISBURG - The Aviators scored five runs in the first two innings of play Thursday evening, and cruised to 7-0 win over host Miamisburg.

As it has for most of the season, Butler got another superb pitching effort, as senior Carson Schumann (2-0) and junior Gavin Kohler combined for the win, the Aviators' eleventh straight.

Schumann got the starting nod, and pitched a stellar 5 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits, while striking out six.  Kohler came on in relief and promptly retired the seven batters that he faced, to close out the Butler victory.

Butler wasted little time in getting the scoring started.  Dusty Lewis led the game off with a walk, and two batters later crossed the plate courtesy of junior Damon Dues hard hit RBI single to first.  Matt Grossman followed with a single, and a Viking error two batters later allowed both Dues and Grossman to come across for the early 3-0 lead. 

It would be all that Schumann would need.  Riding the solid performance of the right-hander, the Aviators backed Schumann up with seven hits and seven runs.  

Offensively Butler was led by senior Torin Fletcher who finished 3-for-4 with a double.  Dues went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while seniors Chandler Craine and Noah Ballard both finished 1-for-3.  Craine had a double, while Ballard notched an RBI in the win.

The Aviators return home for a Saturday match-up with Hilliard-Davidson at 12:00 PM.



GREENVILLE - The Aviators used timely hitting and strong pitching to notch two wins over host Greenville Tuesday evening.

Playing in a rare weeknight doubleheader, due to Monday's rainout, Butler beat Greenville in consecutive games 6-0 and 12-2.

Senior Mitch Gremling (2-0) sizzled on the mound in Game One, striking out sixteen, while allowing just three hits in the shutout win.  The righty dominated from the start and seemingly got stronger as the game wore on.

Gremling was backed by a stout defense that played error free baseball, along with an offense who made the very most of their five hits.

Offensively, senior Chandler Craine led the charge for Butler going 2-for-4 with an RBI.  Tyler Butler finished the game going 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run, while fellow juniors Damon Dues and Matt Grossman each added an RBI in the winning effort.

Freshman Braedon Norman (3-0) got the start in Game Two and pitched another gem.  Norman allowed just two hits while striking out six in a run-rule win that went only five innings.

After spotting Greenville an early 2-0 lead, Butler erupted offensively, for thirteen hits and twelve runs.  Senior Dusty Lewis went 3-for-4 from the plate with an RBI and two runs.  

Other notables included:

Burley 2-2 2 RBI 3 R 
Dues 2-4 RBI 2 R 
Grossman 2-3 2B 2 RBI R 
Stogdill 2-3 2 R 
Craine 1-3 RBI
Ballard 1-2 R
 Gaskins 1-1 R
 Kohler RBI

The Aviators will be back at it on Thursday, traveling to Miamisburg to take on the Vikings (5-2) at 5:00 PM.


CINCINNATI -  Juniors Damon Dues and Matt Grossman each went 3-for-4 with and connected on RBI singles Sunday afternoon, to send Butler past host Elder 4-1.

Paced by a great pitching effort, Butler made things incredibly difficult for the Panthers all afternoon.  

Junior Zach Crawford (2-0) got the start for Butler, going 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts, while allowing no earned runs and just two hits.  Crawford was relieved in his impressive performance by freshman Braedon Norman, who closed out the Butler win with two strikeouts and just one hit allowed.  

“I thought our pitching was excellent, Crawford and (Braedon) Norman came in and closed,” said Butler coach Trent Dues. “(Crawford’s) a very good pitcher, he’s a junior and he’s a third-year varsity player. Norman’s a freshman, but if you could call him a seasoned freshman. He’s not afraid of the ball in big situations."

The feat was not lost on Elder coach Mark Thompson either.  "Bottom line, you get three hits, it’s gonna be tough to beat a good team," said Thompson. 

The Aviators (8-0, 2-0) have now won eight-straight games, and despite being sidelined over the last four days by Mother Nature, Butler came out sharp, and didn't skip a beat.

The Aviators got things going in the third inning with two on and one out.  Shortstop Damon Dues lined a 1-0 pitch to left-field, scoring senior Torin Fletcher from third base, for the RBI and early lead.  Senior second baseman Dusty Lewis would add to the lead, scoring from third on a passed ball for a 2-0 Butler lead.

The Panthers would pull to within 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning, but it would be the closest that they would get all day.  Butler plated an additional three runs in the fifth inning, sparked by Grossman's RBI single.

Down 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Elder rallied to load the bases with two outs, threatening the Aviators' lead.  The threat was thwarted however with Norman and Dues combining to pick-off Elder's Logan Cox at second base to end the inning and the Panther's best shot at a comeback.

Dues was pleased with the Aviators effort in the road win.  “We got ten hits, got a few bunts down and we got hits at the right time ," said Dues.  "Our defense was exceptional. It was a very good win. Offensively, defensively and pitching.”

The Aviators will be back at it Tuesday, facing off against GWOC North foe Greenville (1-4, 0-1).  Due to rain, this series will be played as a doubleheader starting at 5:00 PM.


VANDALIA - The Aviators continued their winning ways Tuesday afternoon, with another shutout win over the Yellow Jackets of Sidney.  This one, a 10-0 victory was never in doubt as Butler picked up where it left off Monday evening.

Butler struck early, plating a run in the first inning as Dusty Lewis turned his lead-off single into a run courtesy of a passed ball.

An inning lte the Aviators blew the game wide open, scoring six runs to take a commanding 7-0 lead.

Offensively Butler was led by junior Gavin Kohler who finished 2-for-3 at the plate, with two RBI and a run scored.  Senior Nic Martin, juniors Nathan Stogdill, Matt Grossman, and Tyler Burley each added an RBI.

Senior pitcher Mitch Gremling picked up his second win of the season, pitching four strong innings, in which he struck out eight batters.  Gremling was relieved by closer Tyler Burley who made quick work of Sidney in the top of the fifth inning.  Burley was followed by Kohler who logged an inning of work and closed out the Butler win.

The Aviators travel to Springfield Friday afternoon for a 5:00 match-up against the Wildcats of the GWOC central.



SIDNEY - Butler shutout Sidney 14-0 Monday afternoon at Sidney High School, behind strong performances from pitchers Braedon Norman and Carson Schumann.

Norman, the freshman right-hander earned his second win in as many starts for the Aviators.  Through three innings of work, Norman allowed just three hits while striking out four.  Senior Carson Schumann closed the game out, working the remaining two innings, surrendering just one hit and striking out five Yellow Jacket batters.

Offensively Butler scored early and often, scattering eighteen hits as the Aviators could do no wrong in the batter's box.

Butler was paced by junior first baseman Matt Grossman who was 4-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and four runs scored.  Seniors Chandler Craine and Nic Martin went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while fellow senior Noah Ballard finished 2-for-3.  Junior Tyler Burley and senior Dusty Lewis each added an RBI.

The win propels Butler to a 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the GWOC North.  The Aviators return to action on Tuesday, closing out the series with Sidney at Butler High School.  Game time is slated for 5:00 PM



CINCINNATI - The Aviators jumped out to an early lead, but had to hold on late, in a windswept 7-6 win over the LaSalle Lancers.

Juniors Damon Dues, Matt Grossman, and senior Noah Ballard each drove in a pair of runs to lead the Aviators to their fifth consecutive win, and lift Butler to 
5-0 overall.

Senior Dusty Lewis and junior Tyler Burley got things going early for Butler, with back-to-back line drive singles.  Junior Damon Dues dropped an RBI single into right field for a 1-0 lead.

Two innings later Lewis again led off with a single and would be brought across the plate by junior Matt Grossman's RBI single.  Senior Chandler Craine joined in on the action, hitting a sacrifice fly to score Dues, and extend the Aviators' lead to 3-0.

LaSalle clawed back into things in the bottom frame of the third inning, scoring four runs, only one of which was earned.

Butler reclaimed the lead for good with a big fifth inning.  Craine and sophomore Logan Flatt both singled to begin the inning.  Senior Noah Ballard crushed a clutch double left field, scoring Craine and Flatt for a 5-4 lead.

Senior Torin Fletcher and Burley singled to load the bases, and back-to-back Lancer walks extended the Aviator lead to 7-4.

LaSalle would chip away and pull to within a run at 7-6, but would leave two runners stranded on the basepaths as Butler picked-up the win.

On the mound, juniors Dylan Welch and Zach Crawford combined to allow just six hits and one earned run.  Crawford picked up the win, working the final 4 2/3 innings, striking out two.

Butler (5-0) begins division ply Monday afternoon, as they head north to Sidney to face the Yellow Jackets at 5:00 PM.


This story appears courtesy of the Vandalia Drummer News
By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA – After surrendering a run to the visiting Centerville Elks in the first inning, the Butler Aviators wasted little time in striking back.

Leadoff batter Dusty Lewis connected with the second pitch he saw and launched a towering home run to right field to tie the game at 1-1, and Butler tacked on three more runs in a four-run first enroute to a 7-6 win on Friday afternoon.

“These are two pretty good baseball teams, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them again down the road,” said Butler head coach Trent Dues.

The Aviators kept their record spotless as they moved to 4-0 while the Elks continue an early season of one-run losses and fell to 1-3.

Mitch Gremling took the mound for the Aviators in a game that was originally scheduled for Thursday evening at Wright State. Storms washed that date out, and the contest moved to Butler on a cool, blustery afternoon.

Centerville capitalized on a walk in the first to claim a 1-0 lead before Lewis’ lightning bolt tied the game at 1-1.

Butler took advantage of five walks by the Elk starter. Tyler Burley, Damon Dues, Matt Grossman, Noah Ballard, and Logan Flatt all received free passes while Chandler Craine and Torin Fletcher hit sacrifice flies to drive in a run each.

Butler couldn’t hold the lead, however, with three hits and a pair of errors allowing the Elks to score four times and retake the lead at 5-4.

The Aviators used some craftiness, speed, and power to score three times in the second which proved all the offense they would need.

Burley got things started with a single to right, and then Dues reached on an error that moved Burley to third and Dues to second.

Grossman followed with an infield single on a slow roller to short. Dues took advantage of the shortstop’s hesitation and rounded third but was caught in a rundown. The Elks appeared to have Dues caught for an easy out, but as the pitcher tried to apply a tag, Dues went to the ground and avoided it and then scrambled head first to home plate for a run.

Craine followed with a booming double off the fence in right-center to drive in Grossman and give the Aviators a 7-5 lead.

Gavin Kohler came into the game in relief of Gremling and pitched two scoreless innings, but the Elks scored in the sixth on a short single to left that was perfectly placed. Burley relieved Kohler in the sixth and recorded the final four outs.

“It was really tough to pitch today,” said Dues. “The conditions were very tough. Gremling got us started, our defense was good except for one play, and Kohler came in and did what we needed him to do. Burley had a really live ball which is a nice weapon to have.”

Reach Darrell Wacker at 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.



VANDALIA - Butler's bats came to life Wednesday afternoon, in a 10-3 rout of the visiting Bellefontaine Chieftans.  

The Aviators wasted little time in getting the scoring started.  Senior Dusty Lewis led off with a double to centerfield, followed by a perfectly executed bunt off the bat of junior Tyler Burley.  Two outs later, junior Matt Grossman sent a first pitch fastball to right field, for a two-run double and an early Butler lead.

The Chieftans battled back in the next inning, plating three runs to take a 3-2 lead.  The Aviators would strike back in the third inning, scoring four runs and and taking full control of the game.

On the mound for Butler, starter Carson Schumann (1-0) earned the win, allowing just three hits through three innings of work.  Junior Zach Crawford came on in relief and worked the final four innings, striking out two and holding Bellefontaine scoreless, while allowing just two hits.

Offensively Butler was paced by Tyler Burley who finished the day 3-for-3 with a triple, double and two RBI.  Matt Grossman finished 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, while fellow junior Damon Dues went 1-for-2 with two RBI.  Senior catcher Noah Ballard also added an RBI in the winning effort.

The Aviators get right back to it Thursday afternoon, traveling to Wright State University to square off against Centerville.  Game time is set for 7:00 PM.



TRENTON - The Aviators returned to action and their dramatic ways Tuesday afternoon, scoring each of their runs in the seventh inning, enroute to a 5-0 win over host Edgewood.

Freshman pitcher Braedon Norman (1-0) pitched a gem in his varsity debut, throwing a five strikeout no-hitter, lifting Butler to 2-0 on the season.

It was a pitcher's duel through six innings, as Norman and Cougars' pitcher Austin Hurley kept the affair scoreless.  While Edgewood was unable to crack the code on Norman, the Aviators methodically chipped away at Hurley.

The floodgates opened in the top of the seventh, and it was senior catcher Noah Ballard's infield single that got things started.  Sophomore Logan Flatt followed with a textbook bunt, and senior outfielder Torin Fletcher's two-run double broke the stalemate.

Juniors Nathan Stogdill and Tyler Burley each singled, and senior Dusty Lewis tripled as the Aviators plated an additional three runs to take a 5-0 lead.

Butler returns to action Wednesday afternoon, playing host to Bellefontaine at 5:00 PM.


VANDALIA - If Saturday's season opener versus Coldwater was any indication of what is in store for this season, it's going to be a wild ride.

A number of lead changes, strong pitching, web gems, and timely hitting, made for an exciting opening day of baseball at Butler High School.

Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Aviators sparked a rally, capped off with a two-run single off of the bat of junior Tyler Burley for the 4-3 walk-off win.

The Cavs got things started early, taking a 1-0 lead after just one inning of play.  Butler would strike in the bottom of the third when junior Damon Dues (2-for-3) hit a burner through the infield, plating Dusty Lewis and Tyler Burley as they Aviators claimed a 2-1 lead.

Coldwater battled back in the top of the fifth, scoring twice to reclaim a 3-2 advantage.  Cavs pitcher Kyle McKibben and a stingy defense kept the Aviators at bay for most of the afternoon, and it looked like they might get out of town with the win.  The Aviators, however, had other plans.

Sophomore Logan Flatt got things started, legging out a single to put the Aviators in business.  A batter later, senior Torin Fletcher laid down a bunt, and a Coldwater fielding error put him aboard at first.  Next, junior Nathan Stogdill successfully squared up a sacrifice bunt and fellow senior Dusty Lewis (2-for-3) was intentionally walked, loading the bases and setting the stage for Burley's late game heroics.

Burley also picked up the win on the mound for the Aviators, coming on in the seventh to relieve starter Mitch Gremling.  Gremling worked the first six innings, striking out seven and allowing just one earned run, in what was a solid outing for the Wright State signee.  Burley came on in relief, striking out two and was 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI.

Butler returns to action on Tuesday at 5:00 PM, traveling to Trenton to face Edgewood.