Baseball Begins April at IPFW
LHP Peter Nyznyk vs. RHP Cody O'Neal
INDIANAPOLIS – Butler will face IPFW for the fourth time this season when the two clubs battle it out at Mastodon Field tomorrow. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
Butler improved to 11-15 on the year with a 5-3 win over Valparaiso on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs snapped a two-game skid with the victory after taking single game losses to Xavier and nationally-ranked Louisville on Saturday. The 'Dogs will use Tuesday's game as their final tune-up as BIG EAST competition begins this weekend with a three-game series vs. Seton Hall.
Scouting IPFW (9-16)
IPFW is 9-16 overall with a 2-0 record in the Summit League after sweeping the North Dakota State Bison in a scheduled doubleheader on Friday. The 'Dons ended the weekend with another DH sweep as they picked up wins eight and nine at Holy Cross (IN).
Tuesday's mid-day matchup vs. Butler will be the last non-conference game on IPFW's schedule for the near future as the Mastodons prepare for league games against Omaha, South Dakota State and Western Illinois.
Head Coach Bobby Pierce will rely on the bats of Kristian Gayday, Brandon Soat, Greg Kaiser and Kevin Wirth to lead the team into the second part of the season. Gayday is currently leading the club with a .400 batting average (34-85). He has six doubles, one triple and a team-high eight home runs on the year.
Soat and Kaiser are two underclassmen that give the Mastodons a promising future. Soat is hitting .397 with three doubles and four stolen bases. Kaiser has been a pleasant surprise for the 'Dons in his second year as he posts a .390 average with three triples and six home runs.
Pitching has been a total team effort as eight different student-athletes have won a game on the bump. Kevin Kimball has the best record on the team at 2-3 despite not having made a start this season. Dane Davis, Steve Danielak and Ryan Wells eat up innings on the weekends with Wells posting the best numbers. The junior is 1-0 on the year with a 4.02 ERA. He has 30 strikeouts in 31.1 innings of action and has held the opposition to a .282 batting average.
Connor Lawhead and Zach Mishler spearhead the IPFW bullpen. Lawhead leads the club with two saves in his 10 appearances from the pen. Mishler has one save in his 15 innings of work.
Last Meeting vs. IPFW
Butler swept IPFW in a three-game series earlier this season (March 7-9). Will Amador, Quincy Quintero and Ryan Wojciechowski all performed well for Butler registering one home run each. Amador hit .600 in two starts vs. the 'Dons with one double and five RBIs. Wojciechowski was also a starter in two of the three games delivering a .333 batting average and two RBIs.
Chris Marras, Chris Maranto, Michael Fries and Mike Kseniak were also impact players for Butler in the three-game series. Marras and Maranto were two of the top hitters in the lineup with Marras posting a .667 batting average which included a .714 on-base percentage. Maranto was equally as impressive as he hit .455 in three starts vs. IPFW.
Eric Stout, Will Schierholz and Gunner Johnson all picked up wins on the mound for Butler while Billy Laing excelled out of the BU bullpen. Laing recorded a save in two of the three games as he went on to become the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week.
BIG EAST Teams Receiving Votes
Creighton (11-6-1) and Seton Hall (15-4) are receiving votes in the latest NCBWA Poll (March 24).
Butler will jump into BIG EAST competition this weekend when they host the Seton Hall Pirates in the conference home opener April 4-6. First pitch for game one has been scheduled for 3 p.m. at Bulldog Park.