Baseball to Host Western Michigan
March 14, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
BUTLER SPORTS RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS – The Bulldogs will face Western Michigan in a three-game series this weekend beginning with a Friday afternoon tilt at Bishop Chatard High School. First pitch between the Bulldogs and Broncos is set for 3:30 p.m.
Scouting Western Michigan (7-7)
Winners of five-straight, the Broncos have steadily improved over the early stages of the season after taking on two tough opponents early in the year. The team played at Memphis opening weekend losing their first three games 3-2, 4-2, and 5-2. WMU went on to play No. 7 Louisville in their second series of the 2014 season where they won one of three games. The Cardinals recorded 21-8 and 8-0 wins, but Western Michigan stole game three 4-2.
Port Charlotte, Fla. has been a home away from home for Western Michigan as the Broncos have played eight games in the Snowbird Classic. Additional opponents there included St. Bonaventure, Nebraska-Omaha, Lehigh and Boston College.
The weekend pitching rotation for Western Michigan will feature Steve Laudicina, Chad Mayle, and Keegan Akin. Akin has the best numbers of the trio with a 2-0 record in three starts. He posts a 2.18 ERA and has 13 strikeouts in just over 20 innings pitched. The team's strikeout leader is Laudicina (22) who also leads the team in innings pitched (24.1). Laudicina is 1-1 on the hill with an ERA of 3.33.
Hoekstra Named MAC West Player of the Week
Hoekstra currently leads Western Michigan in batting average (.455), runs scored, hits, doubles, slugging percentage (.591), on base percentage (.500), and total bases. Hoekstra has started 11 of 14 games for the Broncos this season and hit safely in all 11 starts, collecting multiple hits in six of those.
Kyle Allen and Gunner Johnson took losses on the mound for Butler. Johnson tossed 5.1 innings and struck out three batters, but he walked five which resulted in two runs scored. Jeff Schank was the team's strikeout leader as he sat down four Bears in 5.2 innings pitched.
Laing Earns BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week Honors
Laing recorded his first two saves for the season, shutting the door for the Bulldogs on a pair of victories against IPFW. After tossing an inning of perfect relief in a 9-3 Butler win in the opener against IPFW, he tossed two innings while allowing one hit and one walk while striking out three to earn the save in a 6-4 win. He finished off the series sweep for the Bulldogs by pitching the ninth in a wild 10-9 victory.
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