Sox Fall, But Remain Playoff Hopefuls
Just three grand slams have been hit this summer in the Prospect League. The third came off the bat of Matthew Priebe for a Kings team trailing by four in the second inning on Sunday. The next batter Lee Sponsellerwho had a four-run shot of his own in Junesingled and later scored on the Kings' eighth hit of the inning.
His run would prove to be the game winner, as Champion City took the matchup 6-5.
The BlueSox got off to a quick start with Tyler Sullivan knocking his first of two doubles on the second pitch of the ballgame. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout. Matt Hansen doubled next and scored on a Jamie Switalski single. Two more runs came in when Jared Grove tripled, putting Butler up 4-0 before the Kings had a chance to hit.
Sullivan's second double came with an out in the second inning and he scored on a Danny Hrbek single. The six runs in the bottom of the frame was enough for Champion City though.
Butler's only hit after the second inning came in the final frame when Hrbek doubled and moved to third on an error with one out. A strike out made it two and the Kings turned to reliever John Becker who hit Cameron Balego with his first pitchwhich loaded the basesbut was able to get a strike out for the final out.
Priebe had a single and double in addition to his grand slam while Sponseller had four hits of his own.
The loss dropped Butler's record to 17-12 in the second half, keeping them 2.5 games behind Chillicothe with four days remaining in the season. The Paints lost on Monday, but hold a magic number of two over Butler. The division winner will face West Virginia in the East Division playoffs. Champion City could potentially tie the Paints, but Chillicothe holds the tiebreaker.
Butler will take on the Kings at 7:05pm on Monday evening. They will play their final two home games on Tuesday and Wednesday at the KAP before completing the regular season in Champion City on Thursday.