VANDALIA - After a solid pre-season, the regular season finally arrived Saturday afternoon - and the Aviators didn't disappoint - knocking off Springfield 8-1.
"After 667 days, it was great to play baseball again," Butler Head Coach Trent Dues said after the game. "It was a beautiful, sunny day and we played as good as the weather."
It was a good day indeed, as the Aviators got timely hitting, sound defense and solid pitching in the opening win.
"We made the most of our six hits as we moved runners and ran the bases well," said Dues.
"Our pitchers threw strikes for the most part and we played good defense behind them. It was a nice way to start the season."
Starting the game for Butler was senior Lake Land College commit Kaden Echeman, who turned in two innings of work, allowing just one hit while striking out three.
Sophomore Evan Ables (2K), freshman Jordan Taylor (2K) and junior Jack Williams (1K) came on in relief to combine in the winning effort.
Offensively senior catcher and University of Cincinnati commit Boston Smith led the way going 2-for-2 with three RBI and a double. Fellow senior and Mount St. Mary's University commit Carson Clark added an RBI, two runs and three stolen bases.
Defensively Clark and junior third baseman Cason Bennett each turned in inning ending, double plays against the visiting Wildcats.
The Aviators now shift their attention to next week, where they will open MVL play with Monday and Tuesday games against Piqua.
"League play starts Monday - so I guess we will see how prepared we really are," said Dues.
"The guys are really working hard and making the job of the coaching staff a difficult one, with who gets playing time. We will find out which cream will rise to the top".