PLEASANT HILL - Just win.
The Aviators did just enough to do so in dramatic fashion Tuesday afternoon, with a walk-off 3-2 win over Sidney in the District Semi-Final.
"Survive and advance," said a relieved Trent Dues after the win.
"We will take that W."
In a season where Butler has faced little to no adversity, the Aviators got a healthy does of it against the Yellow Jackets.
It's something that will hopefully serve Butler well as the road to Canal Park continues.
"Hats off to Sidney for the way they played and hats off to our guys for not giving in," said Dues.
“What a great high school baseball game.”
Butler committed an uncharacteristic four errors and found themselves down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
"We did some things mentally that are not typical for us, so I hope that we don't see those things again," said Dues.
Kaden Echeman (9-0) worked a solid six innings, striking out five and did not allow an earned run.
Up to that point, the senior righty just could not get the support he needed at the plate - but that was about to change.
Jackets pitcher Ryan Caufield was crafty from the mound and the Aviators just could not get the ball to find the gaps for five innings.
That all changed when Butler finally got a run across the plate in the sixth, as Kaden Echeman helped his own cause, advancing Boston Smith from third to narrow the Jackets lead to just 2-1.
The season was still dangerously close to a premature ending - but it was a sign that the Aviators were heating up.
Echeman was relieved in the seventh by Quinton Hall (11-0).
“Ech and Q kept us in the game,” said Dues.
After hitting the first batter, Hall notched a pick-off and two strikeouts to give the Aviators one last shot at the plate.
Bitty Hendricks got things rolling with a leadoff single, hit sharply to center.
Sidney skipper Thomas Goffena then opted to pull Caulfield and brought in another lefty in Carson Taylor.
Taylor attempted a pick-off play at first, and the ball sailed allowing Hendricks to advance to third - the Aviators were in business.
With the tying run at third, the Jackets managed a pop-up out before walking Bryce Echeman and intentionally walking Quinton Hall to load the bases.
Carson Clark was hit by a pitch to score Hendricks from third and knot the game at 2-2.
Boston Smith then drove the game winning sacrifice fly to deep right, bringing Bryce Echeman across for the walk-off win.
"Bitty had a great at bat to lead us off in the seventh. Bryce induced a great walk and Boston hit it just far enough. We will take it," said Dues.
The win advances Butler to a showdown with Moeller (20-9) on Thursday at 5:00 pm in the District-Final at Beavercreek High School.
The victory was also a milestone for pitcher Quinton Hall, who earned his eleventh win on the season, tying the record set by fellow southpaw and Butler legend Cory Vance in 1997.