VANDALIA – The Aviators move on after a 3-1 win over Miamisburg in Thursday’s Sectional Final at Butler High School.
Facing off against Vikings ace and strikeout leader Preston Barr, the Aviators knew that runs would be at a premium. The same would be true for Miamisburg, as Butler started MVL strikeout leader Hunter Richardson.
The pitching match-up did not disappoint.
Richardson (7-3) went the distance for Butler striking out five, while allowing just four hits and one run.
Barr got into some early trouble, and it would ultimately spell doom for the junior and the Vikings.
After two walks and an error loaded the bases for Butler, junior Alex Ables (1-for-3, 2 RBI) crushed a 3-1 count line drive to centerfield, scoring Max Rubins (1-for-1) and Richardson for an early 2-0 lead.
The Aviators never looked back.
A double, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly would allow Miamisburg to narrow the lead to just 2-1 an inning later, but the Aviators would get the run back in the bottom half of the inning.
Richardson’s sacrifice fly scored Cayden Borchers to extend the Butler lead back to two at 3-1.
From there Richardson and the Aviators defense kept the Vikings at bay, securing the right to advance to Tuesday’s District Semi-Final against Springboro (19-7).
The defensive effort was highlighted by some flashy glovework from seniors Jayden Watkins and Cayden Borchers.
Butler will again play host in next week's matchup against the Panthers at Butler High School, with the first pitch set for 5:00 pm.