Bulldog Baseball Season Starts In Carolinas
2011 Baseball Preview Video
2011 Butler Baseball
Butler at Gardner-Webb
Saturday, Feb. 26 - 1 p.m. ET
Boiling Springs, N.C.
Sunday, Feb. 27 - 11 a.m. ET
The Butler baseball team will begin head coach Steve Farley's 20th season with four games in the Carolinas this week. The Bulldogs open Friday, Feb. 25 at Wofford before playing a Saturday doubleheader at Gardner-Webb and a Sunday finale at USC-Upstate.
Butler returns nearly its entire team that won 21 games and had a winning home record a year ago. Four players who received All-Horizon League notice last season are back in the lineup, and all of them are seniors.
Centerfielder Corey Moylan was a league all-newcomer team pick last season and voted as BU's 2010 Team MVP. He batted .369 last year with 15 doubles and 43 runs. In the infield, Luke Duncan (.342 in 2010) returns after being named second team All-Horizon League at second base last season. He is joined by Grant Fillipitch, who batter .322 last year. Fillipitch was voted Butler's MVP in 2009 as a sophomore. Senior outfielders Kyle Waggoner (.320) and Kevin Crane (.309, 45 RBIs) were also Horizon League All-Newcomer team picks after transferring to Butler.
Another senior, Michael Letzter, returns at catcher after hitting a team-high seven home runs last year. Other catchers with experience include Nick Hladek and Brian Padove. Hladek spent most of last season as the team's starting DH.
Butler had two shortstops split time last season, and both players return for 2011. Senior Jack Krause came to Butler as a transfer and started 23 games. Junior Griffin Richeson batted .315 in his 33 games played at short.
Most of the pitching staff also returns, with six hurlers who made at least 12 appearances back for 2011. Junior right-hander Mike Hernandez went 4-5 and had two complete games last year en route to being voted the team's pitcher of the year. Seniors Jared Wagoner and Dom Silvestri also return, and both have experience as a starter and reliever. Sophomore right-hander Jared Earle finished his rookie year 3-2 and was third on the team in innings pitched with 48.1. Two other sophomores, Billy Laing and Chase Byerly, each pitched more than 30 innings a year ago.