Baseball Minute: Halfway Mark for Some

Seton Hall's D.J. Ruhlman leads the BIG EAST hitting .386.

Seton Hall's D.J. Ruhlman leads the BIG EAST hitting .386.

April 17, 2014

Composite Schedule | BIG EAST Statistics

NEW YORK – This weekend marks the halfway point of BIG EAST play for four of the six baseball teams, so opportunities to improve one’s standing for the conference tournament are of increasing importance.

Every three-game conference series will begin Thursday and conclude Saturday, weather permitting. Seton Hall (1-2 in the BIG EAST) opens at Georgetown (0-6) Thursday at 1 p.m., while Xavier (6-0) and Butler (2-4) renew their series in Indianapolis at 3 p.m. At 3:15 p.m., Creighton (3-0) starts its three-game set at Villanova (2-4).

St. John’s has the bye this week and will play NYIT in a three-game series. NYIT will host Friday’s game, and the series will conclude with a doubleheader in Queens on Saturday.

BIG EAST Notebook

So far, so good for new BIG EAST members Creighton and Xavier in conference play. The Musketeers are 6-0 after back-to-back sweeps of Georgetown and Villanova, while the Bluejays swept the Hoyas last weekend in Omaha.

With three new members in the BIG EAST this season, in some cases there isn’t a lot of history in head-to-head series. But newcomers Butler and Xavier have a bit of history between the two. They’ll meet for the 78th time on Thursday with Xavier holding a 48-29 series lead. The Musketeers handed Butler a 9-3 loss earlier this season in a previously-scheduled game that does not count in the BIG EAST standings.

Following last weekend’s three-game sweep of NYIT, Seton Hall moved up five spots in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30 to No. 23. The Pirates walloped NYIT with 21 runs in Friday’s series opener, the most offense for Seton Hall since scoring 24 in a March 2003 contest against Chicago State.



Xavier is the BIG EAST’s top team in the latest RPI ratings out Tuesday from the NCAA. The Musketeers are at No. 77, ahead of a logjam of St. John’s (112), Creighton (119) and Seton Hall (120). The rest of the conference checks in with Georgetown at No. 201, Butler at No. 231 and Villanova at No. 253.

One of three 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.

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 22-25.

The top four teams in the final BIG EAST regular-season standings will qualify for the conference tournament, which begins May 22 at MCU Park in Brooklyn. The No. 1 seed will take on No. 4 in one game, and the second and third seeds will meet in the second. Two games are set for May 23, with the winners of the first two games squaring off in Game 3 and the losers facing each other in Game 4. The Game 3 loser will play the Game 4 winner in Game 5 on May 24. The winner of that game plays the Game 3 winner for the BIG EAST crown on May 25.