Feb. 20, 2014
NEW YORK, N.Y. – If its start is any indication, Xavier could become a dark horse contender in BIG EAST baseball this season.
The 3-0 Musketeers are out to their best start since 1985, when they also began the season with three straight wins. Xavier took fourth place of seven in the preseason coaches' poll and didn't receive any first-place votes.
St. John’s and Seton Hall both opened the season with impressive victories on Friday. The Pirates posted a 7-5 win at No. 28 Oklahoma behind the efforts of righty Josh Prevost, a preseason All-BIG EAST pick. The Red Storm posted their first season-opening shutout since 1981 when they blanked Pepperdine 2-0. Both teams are 1-2 entering this weekend’s games.
Butler saw its plan of four games in Cary, N.C., go by the wayside when winter weather dropped snow and ice on the East Coast, making travel treacherous and dangerous. But the Bulldogs were resourceful and found a two-game series against Illinois State in Nashville, Tenn., and wound up earning a split.
Creighton, Georgetown and Villanova have all started 0-3 and will look to break into the win column this weekend.
This week’s schedule begins on Friday. Butler plays three in Spartanburg, S.C., against Pittsburgh, Wofford and USC-Upstate. Creighton has a three-game series scheduled against Minnesota in Fort Myers, Fla. If the weather finally cooperates in the Northeast, Georgetown looks to host Hartford for three games at Shirley Povich Field, including a Saturday doubleheader beginning at noon. Seton Hall opens a three-game series at Richmond on Friday. St. John’s will compete in the ODU Tournament against the host, Saint Joseph’s and Kentucky. Villanova’s schedule takes it to the Norfolk State Invitational for games with Quinnipiac, Buffalo and the host. Finally, Xavier opens the first of three games on Friday at 14th-ranked North Carolina.