May 12, 2008
The First Pitch: The Bulldogs close out the regular season at home when they host Cleveland State in a three-game set over the weekend. Butler battles the Vikings in a single game on Friday (May 16) at 3:00 p.m. before playing a double-header on Saturday (May 17) starting at 12:00 noon. The Bulldogs begin the week by traveling to Bloomington, Ind., on Tuesday (May 13) for a 3:00 p.m. non-conference contest against Indiana.
Senior Day Ceremonies: The Bulldogs will recognize their seven senior members between the double-header games against Cleveland State on Saturday. Bryan Bokowy, Jon Dages, Brian Deter, Nate Hart, Kyle McLaughlin, Ryan Neat and Joe Pauley will all be honored for their contributions to the program during their careers.
The Last Time Out: Joe Pauley picked up his 11th and 12th homers of the season as the Bulldogs tried to rally in the second game of a double-header at Milwaukee, but the host Panthers would hold on in the end, topping Butler 9-5 on Saturday (May 10) afternoon at Henry Aaron Field. UWM scored 12 runs before the Bulldogs got on the board as the Panthers worked a 12-1 decision in the first game of the twin-bill.
Rain, Rain, Go Away: Heavy early-morning rains forced the cancelation of the Bulldogs' double-header against Valparaiso on Sunday (May 11). The games will not be made up.
Power Surge: Not too many players in the Horizon League have had a hotter bat in the last month than Joe Pauley. The Skokie, Ill., native has belted nine home runs in the last 13 games to bring his season total to a league-high 12. All but one of his homers have come against league opponents, helping to give the senior shortstop a whopping .824 slugging percentage in conference play.
Saving The Best For Last: Joe Pauley's 12 home runs this season are not only a single-season high for the senior but are three more than he had hit in his entire career prior to this year. His 2008 total is nine shy of Eric Storey's school-record 21 home runs hit in 1999.
Slugging Their Way Up: Thanks in large part to six homers by Joe Pauley and three by Colin Ziegel, the Bulldogs have combined for 13 home runs in their last seven games. The offensive surge has done wonders for the team's season numbers. Butler, which found itself at the bottom of the Horizon League standings just over two weeks ago with 16 home runs, currently finds itself in third with 29 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 2.05 ERA in 30.2 innings of work, the lowest ERA 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 26.2 consecutive innings, including a stretch of 21.2 innings without yielding any runs, earned or unearned. During the streak, Ochs has walked just six batters while striking out 19.
...And Streaking Again: After putting together a season-long hitting streak earlier in the year, junior Colin Ziegel is back at it again. The Butler outfielder is currently riding an eight-game streak which started back on April 23 in the second double-header game against Dayton. Since then, he is hitting .424 (14-for-33) with three home runs and seven RBI. Ziegel also hit in 10-straight games from March 28 to April 12, during which time he batted .452 (19-for-42) with two homers and 16 RBI.
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 34 runs scored, but his career totals are among the best in school history. With 138 career runs scored, he is now 12 shy of the all-time mark (150).
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 2-7 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.
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 20 non-league games, the Bulldogs have posted a .232 batting average, while Butler touts an even .300 average in 21 conference contests.
Bringing The Hits: While he may not be listed in the league standings, sophomore Kyle Schultz has been one of the top hitters in the Horizon League this season. The Butler third baseman boasts a team-high .388 batting average this year but falls just short of meeting the minimum amount of plate appearances per game to qualify for the league rankings. His average would be fourth-best in the league if his numbers did count.
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 .278 batting average and is fourth 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.
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 at Valparaiso on 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.
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.
On Deck: Butler will enter the Horizon League tournament as the No. 7 seed and take on the No. 6 seed in the opening round game on Tuesday (May 20) beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio. A win in the single-elimination game will send the Bulldogs into the double-elimination portion of the tournament to play the top seed on Wednesday (May 21) at 3:00 p.m.