Golden Tornado capture slugfest against Knoch
Eagle Sports Editor
Baseballs were flying and people were running with regularity Tuesday at
Butler collected 17 hits — nine for extra-bases — while outslugging Knoch 13-9 for its second consecutive victory.
"I'm more of a pitching and defense guy, but, yeah, I expect we're going to hit," Golden Tornado coach Dave Florie said. "We're off to a good start."
The Knights didn't do too badly themselves, collecting 11 hits, including five for extra bases. The teams combined to use nine pitchers.
"Everybody got their work in today," Knoch coach Curt Schnur said. "That's what you want out of these early games: Get a look at as many players as you can before section play begins."
Butler batted around while scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. Knoch turned a double play to end the frame or it could have been worse. The Tornado batted around during a four-run fourth inning as well.
Tyler Slepski's two-run triple highlighted the first inning. Bobby Swartwout's two-run double highlighted the fourth.
Despite falling behind 5-0, Knoch used a five-run second frame of its own to assume a 6-5 lead.
"We showed some competitiveness the way we shrugged off that top of the first and went to work," Schnur said. "As a coach, I like to see that."
Florie liked his team's counterpunching as well.
"We regained the momentum and added a couple of runs in the seventh to stretch out the lead," he said. "That made a difference in how we played the bottom of the seventh."
Butler took an 11-9 lead into the final inning. Mickey Fenell doubled deep to right to begin the seventh and scored on Cody Herald's triple to center. Herald scored on a wild pitch.
Through the first two games this season, Herald is 7-for-9 with two doubles, two triples, six runs scored and four RBI.
"We're returning some kids who hit well for us last year and Cody's one of those," Florie said. "He's off to a good start. He's picked up a lot of H's (hard-hit balls) early.
"Ryan Fennell showed a lot of moxie in bouncing back with a big day at the plate after struggling in our first game."
Fennell hit three doubles Tuesday, two of them hitting the left-field fence on the fly.
Robert Zanella singled and John DeWalt doubled to begin the Knoch seventh, but Butler's Joe Malardie recorded a pair of strikeouts before retiring Mac Megahan on a comebacker to the mound to end the game.
Vinny Schmidt, the second of five Butler pitchers, got the victory. Zanella was the most impressive of four Knoch pitchers, striking out four in 2Z\c innings.
"Robert kept his fastball down and his pitches had a lot of movement," Schnur said. "Their hitters had a lot of trouble with him."
Zanella had three singles for the Knights. Sam Stone had a double, a triple, three RBI and two runs scored, but he was thrown out at the plate in the fourth trying to score from second on a single.
Stone jammed his knee on the play at the plate and had to leave the game.
"We're gonna get him checked out. ... I'm hoping we get good news there," Schnur said.
Butler debuts its new field on campus Thursday against Hampton.
Butler 501 410 2 — 13 17 3
Knoch 150 300 0 — 9 11 1
W: Vinny Schmidt 2 IP (2 K, 0 BB). L: Cody Beacom 2X\c IP (0 K, 2 BB).
Butler (2-0): Mickey Fennell 3B 2B 3-R, Cody Herald 3B 2B 2-1B 4-R 2-RBI, John Crummy 2-1B 2-R 2-RBI, Colin Williamson 3B RBI, Tyler Slepski 3B 1B 2-RBI 2-R, Ian Jewart 1B, Roman Bargo 1B, Bobby Swartwout 2B 3-RBI, Ryan Fennell 3-2B 2-RBI,
Knoch (1-1): Sam Stone 2B 3B 3-RBI 2-R, Dale Gallo 1B 3-RBI, Cullen Hinderliter 2B, Robert Zanella 3-1B 2-RBI, John DeWalt 2B 1B, Zane Voltz 1B RBI, Mac Megahan 2B 2-RBI