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Moeller Edges Butler 4-1 In Regional Semi-Final

OXFORD - The opportunities were there for Butler (24-7) to hand Moeller (29-2) another loss on the season and a right to advance to Friday's Regional Final, but the Crusaders were able to do just enough to keep the upset minded Aviators at bay - edging Butler 4-1.

The Crusaders struck early, plating two runs in the bottom half of the first inning for a 2-0 lead, and all of the run support needed as the Aviators Hunter Richardson (9-1) and Moeller's David Hagen (7-0) delivered the much anticipated pitcher's duel.

The Aviators and Crusaders each got their fair share of hits on the day, with Butler hitting seven and Moeller finding the hit column eight times. The Aviators finally broke into the run column in the top of the fifth, as Mason Reckner pushed Richardson across to close the gap to 2-1.

In the bottom half however, Moeller would capitalize on a rare Butler error to plate two for the ultimate final score of 4-1.

Richardson went five inning for Butler, allowing just two earned runs and struck out three. Reckner came on in the sixth inning and retired the side to give the Butler offense one last crack at the comeback win - the Crusaders however also retired the side to close out the victory.

Offensively for Butler, senior Landon Case had a day at the plate after being called upon to hold down the hot corner at third base for an injured Koby Dues in the first inning. Case was 2-for-3 with a couple of nice rips for the Aviators.

While the road to Akron ended just short - the season was another banner one for the Aviators with a 22nd League Championship, 20th Sectional Title and 11th District Crown. Butler who has long been a small fish in the Division I ocean will now look ahead to playing on an even playing field as the Aviators are likely bound for a Division III classification in 2025.

Buckle up Aviator Nation - things are about to take off!



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