Butler High took a giant step forward in the Southwestern 4A baseball race.
Right fielder Dean Looney and catcher Kobe Phillips each drove in four runs in the Bulldogs’ 11-3 win against Myers Park Friday at Jack Sink Field to put Butler in sole possession of second place behind Independence.
“It was totally big,” said Looney, who went 3-of-4 with a home run. “It was big for our conference and they really wanted to come out and beat us, but we went at them hard, did what we had to do and won the game.”
Butler (12-5, 6-2) jumped on Myers Park early when Looney laced a run-scoring single up the middle off losing pitcher Alex Shirazi in the first inning, followed by Phillips’ three-run blast to left for a 4-0 lead. From there, Bullodgs starting pitcher Brady Cottom limited the Mustangs (6-10, 5-2) to a pair of runs over four innings.
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“Kobe Phillips (has) a lot of pop,” Looney said. “He’s pretty good competition for one of my teammates. He’s a great ball player and I’m glad to play with him.”
Looney showed his power in the top of the seventh when he drove a Matt Halmrast pitch over the center field fence for a three-run shot to close the scoring and a productive night of offense for Butler, which finished with 11 hits.
“I was just seeing the ball well,” Looney said. “It looked like a beach ball, my teammates came through and I wound up with a big hit.”
Myers Park closed to within 4-2 on Carter Morgan’s run-scoring double in the second and Carson Schuster’s single in the third, but that was as close as the Mustangs would get. Butler put the game away with a four-run sixth, capped by singles by Alex Almonte and J.R. Darnell in addition to a bases-loaded walk to Phillips and a groundout by Tate Pennington. The Bulldogs, who put the leadoff runner on base in six of the seven innings, controlled the momentum by advancing whenever opportunities presented themselves.
“We’re known for coming back on teams,” Looney said. “We have the chemistry as a team and when we get together, that’s it. We’re going to win. That’s how it is.”