Baseball Minute: Down to the Wire

Gunner Johnson and Butler needs wins and help to get into the BIG EAST Tournament next week in Brooklyn.

Gunner Johnson and Butler needs wins and help to get into the BIG EAST Tournament next week in Brooklyn.

May 14, 2014

Composite Schedule | BIG EAST Statistics

NEW YORK – The final regular-season weekend of the season is almost here, and there’s still plenty of housekeeping to take care of before the 2014 BIG EAST Baseball Championship presented by New York Life comes to MCU Park in Brooklyn next week.

Creighton, St. John’s and Seton Hall sewed up three of the four tournament berths last weekend. The fourth bid will come down to either Xavier or Butler, with the Musketeers leading the Bulldogs by two games with three to play.

Seeding will be on the line this weekend as well. After taking two of three in Queens last weekend, Creighton has a one-game lead on St. John’s, which is one game ahead of Seton Hall. The Pirates are three games ahead of Xavier and lead Butler by five, so the Musketeers and Bulldogs can only reach as high as the No. 4 seed.

This weekend’s series get underway Thursday, with Creighton visiting Xavier, Villanova hosting Butler and Seton Hall welcoming St. John’s. Georgetown has the conference bye this weekend and wrapped up its season on Tuesday with an 8-5 loss to UMBC.

BIG EAST Notebook

NYC METRO BATTLE ON NATIONAL TV
The first game of the upcoming St. John’s-Seton Hall series Thursday night will air nationally on CBS Sports Network. The Pirates host the Red Storm at 6:30 p.m. Eastern at Owen T. Carroll Field in South Orange. It’s a key battle between two BIG EAST Tournament-bound teams and could be a first round preview.

XAVIER CONTROLS ITS DESTINY
The Musketeers showed a lot of early season life with a victory at then-nationally-ranked North Carolina in February. Since then it’s been an up-and-down season for Xavier, which is 7-8 in the BIG EAST entering its final home series of the season against visiting Creighton. Xavier’s magic number to wrap up the fourth and final BIG EAST Tournament berth is two, so a win plus a Butler loss Thursday would put the Musketeers in the conference postseason.


 

 

THREE TEAMS IN THE HUNT
The top seed for next week’s BIG EAST Tournament is still to be determined, and three teams are all in the running. Creighton is in the driver’s seat, holding a one-game advantage on St. John’s and a two-game lead over Seton Hall while holding the head-to-head tiebreaker versus both. Creighton needs one win in its series at Xavier to freeze the Pirates out of the top seed, while any combination of two wins or St. John’s losses would give the Bluejays the No. 1 seed.

ON SALE NOW!
Tickets for the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament at Brooklyn’s MCU Park are on sale now to the public and start as low as $7, and an all-session pass for admission to all six games costs $45. For more, visit www.brooklyncyclones.com or go here.

TOURNEY TIMES AND FORMAT
Times have been confirmed for the BIG EAST Tournament that will take over Brooklyn’s MCU Park from May 22-25. Doubleheaders will take place May 22 and 23 with games at 4 and 7 p.m., followed by Saturday’s single game at 3 p.m. and Sunday’s championship tilt at 1 p.m. The first five games of the tournament will stream live for free on BIGEAST.com, while FOX Sports 1 will air the championship.

PREVOST BEING WATCHED
Seton Hall righty ace Josh Prevost is one of 47 names on the first College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year Watch List of the season announced recently. The award, sponsored by Diamond, will be presented during the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual Night of Champions June 28 in Lubbock, Texas. Prevost is the only BIG EAST pitcher on the list.

NEWCOMER BLUEJAYS TOP PRESEASON POLL
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.

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 have carried on the air by the end of the spring, 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.

EARLY TOURNAMENT ROUNDS TO AIR ON BIGEAST.COM
We’d love to have you, but if you can’t make it to the ballpark, don’t sweat it. The first five games of the BIG EAST Baseball Tournament from MCU Park in Brooklyn will stream live for free on BIGEAST.com May 22-24, giving fans the ability to watch and follow along with their favorite programs and players during the championship event. LINACRE Media, one of the BIG EAST’s streaming partners, will handle the productions, which will feature New York City Hall of Famer and Emmy Award winner Spencer Ross on play-by-play.