Head coach Steve Farley has announced seven players - Will Amador, Chip Bouchard, Alex Horowitz, Tyler Murphy, Peter Nyznyk, River Pitlock and Jeff Schank - will join the Butler baseball program this fall.
"We are very excited about this group of players coming in," Farley said. "We think we may also be able to bring in a couple more blue-chip players late in the recruiting process. With the loss of 11 seniors in 2013, this group of recruits will fill some immediate needs for us on the mound, behind the plate and at the other positions on the diamond."
In addition to filling needs due to a large 2013 senior class, the Bulldogs have gone all over the nation to secure this class. Farley said it's the first time in his 22 years at Butler he's added players from California and Nevada.
"We think we've tapped into some new recruiting areas for us like California and Arizona that will continue to be productive for us in the future," Farley said. "Assistant coaches Brian Hiscox and Miles Miller have put together an outstanding recruiting class and should be commended for their efforts."
Amador, a catcher from Fresno, Calif., has played two seasons at Mesa Community College for coach Tony Cirelli in Arizona. As a freshman at Mesa in 2012, Amador batted .388 with 25 runs and 20 RBIs, earning a nod as an all-start in the community college conference in Arizona. He was also team captain at Mesa. In high school, he was a four-year letterwinner and twice named all-conference and was also an all-valley pick. An honor roll student and scholar-athlete award winner, he was coached in high school by Brad Fontes.
"Will is a top catching prospect and he plays for a highly respected junior college program in Arizona," Farley said. "He has two years of college baseball under his belt and he is a very capable hitter and defensive player. He will compete right away for the starting job behind the plate next fall."
Bouchard is a lefty-hitting first baseman out of Reno, Nev. Bouchard was an all-state honoree as a junior and sophomore while being named all-conference every season. As a junior in 2012, Bouchard hit .429 with four homers, 23 runs and 23 RBIs. He also posted a 3-3 mark on the mound. Bouchard, who played summer baseball for the Reno Knights, was an honor roll student.
"Chip attended one of our prospect camps this past year and we like his potential as a power hitter," Farley said. "He has put up big numbers in high school and he is a big, strong guy who moves well at first base. We like his work ethic."
Horowitz, a middle infielder, is a native of Studio City, Calif., near Los Angeles. He was a second team all-league selection as a junior in 2012 and was voted his team's defensive MVP. Horowitz was coached in high school by Matt LaCour and as a junior helped the team to a 24-5-1 record, batting .275 with 20 runs. Horowitz played summer baseball for the Ventura County Redbirds.
"Alex is an outstanding middle infielder on one of the top ranked high school teams in the country. He is a very good defensive player with good range and soft hands. He has been a solid contact hitter in the Westlake lineup with good speed on the basepaths. We think he can play both shortstop and second base for us."
Murphy, an outfielder from Carmel Catholic in suburban Chicago, batted .330 as a junior with 24 RBIs. Murphy, who also played defensive back on Carmel's football team, was a participant in the all-state preseason invitational.
"Tyler is an outstanding left-handed, line-drive hitter with good speed," Farley said. "He is going to help us in the outfield. Tyler is a hard worker and he's going to be a very good player at Butler."
Nyznyk is a lefty pitcher from Concord, Calif. He played the last two seasons at Los Medanos Community College, where he was twice named second team all-conference. As a sophomore in 2013, he led the team in innings (103.1) and strikeouts (72) while posting a 6-4 record and 3.48 ERA in 18 appearances. He won eight games as a freshman in 2012. Nyznyk, who has been called one of the top community college pitchers in Northern California, played high school baseball for Matt Costello at De La Salle and will play for the Alameda Merchants in the summer.
"We expect Peter to come in and compete for significant innings on the mound next year. For the past two seasons he has pitched in one of the top junior college conferences in the nation," Farley said. "He has a solid fastball and change-up and an improving breaking ball. He knows how to pitch and he is going to keep getting better."
Pitlock, a righty from Elmhurst, Ill., was a two-way standout in high school but projects as a pitcher in college. Named one of the top 100 Chicago players by the Chicago Tribune, Pitlock was an academic all-conference honoree and Under Armour Future Games participant. He also played on a summer team that won a CABA national title in 2011. His high school coaches were Dave Kalal and Bob Dietz and he played summer baseball for the Schaumburg Seminoles and coach Russ Gangler. Pitlock comes from a strong baseball pedigree, as his father, Skip, played parts of three seasons in the big leagues with San Francisco and the Chicago White Sox.
"River has been a top player for both York and for his summer team. He has pitched and played middle infield, but we see his future mainly being on the mound," Farley said. "River has good command of his pitches and he will continue to get bigger and stronger in our program."
Schank, another lefty pitcher who hails from Naperville, Ill., was an an all-county player for coach Mike Stock at Naperville Central. As a junior in 2012, he recorded a 7-1 record with a 0.86 ERA and struck out 49 over 49.0 innings. He played summer baseball with coach John Flanagan for the Illinois Sparks, earning all-tourney team status at the WWBA Perfect Game 17U World Championships. Schank was also an academic all-conference selction and a four-year honor roll student who earned additional awards for academics and community service.
"Jeff has put up good numbers on every team he has pitched for. He knows how to pitch and he loves to compete," Farley said. "He has an excellent change-up to go with his fastball and breaking ball. We think he will excel on the mound at Butler and we'll look forward to seeing him in a Bulldog uniform next fall."
The seven players will join Butler in its first season competing in the Big East Conference. The Bulldogs won 25 games in their lone season in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Spring 2013 Recruits
|Will Amador||C||6-0/205||Fresno, Calif./Central (Mesa CC)|
|Chip Bouchard||1B||6-1/200||Reno, Nev./Reno|
|Alex Horowitz||IF||6-0/185||Studio City, Calif./Harvard-Westlake|
|Tyler Murphy||OF||5-11/185||Mundelein, Ill./Carmel Catholic|
|Peter Nyznyk||LHP||6-1/175||Concord, Calif./De La Salle (Los Medanos CC)|
|River Pitlock||RHP||6-0/175||Elmhurst, Ill./York|
|Jeff Schank||LHP||6-1/175||Naperville, Ill./Central|