Fall Report: ButlerFall Report
Excitement is building around the Butler Bulldogs baseball program. Coming off its first winning season since 2003 and a 17-win improvement from 2016, Butler looks to continue its rapid rebuild with hopes of evolving into a legitimate Big East contender.
Fall workouts had a different feel to it than past seasons. Last fall was spent mostly familiarizing the coaches with the team as head coach Dave Schrage took over a struggling program. For the returning players, fall workouts were very much about creating consistency as opposed to finding comfort in the system. For the 14 freshmen (eight pitchers) fall ball was about jumping right in, competing for a spot, and of course, maintaining confidence through some ups and downs.
After winning four of six conference series in 2016, but narrowly missing the tournament by a single game, Schrage sees his squad taking the next step this spring.
“We have enough guys back to be dangerous and make a run at the conference tournament. Much will depend upon developing comfort at the plate and taking consistent, quality at-bats,” Schrage said. “We must also have some young pitchers step up in the back end of the bullpen to replace the dependable duo of Chris Myjak (20 Apps, 8 saves, 2.35 ERA) and Ottavio Dattolo (22 Apps, 4-0, 4 saves, 1.55 ERA) who combined had a hand in 18 of our 31 wins.”
Offensively, the Dawgs return seven of their top eight hitters. The lone loss is a big one in clutch hitter and first baseman Jordan Lucio (.310/.397/.339). Lucio occupied the five-hole in the lineup and was a sure handed, reliable defender.
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