VANDALIA - The Aviators (23-2) won their first of what will be three staunch tests to close the regular season Wednesday, with a convincing 7-0 victory over Franklin (18-5).
The Wildcats came into the game ranked 17th in the most recent Prep Baseball Report Power Rankings, with the Aviators rounding at the top five at #5.
Franklin got off to a hot start with two hits in the first inning - but things would quickly cool.
After a quick single and double, Wildcat's senior Casey Judy rounded third and headed towards home in hopes of grabbing the early lead.
The Aviators had other ideas.
Butler's Cason Bennett quickly got the relay in to cutoff man Carson Clark, who sent in a laser beam in to catcher Boston Smith for the bang-bang out at home.
It was a tone setting play, and just the beginning of trouble for Franklin.
Freshman pitcher Jordan Taylor (2-0) who has established himself as a dependable arm for the Aviators shined, absolutely dominating the Wildcats from the mound.
"Jordan pitched a quality five innings for us tonight," said Butler head coach Trent Dues.
The righty struck out six and kept the Wildcats baffled at the plate through five strong innings of work.
Backed by a solid defense, and an offense that erupted for six runs in the first inning, the young and confident hurler was in complete control on the big stage.
"We got off to a nice start scoring six in the first inning," said Dues.
"We executed some small ball really well and also smacked it around some."
Taylor was relieved in the sixth inning by senior Kaden Echeman who like Taylor, completely shutdown the Wildcats.
Echeman struck out four, retiring the side by way of punch out in the seventh.
"Ech closed the door for us in the final two innings tonight," said Dues.
Echeman had a day at the plate as well, finishing 2-for-2 with a double and two runs. Boston Smith also doubled and added two RBI.
Bryce Echeman and Cason Bennett each added two RBI in the Butler win.
Next up for the Aviators is a showdown with Elder (18-6) on Friday at 6:00 pm.