Kickhaefer’s Career Day Leads Grizzlies to Split With Seward

Kickhaefer’s Career Day Leads Grizzlies to Split With Seward

EL DORADO, Kan. – Caden Kickhaefer's career-best performance on the mound helped Butler baseball to a game one win and doubleheader split with the Seward Saints at McDonald Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Butler (27-18, 16-6 KJCCC) claimed the win in game one, 2-0, before falling 15-5 in game two as Seward (23-22, 11-11) got its offense rolling.

The series moves to Liberal on Sunday with first pitch at 1 p.m.

Game 1: Butler 2, Seward 0

Caden Kickhaefer (W, 7-2) fired a complete game shutout, striking out a career-high 10 to just two walks and two hits. The strong performance from the sophomore righty helped push Butler to the win as three of his seven innings he sat the Saints down in order. The seven inning affair lasted just one hour and 19 minutes.

Offensively, Butler managed just four hits. They plated the only two runs of the game in the sixth on a wacky play. Anibal Rivera laid down a sacrifice bunt and the Seward third baseman sailed the throw to first high and down the right field line. Micah Kobuszewski scored off the error and Rivera advanced to third. As Rivera sat at third he noticed no one covering home plate and that the Saints had not called time so he took the bag uncontested to put Butler ahead 2-0.

Justin Hudson paced Butler going 2-3 at the plate.

Seward's Tyler Wilcox threw all 6.0 innings allowing four hits, striking out four and walking three. Nathan Hopkins and Connor Raney had Seward's lone hits.

Game 2: Seward 15, Butler 5

The Saints plated five runs in the first and six in the second, jumping out to an 11-1 lead that Butler could not recover from.

Grizzly starter Jack Laird (L, 1-3) was chased after one inning of work as he allowed eight runs on seven hits. Austin Bagnall came on in relief and threw the middle 6.0 innings allowing five runs on eight hits, striking out five and walking three.

Butler's biggest offensive inning came in the third as Anibal Rivera started things with a solo home run and Charlie Marcantel and Frank Garcia each had an RBI single.

Rivera was 3-4 for Butler, driving in a run. It was his sixth multi-hit performance in his last 10 games. He was the lone Grizzly with multiple hits.

Seward was paced by Kotaro Wakui who was 4-4 with two RBI. Mason Gilbert drove in three runs. Reliever Elias Herrera (W, 5-2) threw the final 5.0 innings allowing no earned runs, striking out four and walking none.