Saint Louis (14-2) vs. Butler (9-6)
Friday, March 17 | 3:00 p.m. | Live Stats
Saturday, March 18 | 1:00 p.m. | Live Stats
Sunday, March 19 | Noon | Live Stats
Indianapolis, Indiana (Bulldog Park)
ABOUT THE BILLIKENS
The 2017 Billikens boast one of the top offenses in the NCAA, ranked in the top-50 nationally in walks (24th), doubles (15th), on-base percentage (23rd), slugging percentage (25th), batting average (37th), home runs (44th) and runs scored (36th). Nick Reeser leads the Billikens with a .367 batting average, one of six Billiken starters hitting over .300. Alex King is the SLU leader in slugging percentage at .673 (third in A-10). Aaron Case holds the team lead in on-base percentage at .494 (third in A-10). On the mound, the Billikens are led by sophomore Miller Hogan, who has a 3-0 record with a 0.75 ERA, 21 strikeouts and 10 walks in 24.0 IP.
With the addition of Western Illinois, the Billikens have Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Illinois on schedule this season.
BETTER THAN AVERAGE
The Billikens have six players with at least 49 at bats and a .300 batting average or better. Including Jake Garella (who has started the past four contests for SLU), that number increases to seven starters.
OBP, YEAH YOU KNOW ME
As a team, Saint Louis is 23rd in the NCAA with an on-base percentage of .478. Five Billikens have OBPs of .400 or better. No Billiken starter has an OBP below .300.
The Billikens have displayed great depth this season. As a team, Billiken non-starters have hit .515 this season with a .697 slugging percentage and a .628 on-base percentage. On the bump, bullpen arms have recorded 63 strikeouts in 71.0 IP with a .233 batting average against.
The Billikens have hit 41 doubles this season, 15th in the NCAA. Leading the way is Trent Leimkuehler who is 26th in the NCAA with eight doubles. Carter Hanford and Alex King have six doubles, 98th in the NCAA. The SLU records are 121 doubles for a team set in 2010 and Andrew Guerra hit a school-record 21 doubles in 2008.
PATIENCE AT THE PLATE
Saint Louis is 24th in the NCAA in walks drawn with 90. Aaron Case leads Saint Louis with 15 walks (33rd in NCAA). The SLU records are 51 walks for an individual (Brad Brown, 1991) and 299 for a team (1999).
KING OF THE DIAMOND
In his career, Alex King has made 126 starts at shortstop. Since joining the Billikens in 2015, there have only been three games in which King has not started at shortstop (one in 2016, two in 2015). He is having one of the best offensive seasons of his career in 2017. King entered the season with one career home run (hit in the seventh game of his career) and has hit three already this season. Through 16 games, he has already surpassed his runs scored total from last season.
HITS IN BUNCHES
Through 12 games this season, the Billikens have had 44 multi-hit performances. Aaron Case leads the way with seven multi-hit games. Case, Nick Reeser, Parker Sniatynski and Trent Leimkuehler are the only Billikens with multiple three-hit games this season.
James Morisano had a nine-game hitting streak snapped earlier this year, SLU’s longest streak of the season. Aaron Case has reached base safely in every game this season, a 16-game streak. Case also holds SLU’s best active hitting streak at five games.
BULLIES IN THE BULLPEN
Saint Louis has three returning bullpen arms that posted 20 or more appearances last season: Sean Frontzak, Ryan Lefner and Brett Shimanovsky. This season, Lefner is serving as the team’s closer with four saves in six appearances without allowing an earned run (8.2 IP). Shimanovsky has thrown 5.2 IP, striking out seven and walking two. Frontzak is the team leader in batting average against at .156.
THAT SABRMETRIC STUFF
Runs Created is a statistic invented by noted statistician Bill James which estimates the number of runs produced based on various offensive statistics. This season, the Billikens have six players posting 10 or more runs created. Aaron Case leads the team with 21.15 RC. James Morisano (15.42), Alex King (13.88), Carter Hanford (12.30), Nick Reeser (11.26) and Parker Sniatynski (10.07) also have 10 or more RC this season.
The Billikens have three first-year junior college transfers in the starting lineup: Aaron Case, Carter Hanford and Nick Reeser. All three have hit in the top half of SLU’s order all season and are among the NCAA statistical leaders. Additionally, SLU has seen contributions from the bench in freshmen Justin Lockwood, Jake Garella, Nick Mehlin, Ryan Hernandez and Peter Zimmerman. On the mound, six of the 10 relievers used by the Billikens this season were not on the roster a year ago.
HIGHLY TOUTED FRESHMEN
The Saint Louis freshman class of Garrett Acton, Jake Garella, Josh Garner, Ryan Hernandez, Keith Kutzler, Justin Lockwood, Nick Mehlin, Charlie Sheehan, Justin Stollberg and Peter Zimmermann are rated the No. 61 class in the country by Perfect Game. It is the highest ranking for a SLU class ever, and the second consecutive season in which a Billiken class has been ranked in the top 100.
ATLANTIC 10 PRESEASON POLL
The Billikens were selected third in the Atlantic 10 Conference preseason baseball poll, the league coaches voted prior to the start of the season. It is the fifth consecutive season in which Saint Louis was selected in the top three of the conference in the preseason poll.
The Billikens boast a handful of baseball talent from across the globe. Sophomore pitcher Jackson Wark is a native of Canada and sophomore first baseman Braxton Stowe hails from Bermuda. Additionally, assistant coaches Will Bradley and Tyler Anderson are both standouts from Australia.
HENDRICKSON IN THE HALL
Saint Louis head baseball coach Darin Hendrickson has been inducted to the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, Class of 2017. Hendrickson has been the Billiken skipper since 2008. In that time he has amassed a 292-221 record, the second-most wins in school history. From 2009-15, Hendrickson had a school-record seven consecutive winning seasons. He was the 2012 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and a Collegiate Baseball National Coach of the Year honorable mention in 2013. Hendrickson is the only coach in SLU history to record back-to-back 30+ win seasons, a feat he achieved twice, including back-to-back 40-win seasons in 2012-13.
The Bulldogs are 9-6 entering the weekend. Michael Hartnagel leads Butler with a .426 batting average, .519 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage. Tyler Houston is 16th in the NCAA with nine stolen bases this season. Reigning Big East Pitcher of the Week Jeff Schank is the staff ace, posting a 2-1 record with a 0.67 ERA, 37 strikeouts and 10 walks in 27.0 IP. As a staff, the Bulldogs miss a lot of bats and are 22nd in the NCAA with 10.0 strikeouts per nine inning.
• Brett Shimanovsky has 73 career appearances, fifth all-time at SLU. The SLU record is 90 set by Jon Levin.
• Shimanovsky also has 97 career strikeouts, SLU’s active leader.
• Shimanovsky has eight career saves, fifth all-time at SLU.
• Alex King has 366 career assists, the 15th Billiken to ever reach 300+ career assists. Only seven Billikens have reached 400 assists in their careers.
• James Morisano has 74 career hits, 26 from 100.
• Parker Sniatynski has 78 career runs scored.
• Ryan Lefner has recorded four saves this season. SLU’s record for single-season saves is 12 (Travis Parker, 2012)