Aviators Win Prospect League ChampionshipFriday, February 23, 2018
BUTLER, Pa. - The Lafayette Aviators used some timely pitching and an early home run to control Game Three of the Prospect League Championship Series at Butler's Kelly Automotive Park and then pulled away late with a 10-run ninth en-route to securing the franchise's first Prospect League Championship.
Evan Kennedy (Purdue University) hit a two-two pitch over the right-center field fence to break an early scoreless tie and give the Lafayette Aviators a two-nothing lead.
Butler threatened to score several times throughout the game.
The BlueSox loaded the bases with one out in the third, but a popout to second base and a strikeout ended the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for the BlueSox with no outs. A fly out in shallow right field, a fly out in shallow left field and a strikeout ended another opportunity.
Butler put runners at first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh after an error and a walk. A strike out and a fly out followed to end the inning.
Butler loaded the bases again in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs, but another strikeout left all three runners stranded.
The BlueSox stranded 16 base runners in the game.
Lafayette put the game out of reach with an explosive ten-run, five hit inning to cap the scoring at 12-0.
Alex Moore (Missouri State University) started the game on the mound for the Aviators and earned a no decision. He pitched four innings, didn't allow a run on four hits, walked four and struck out seven. The win went to reliever Sam Hubbe (Butler University), who pitched three scoreless innings and didn't allow a hit. Hubbe walked one and struck out three. Jahborus Smith (Alcorn State University) got the first two outs in the eighth, allowed a hit, walked one and struck one out. Cameron Boyd (IPFW) got the save after pitching the final 1 1/3 innings. He didn't allow a hit, walked two and struck out three.
Butler used seven pitchers in the game. Josh LaPiana (University of Utah) started for the BlueSox and took the loss. He allowed just two runs on three hits over five innings. LaPiana walked four and struck out six.
Lafayette is the fifth different Prospect League franchise to claim a Championship in the league's nine seasons. The Aviators join West Virginia (3), Quincy (3), Terre Haute (1), and Chillicothe (1). The Aviators are also the first team in league history to lose game one of the PLCS and still win the series.