Baseball: All-Horizon League
INDIANAPOLIS - Five Butler baseball players have earned All-Horizon League recognition for the 2011 season. Four seniors - Michael Letzter, Grant Fillipitch, Luke Duncan and Dom Silvestri - all earned second-team honors. Freshman Patrick Guinane was voted to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.
"With so many outstanding players in our league, it’s a
great honor for our guys to be chosen for all-conference awards by
the opposing coaches in the Horizon League," Butler head coach
Farley said. "I’m especially excited to see so many of our seniors being recognized for their accomplishments. Those four young men are all very deserving of their awards."
Letzter, a Johnsburg, Ill., native and the team's starting catcher, finished the regular season with a team-leading .341 batting average among players who started the whole season. He leads the team in home runs (6), RBIs (36) and slugging (.529). Letzter led the team last year with seven home runs and was voted by his teammates as the team's defensive player of the year in 2010.
Fillipitch, from LaGrange Park, Ill., hit .333 during the
regular season and tied for
second in the league with 17 doubles. Fillipitch, Butler's only player to start all 50 games this year, leads the team in hits (64), runs (46) and is second on the team with 33 RBIs. He started the year at third base, but moved across the diamond to first base. The senior first baseman enters this week's Horizon League tourney with 54 career doubles, tying him for the school record.
Duncan, a Greenwood, Ind., native, started the year as the team's second baseman but moved to shortstop. The senior continued to thrive at his new position, as he finished the regular season with a .308 batting average and 30 runs scored. He has come on strong at the end of the year, batting .448 with nine runs scored over the last eight games. Duncan, a three-year starter and .310 career hitter, led the team with nine sacrifices this year.
Silvestri, a right-hander from Youngstown, Ohio, was Butler's Friday starter this year and is having his best season. He owns a 6-4 record with a 3.51 ERA in 12 starts this year. Silvestri was 5-3 with a 3.66 ERA in eight league starts. Some of his best outings this season came against league opponents. He allowed just one run over 8.0 innings in a win at Youngstown State on April 8, and he worked 7.2 innings with just two runs vs. Cleveland State on May 7. He enters the league tourney with 55 strikeouts over 82.0 innings.
Guinane, who emerged as the team's starting third baseman in league play, finished the regular season with an impressive .411 batting average in 95 at-bats. The Glenview, Ill., native batted .449 with three doubles and a homer in league play. Overall, he started 23 games during the regular season with six extra-base hits and 27 RBIs. Guinane has slugged .516 and posted a .448 on-base percentage heading into postseason play.
"Pat came on strong in the second half of the season and has put up some impressive offensive numbers," Farley said.
Farley, who is finishing his 20th season at Butler, added: "Baseball is a team game and I’m sure all of these guys would tell you that they wouldn’t be where they are without the support and encouragement of their teammates. We look forward to some exciting games in the Horizon League Baseball Championship."
Wright State's Jake Hibberd was voted Horizon League Player of the Year. Milwaukee's Chad Pierce was tabbed pitcher of the year, Michael Schum of WSU was reliever of the year, WSU's Corey Davis was newcomer of the year and Wright State's Rob Cooper received coach of the year.
The Horizon League Baseball Championship is scheduled for this week at Wright State's Nischwitz Stadium. Butler is the No. 5 seed and will open the tourney against No. 4 Valparaiso Wednesday, May 25 at 11 a.m. ET.
Michael Letzter Grant Fillipitch Luke Duncan
Dom Silvestri Patrick Guinane