Butler cruises to 3-0 victory
North Hills misses on early chances



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Butler's David Tompkins rounds second base and heads to third Monday during the Tornado win. 




The opportunities were there early for the North Hills baseball team against Butler and starting pitcher Mick Fennell. 
They weren't great chances, mind you, but more than teams usually get against the Golden Tornado senior right-hander. 
The Indians got six baserunners in the first four innings, but couldn't get any of them around to score. 
Once Fennell got into a groove, the two runs his offense gave him in the first inning were more than enough as Butler opened the WPIAL Section 1-AAAA schedule with a 3-0 win over North Hills at Pullman Park Monday night. 
“He did an excellent job out there,” said Butler coach Todd Erdos of Fennell. “When he got into trouble, when push came to shove, he got out of the jams himself.” 
North Hills (0-3, 0-1) hit back-to-back singles off Fennell with one out in the top of the first inning, but Fennell got a ground out and a strikeout to escape. 
In the third inning, Fennell got a break when North Hills leadoff hitter Anthony Rizzitano stole second and then stole third, but overslid the third-base bag and was tagged out. 
In the fourth inning, Sam Quartrini singled and stole second, but was tagged out when he overslid the bag on the Pullman Park synthetic dirt. 
“We went over before the game those little things that happen when you play here,” said North Hills coach Nate Buttenfield. “The effort was there, but we just didn't get it done.”


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Butler’s Mick Fennell delivers a pitch Monday during the Tornado’s 3-0 win over North Hills at Pullman Park. 

Fennell retired the final 13 North Hills hitters he faced, thanks mostly to a dominating fastball that was moving through the zone. 
“He was like throwing an invisi-ball,” Erdos said. “It was rising through the strike zone and disappearing. They were swinging under it.” 
Butler has given up just six runs in five games. 
The Golden Tornado scored two runs in the first inning on RBI singles by Colin McKee and Dalton Koebler and took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to a leadoff triple by David Tompkins, who then scored on a sacrifice fly by Koebler. 
Tom Bruce also had a double for Butler. 
It spoiled an otherwise strong outing by North Hills starter Jake Euler, who only gave up five hits himself while striking out six. 
“We're proud of him,” Buttenfield said. “Jake threw an outstanding game. We couldn't have asked anything more from him. We left a couple of guys on base and didn't get the clutch hit. That was the difference.” 
Butler didn't give North Hills any breaks because of a defense that was stellar again. 
The Golden Tornado have committed just three errors this season. Their one error against North Hills was on a errant pickoff throw by Fennell. 
“I've been very pleased and impressed with the way our defense has been,” Erdos said. “We've been doing it all season long, through our scrimmages and our first few games and tonight as well. That's one area we have definitely improved in. We haven't been giving the extra outs and that's all you can ask.” 
North Hills 000 000 0 — 0 5 0 
Butler 200 100 x — 3 5 1 
W: Mick Fennell 7IP (8K, 1BB). L: Jake Euler 6IP (6K, 2BB). 
North Hills (0-3, 0-1): Sam Quatrini 2-1B 
Butler (5-0, 1-0): Colin McKee 1B RBI, David Tompkins 3B, Dalton Koebler 1B 2-RBI, Tom Bruce 2B