January 30, 2008

Butler Baseball Picked To Finish Fourth In 2008

Jan. 30, 2008

Indianapolis, Ind. - The Butler baseball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League in 2008, according to the league's preseason poll that was released on Tuesday (Jan. 29). The Bulldogs garnered 17 points in the poll, which was voted on by the conference's seven head coaches.

The Bulldog pitching staff will be the team's strong point in 2008, with 12 of 14 arms returning that combined for 448.1 of 476 innings pitched in 2007. The team will also have back several key veteran hitters who will be crucial to Butler's success this year.

"The Horizon League is balanced and teams are very competitive from top to bottom," head coach Steve Farley said. "We had at least one win against every team in the league last year, and the same can probably be said for the other schools. Our guys are looking forward to the challenges ahead in 2008."

Wright State was tabbed as the favorite to win the league this season, collecting 34 points and four first-place votes. 2007 league champion UIC came in a close second with 32 points and three first place ballots.

Milwaukee (25 points) finished just ahead of the Bulldogs in third, while Youngstown State (14), Cleveland State (13) and new league member Valparaiso (12) rounded out the standings.

"It's not surprising to see Wright State and UIC picked to be at the top of the league standings," Farley added. "They played for the conference championship last year, and both teams are well coached. It will be another dogfight in the league this year, just as it has always been."

Butler opens up the 2008 season in Lexington, Ky., when they kick off a four-game series against Kentucky on Feb. 29.