April 28, 2008
The First Pitch: With finals week approaching, the Butler baseball schedule reaches its slowest point of the season this week, as the Bulldogs play their only game of the stretch on Tuesday (April 29) when they head to the south side of town to face the University of Indianapolis beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Greyhound Park.
Butler Tops Valpo In Series Opener: The Bulldogs took advantage of four home runs, including a pair by junior outfielder Colin Ziegel, in out-muscling host Valparaiso on Friday (April 25) afternoon, as Butler scored a 12-10 decision over the Crusaders in a back-and-forth affair at Emory G. Bauer Field. Rick Betsch and Ziegel collected three hits each, with Ziegel adding three RBI and two runs scored. Jamie Feldheiser picked up his second win of the year after working 4.2 innings of relief, while Brian Deter notched the save with a perfect ninth.
Pauley Has A Day: There may not have been a more impressive display of hitting in a Butler baseball game than the one that senior Joe Pauley put on in the first contest of a doubleheader on Saturday (April 26). In his first four at bats of the game, the Bulldog shortstop went 4-for-4 with three home runs - including a pair of three-run bombs - before finishing the contest with seven RBI and a whopping 13 total bases. His home run and total base figures are tied for the Butler record with Gordon Hansen, who posted identical totals against Southeast Missouri State in 1983.
...And Ziegel Had A Week: Joe Pauley may have stole the spotlight with his staggering offensive performance last weekend at Valparaiso, but junior outfielder Colin Ziegel's numbers for the week might have been even more impressive. Ziegel batted .500 (9-for-18) with four doubles, three home runs and six RBI. He chalked up 22 total bases for a incredible 1.222 slugging percentage and boasted a .591 on base percentage.
Power Boost: Joe Pauley's four home runs last week lifted his home run on the year to 10, which is one more than the senior had hit in his previous three seasons combined.
Slugging Their Way Up: Thanks in large part to the power output of Joe Pauley and Colin Ziegel, the Bulldogs finished last week with 11 home runs in just five games. The offensive surge did wonders for the team's season numbers. Butler, which entered the week at the bottom of the Horizon League standings with 16 home runs, now finds itself in third place with 27 bombs on the year.
We're Going Streaking!: Junior left-hander Joe Ochs has arguably been the Bulldogs most effective pitcher this season. The southpaw boasts a 2.12 ERA in 29.2 innings of work, the lowest of any Butler pitcher with more than an inning pitched. Additionally, since allowing seven runs in a tough outing at No. 17 Kentucky on Feb. 29, Ochs has not allowed an earned run in 25.2 consecutive innings, including a stretch of 21.2 innings without yielding any runs, earned or unearned. During the streak, Ochs has given up just 19 hits and walked five while striking out 15.
One Run Away: The Bulldogs have battled Horizon League opponents in a lot of close games this season, but, unfortunately, they have come out on the short end in most of them. Butler is 2-6 in one-run games during league play, with both victories coming in 5-4 wins against Youngstown State on March 21 and on April 19. In fact, four of the Bulldogs' last seven losses in league play have been by just a one-run margin.
League Of Their Own: Butler has found much more success at the plate in Horizon League play than it did during the non-conference slate. In 18 non-league games, the Bulldogs have posted a .226 batting average, while Butler touts an impressive .307 mark in 19 conference contests.
Rookie Sensation: Freshman Grant Fillipitch has gotten off to a fast start to his collegiate career. The first-year third baseman currently ranks third on the team with a .295 batting average and is tied for third with 18 RBI. Fillipitch has also already etched his name in the Butler record book thanks to an impressive five-hit performance against Indiana Tech on April 8, which tied the single-game mark and made him just the 12th player in school history to collect five hits in a game.
Not Your Average Joe: Senior shortstop Joe Pauley has been one of the Bulldogs' top offensive players in his three-plus seasons. This year, he leads the team with 30 runs scored, but his career totals are among the best in school history. With 134 career runs scored, he is now 16 shy of the all-time mark (150).
Control Freaks: The Butler pitching staff has had an uncanny ability to locate within the strike zone lately, as the Bulldogs have allowed four or fewer walks in the last seven games and three or fewer in six. Butler has averaged 3.43 free passes per contest this year and yielded one or no walks in 10 games.
Going Big And Small: Not too many hitters in the Horizon League have been as versatile as senior captain Ryan Neat. The Bulldog first baseman has evolved into one of the team's top power threats, ranking third on the squad with three home runs, but he has also been tops at playing small ball with a team-high five sacrifice bunts.
That's What I Call Run Support: Butler's 22 runs scored against Milwaukee on Saturday (March 29) were the most in a single game since scoring 24 runs against Detroit in 2003.
Mr. 1,000: When the second game of the Bulldogs' double-header against UIC on April 5 became official in the fifth inning, Butler head coach Steve Farley had formally gone where few college coaches have gone before. The contest marked the 1,000th game on the bench for the 19-year veteran and was the mentor's 900th game coached in his 17 seasons at Butler.
Butler Adds Night Game At Louisville On May 7: Butler head coach Steve Farley announced the addition of a non-league game to the upcoming schedule. The Bulldogs will make a return trip to Louisville on May 7 for a 6:00 p.m. contest under the lights at Jim Patterson Stadium. The Bulldogs dropped a 3-2, 11-inning battle to the Cardinals on March 26.
On Deck: The Bulldogs resume play following a break for finals when they head to Louisville on May 7 for a 6:00 p.m game. Butler then makes a brief stop at Milwaukee on May 10 for a double-header beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET before returning home to host Valparaiso in twin-bill action on May 11 starting at noon at Bulldog Park.