VANDALIA - Butler improved to 24-2 Friday evening, with a 3-1 win over visiting Elder in a game that lived up to the pre-game hype.
Both ranked in the latest D1 poll, #4 Aviators and #15 Panthers are certainly no strangers to one another - and that was apparent in a game where runs were scarce.
For Butler, it was yet another incredible performance from the mound for senior Quinton Hall (10-1). The southpaw and EKU commit was in complete control from start to finish, striking out five and allowing just one run in the complete game performance.
"Q was really efficient for us tonight, only walking one and the defense played well behind him," said Butler head coach Trent Dues.
That they did.
Senior Dylan Hartman had a number of nice scoop and throws from the hot corner and fellow senior Kaden Echeman fielded an array of stretch and scoops at first.
Freshman Austin Flohre also flashed some fancy glove work at second.
All-in-all just a great game by the infielders and outfielders alike.
For the Aviators, while the runs didn't come in buckets as they have most of the season, the Butler batters and base runners were able to manufacture just what they needed.
"We did just enough to get by offensively," said Dues.
With the game knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the third, freshman Austin Flohre hit a key sacrifice fly to shallow right field. Senior Mike Master tagged and took a full head of steam towards home plate.
Masters and the ball arrived almost simultaneously, but Masters was able to elude the tag at the plate for the 2-1 lead.
A batter later sophomore Josh Morris hit a clutch RBI single to score Kaden Echeman for the 3-1 lead, and the ultimate Butler win.
"Close games are usually won by good pitching and defense," said Dues.
If that's the case - Hall and the Aviators put on a clinic Friday evening.
In the win, Butler also breaks the single season runs record (294) with 295 runs - a record that has stood since the 2000 season. The win moves #4 Butler to 24-2 overall and sets the stage for the regular season show down on Saturday, versus #1 Olentangy Orange (23-2).