Butler senior pitcher Chase Byerly is in the running for the Lowes’ Senior CLASS Award.
The award is an acronym for “Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School.” Candidates must be NCAA Division I seniors and qualify in the four C’s: community, classroom, character and competition.
Byerly is one of 30 finalists. He is among three finalists from the Atlantic 10 Conference, including Charlotte infielder Shane Basen and Rhode Island utility man Mike Le Bel.
The Senior CLASS Award was founded in 2001 in a partnership between Premiere Sports Management and Lowes’. The award is given to athletes in 10 different sports.
Byerly’s nomination follows three straight nominations for Butler basketball players.
Senior Andrew Smith is a nominee for this year’s basketball award, which will be announced during the Final Four in Atlanta. Ronald Nored was nominated last year for the Bulldogs, and Matt Howard the year before.
No Bulldog has ever won the award, but Byerly believes he has a good shot of doing so this year.
“I’m a really competitive guy, so I think I have a pretty good shot at it,” Byerly said. “I’ve done pretty well this season so far.”
Building off last season when he set the school’s single-season saves record with 10, Byerly is already off to a hot start. His ERA is 2.55 and he has with 16 strikeouts.
Byerly completed a rare feat, picking up three saves in a single series last weekend at Virginia Commonwealth University, pushing his season total to four.
Off the field, Byerly impresses in other ways. He has a 3.98 GPA as a business and finance double major.
Smith, also a business major, said he knows Byerly well and that he is a hard worker.
“I know he works extremely hard,” Smith said. “He’s a very talented individual on and off the field.”
On top of doing well in class, Byerly interned at Eli Lilly last summer and Smith said he always shows dedication.
“He’s one of the hardest-working people I know,” Smith said. “He’s always top of the class, he’s a great presenter, he’s a great speaker.
Byerly said it is tough to be involved on campus while being on the baseball team, but he does make an effort.
“It’s tough to hold a leadership position with any organization on campus, but I am involved,” Byerly said.
Byerly is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He is also part of the Dawg Pound and various honor societies on campus.
Butler baseball coach Steve Farley said Byerly has made large strides evolving from a walk-on to a leader.
“He started as a walk-on and took on that role,” Farley said. “Now he’s possibly one of the best relief pitchers in the nation.”
Farley had Byerly convert to a side-arm release early on in his career, which has made him tough to hit.
Farley said he thinks Byerly is deserving of the nomination.
“Chase is one of the best guys I’ve ever coached,” Farley said. “He’s like another coach in the dugout. Everything is well deserved.”