Seton Hall Baseball Opens up Big East Play at Butler
Week in review:
Seton Hall received multiple big pitching performances last weekend. The Pirates surrendered just one run, but surprisingly won only two of three games. On Friday, Josh Prevost continued his stellar senior season with eight shutout innings in Seton Hall’s 8-0 victory at Iona. Prevost scattered just two hits, struck out a career-high of 11 batters and walked only one. On Saturday, the Pirates split a double-header at Central Connecticut State. In the opener, starter Conor Krauss gave up just one earned run in 4.1 innings, but the Seton Hall offense couldn’t get going and the Pirates fell, 1-0. In the second game, Anthony Elia pitched his first career complete-game shutout in Seton Hall’s 2-0 victory. Elia struck out a career-high seven batters in going the distance. Kyle Grimm’s two-run seventh inning home run put Seton Hall in front for good in the Pirates’ 4-3 victory at Rider on Tuesday. Luke Cahill improved to 5-1 with six innings of one-run baseball. On Wednesday, Anthony Pacillo surrendered just one hit over seven scoreless innings as Seton Hall defeated Princeton, 13-6.
Junior Anthony Elia was named BIG EAST Baseball Pitcher of the Week on Monday. Teammates Josh Prevost and Zack Weigel were added to the conference’s Weekly Honor Roll. In a season of weekly awards for Seton Hall players, it’s the first time that three Pirates have been honored in the same week. Elia pitched his first complete-game shutout at Central Connecticut State on March 29. Also, Freshman Anthony Pacillo turned in his best career start at Princeton on April 2. The left-hander surrendered just one hit over seven scoreless innings to improve to 2-0 on the young season. Pacillo struck out a career-high eight batters and walked only one in Seton Hall’s 13-6 victory.
Seton Hall and Butler will open BIG EAST play in 2014 this weekend and it will be the first-ever games between the teams. The 20-5 Pirates are currently on top of the BIG EAST standings after an impressive non-conference run that brings the team into Indianapolis having won eight of their last nine games. The Pirates are proving why they were picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, coming in just one point shy of Creighton. This team has all the talent and leadership to win the conference. Three Pirates made the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team; those players are first baseman Sal Annunziata, catcher Chris Selden and senior pitcher Josh Prevost.
Six Pirates enter the weekend with a batting average above .300 for SHU. Shortstop DJ Ruhlman currently leads the team with a .360 average, while Annunziata is close behind at .347. Annunziata is tied with Tyler Boyd for the team lead in RBIs with 23. Runs have not been hard to come by for SHU, as the Pirates have outscored their opponents 183-89 on the season.
On the flip side, it has been a tough year for the Butler Bulldogs (11-16). Butler will return to Bulldog Park after taking a mid-week loss at IPFW on Tuesday. The Bulldogs are much better this season when playing at home, as they sit at 7-3 compared to just 1-8 on the road. They are also hampered with a 3-5 mark on neutral fields.
The Pirates are the more superior team and should not have much trouble with this Bulldog team.
The Pirates are set to come back to South Orange for a mid-week matchup against Wagner on April 9th. Following this game, they have a weekend series with NYIT.
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