March 20, 2014
Composite Schedule/Results | Statistics
NEW YORK – Conference play is still two weeks away in BIG EAST baseball, so the seven teams continue their non-conference slates in preparation of the openers beginning April 4.
BIG EAST Notebook
PIRATES STILL IN THE POLLS
Seton Hall continued its stay in one of the major top 25 polls this week. The Pirates held at No. 22 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30 on Monday while receiving votes in both the NCBWA and USA Today Coaches top 25 rankings. Seton Hall saw a four-game win streak snapped on Wednesday in a 9-8 loss to Saint Peter’s. It has a three-game series coming up with another New Jersey opponent in Fairleigh Dickinson beginning Friday.
RED HOT RED STORM
After a herky jerky start to its season, St. John’s seems to have found its stride of late. The Red Storm ran their win streak to seven in a row with Wednesday’s 8-5 victory over LIU Brooklyn. Tyler Sanchez was 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the victory. A day before, Matt Harris and Jarred Mederos each drove in a pair in St. John’s 7-3 win over Fairfield. The win streak has evened the Red Storm’s record at 10-10 on the season.
GETTING RUN SUPPORT
SPEAKING OF OFFENSE…
One thing Xavier’s pitching staff hasn’t been short on is run support. The Musketeers scored at least 10 runs for the fifth time this season in Tuesday’s 14-0 whitewashing of Ohio. Five players drove in two runs apiece in support of winning pitcher Eric Stiene, who gave up just two hits and struck out three in six shutout innings. Stiene was making his first start of the season and hasn’t given up a run in 14 innings over four appearances.
One of the reasons for Seton Hall’s 12-4 start and jump into the national polls has been its prowess at the plate. Four Pirates sit atop the BIG EAST standings in batting average with D.J. Ruhlman leading the way at .419. Sal Annunziata is second at .387, with Kyle Grimm (.354) and Zach Weigel (.351) close behind. As a team, the Pirates are third in the nation entering the week hitting .329. The pitching has been strong as well led by Josh Prevost, who leads the BIG EAST with five wins. His 1.85 ERA is third, and he’s thrown two complete games.
NEWCOMER BLUEJAYS TOP PRESEASON POLL
One of two teams making its BIG EAST debut in 2014, the Creighton Bluejays were named slim favorites in the preseason baseball poll conducted by the seven head coaches in February. Creighton captured a poll-topping 32 points with two first-place votes to edge out Seton Hall’s 31 points and two first-place votes. St. John’s captured three first-place nods and took third in the poll with 29 points. Xavier (21 points), Georgetown (12), Butler (11) and Villanova (11) rounded out the rest. Creighton also swept the major preseason awards with Tommy Strunc earning the Pitcher of the Year nod and Mike Gerber the Player of the Year award.
FS1 TO CARRY BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The decisive game of the 2014 BIG EAST Baseball Championship will air nationally on FOX Sports 1, as announced in February. It’s one of four BIG EAST spring championships FS1 will air, including men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse and softball. The BIG EAST Baseball Championship will take place at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., May 23-25.
ON THE TUBE
In addition to the championship game, FOX Sports also has plans to air two regular-season BIG EAST contests this spring. St. John’s is set to host Butler on April 12 on FOX Sports 2, while slim preseason favorite Creighton visits the Red Storm on May 11 on FOX Sports 1. CBS Sports Network has agreed to air four additional BIG EAST baseball games and the Bluejays will play in three of them. Creighton hosts Iowa on April 23 at 7:30 p.m., and six days later welcomes Nebraska for a 7:30 p.m. tilt, both on CBS SN. The network will also air Creighton hosting Seton Hall in the third game of a three-game series on Sunday, May 4 at 1 p.m., and the Pirates hosting St. John’s on Thursday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m.