This Week in BIG EAST Baseball - May 5

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - With just three weeks remaining in the BIG EAST regular season, the Connecticut Huskies cling to a three-game lead in the standings. The top eight teams qualify for the 2011 BIG EAST Championship. Notre Dame sits in the No. 8 spot entering the weekend with a 7-10 record. The Irish are a half-game ahead of Seton Hall and Rutgers, which are both 7-11. Rutgers hosts Notre Dame for a three-game series, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday. The weekend starts early as Louisville and Seton Hall open on Thursday night at 6 p.m. Eastern. The 2011 BIG EAST Championship will take place May 25-29 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Louisville (25-19, 11-7) at Seton Hall (21-21, 7-11) Thurs., May 5, 6 p.m.: UofL - RHP Derek Self (2-1, 1.49 ERA) vs. SHU - RHP Joe DiRocco (6-0, 1.62 ERA) Live Video Fri., May 6, 4 p.m.: UofL - RHP Justin Amlung (8-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. SHU - RHP Jon Prosinski (3-4, 2.65 ERA) Live Video Sat., May 7, 11 a.m.: UofL - TBA vs. SHU - RHP Brian Gilbert (0-2, 3.11 ERA) Live Video - Seton Hall's 3-0 win over Saint Peter's on Tuesday was the program's 1,900th win dating back to 1863. - The series will feature the only two unbeaten starting pitchers in the BIG EAST. Seton Hall's Joe DiRocco puts a 6-0 record on the line on Thursday, while Louisville's Justin Amlung (8-0) takes the hill on Friday. - The Pirates bring the second-best team ERA in the conference into the weekend. The Seton Hall pitching staff has a 2.19 ERA in BIG EAST games. Friday starter Jon Prosinski leads the league in conference games with a 1.38 ERA. - Seton Hall's win against St. Peter's gave the team five-straight wins against nonconference opponents. - Louisville is third in the BIG EAST in team ERA at 2.91. Louisville has two pitchers in the top five of the league in ERA. Derek Self is second with a 1.49 ERA while Amlung is fourth with a 1.64 ERA. - The Cardinals' offense is led by outfielder Stewart Ijames, who is tied for the league lead with 10 home runs. Pittsburgh (27-15, 12-6) at St. John's (23-17, 10-7) Fri., May 6, 6 p.m.: Pitt - LHP Matt Iannazzo (5-2, 3.07 ERA) vs. STJ - RHP Kyle Hansen (6-4, 2.45) Watch Live Live Stats Sat., May 7, 1 p.m.: Pitt - RHP Ethan Mildren (4-4, 3.34 ERA) vs. STJ - LHP Kevin Kilpatrick (3-3, 4.08 ERA) Watch Live Live Stats Sun., May 8, Noon: Pitt - RHP Corey Baker (4-2, 5.31 ERA) vs. STJ - LHP Brendan Lobban (4-1, 3.65 ERA) Watch Live Live Stats - St. John's leads the all-time series 42-29. The Panthers swept the Red Storm in Pittsburgh last year. - Pitt holds the top spot in the conference in several offensive categories, including batting average (.313), slugging percentage (.453), triples (21) and on-base percentage (.403). - The series features two of the top hitters in the conference. Pitt's Kevan Smith leads the conference with a .405 batting average. St. John's Joe Panik is second in the conference with a .400 average. Pitt's David Chester is tied for the league lead with 10 home runs. - St. John's is the top fielding team in the BIG EAST with a .973 fielding percentage. - St. John's is coming off its first home loss of the season, falling to Iona 14-4. The Red Storm are unbeaten at home in conference play with an 8-0 record. - Red Storm Friday starter Kyle Hansen is 4-2 with a 2.08 ERA in BIG EAST play. Hansen ranks third in the BIG EAST in league games with 38 strikeouts. Villanova (17-25, 4-14) at Georgetown (20-26, 2-16) Fri., May 6, 7 p.m.: VU - RHP Kyle McMyne (4-6, 4.74 ERA) vs. GU - LHP Thomas Polus (1-2, 3.77 ERA) Live Stats Sat., May 7, 7 p.m.: VU - LHP Kyle Helisek (1-6, 4.72 ERA) vs. GU - RHP Alex Baker (3-2, 4.36 ERA) Live Stats Sun., May 8, 1 p.m.: VU - RHP Pat Young (1-1, 5.46 ERA) vs. GU - LHP Alex Meyer (2-1, 3.48 ERA) Live Stats - Villanova snapped a nine-game losing streak by winning four straight games and going 4-1 last week, including its first BIG EAST series win of the season.