4/4: Seton Hall at Butler – 4:00 PM
4/5: Seton Hall at Butler – 1:00 PM
4/6: Seton Hall at Butler – 12:00 PM
INDIANAPOLIS – Butler will host Seton Hall in the first-ever BIG EAST baseball series at Bulldog Park. The 20-5 Pirates are currently on top of the BIG EAST standings after an impressive non-conference run that brings the team into Indianapolis having won eight of their last nine games.
Butler will return to Bulldog Park after taking a mid-week loss at IPFW on Tuesday. The 'Dogs are much better this season when playing as the home team as they sit at 7-3 compared to just 1-8 on the road. Their overall record is rounded out with a 3-5 mark on neutral fields.
Marcos Calderon and Chris Maranto post the highest batting averages on the team at .330 and .326. Calderon is now second on the team with seven doubles as the team lead shifted on Tuesday with Quincy Quintero recording three doubles at IPFW in a losing effort.
BU has seven home runs on the year hit by seven different players. The team RBI lead is also shared as Calderon, Maranto, and Michael Fries all enter the weekend with 12.
Gunner Johnson will take the mound for Butler in the first game of the series. The lefty is 1-2 on the year with a 3.68 ERA. He has 20 strikeouts in 22 innings and is limiting the opposition to a .213 batting average. Jeff Schank will be on the bump Saturday with junior Eric Stout gracing the hill on Sunday. Schank is 1-1 on the season with a 4.68 ERA. He is second on the team with 29 strikeouts.
Stout will look to get on track during BIG EAST competition as he comes into Sunday's start with a 2-5 overall record. He is the team-leader in strikeouts with 32 and in innings pitched (34.2).
Saturday (April 5) has been dubbed "Stay Positive Day" at the Butler Baseball Field. Fans attending the Butler-Seton Hall game will have an opportunity to learn more about the blue "Stay Positive" wristbands worn by many of Butler's players and coaches. The project was created by Butler student and cancer survivor Eric Day and seeks to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Day will be present to speak about the "Stay Positive" movement and be selling merchandise to benefit Jill's House at the game.
Scouting Seton Hall (20-5)
The Pirates lead the 2014 BIG EAST Baseball standings with a 20-5 overall record after defeating Princeton on Wednesday by the final score of 13-6. Signature wins for the program include victories over Oklahoma, Richmond and Arizona.
The Pirates were picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll, coming in just one point shy of Creighton. Each team recorded two first-place votes while third place St. John's led the way with three first place votes. SHU is currently receiving votes in the most recent NCBWA poll (March 31).
Three Pirates made the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. Those players include first basemen Sal Annunziata, outfielder Chris Selden and senior pitcher Josh Prevost.
Six student-athletes enter the weekend with a batting average above .300 for SHU. DJ Ruhlman currently leads the team with a .360 average while Annunziata is close behind at .347. Annunziata is tied with Tyler Boyd for the team lead in RBIs with 23. Runs have not been hard to come by for SHU as the Pirates have outscored their opponents 183-89 on the season.
Prevost will take the hill for SHU on Friday against Gunner Johnson. The senior righty is 7-0 on the year with a 1.45 ERA. He has three complete games to his credit with one shutout. Prevost leads the team in innings pitched (56) and in strikeouts with 48.
Saturday's starter is listed at RHP Conor Krauss who holds a 0-1 record with a 4.11 ERA. The series will end with Antony Elia on the bump vs. Eric Stout. Elia is 3-2 on the year with a 2.79 ERA and 27 strikeouts.
Rain may be a factor on Friday as the forecast shows an 80% chance of rain in the morning with strong winds out of the southwest. The clouds should clear up by 4 p.m. for first pitch.
The rest of the weekend should be great baseball weather with a high of 53 scheduled for Saturday followed by a high of 60 for Sunday.
Butler will host Ball State on Wednesday, April 9 next week as the Cardinals visit Bulldog Park for a 3 p.m. first pitch contest. BIG EAST action will resume with a three-game road trip at St. John's (April 11-13). Game two of the series will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 2.