JOE HASENSTAB | Staff Reporter
The Butler baseball team will play a three-game series against Xavier starting Thursday.
The series will be the Bulldogs’ third against a Big East opponent after winning the series against Seton Hall two weeks ago and being swept by St. John’s last weekend.
Butler now stands 14-21 after an extra-inning loss yesterday at Purdue. It was the third time the two teams had met this season. With the loss Butler moves to 0-3 against the Boilermakers. The team heads into tomorrow’s series with a four game losing streak and a 2-4 conference record.
After being swept by St. John’s and the loss to Purdue it is possible to imagine the players’ confidence would go down. Senior Gunner Johnson, who pitched seven innings and gave up three runs in the first game of the St. John’s series, said the team is still confident in themselves.
“We still keep our confidence high but baseball’s a roller coaster game,” Johnson said. “There’s always going to ups, there’s always going to be downs. So we know we are going to be on our up pretty soon.”
One thing that Johnson said the players keep in mind is that they just played two of the toughest teams in the Big East. Also two of the losses to St. John’s were by only two runs.
To get the series win against Xavier, Johnson said the players will have to work together.
“To come together as a team, to respect one another, to pick each other up is the main focus,” he said. “If one guy makes an error the next guy will have to step up and make a pitch or get a specific hit in a big spot. “
The Bulldogs have already faced Xavier this season, losing 9-3 in a doubleheader at the end of March. The game was before official conference play started and did not go towards either team’s conference record.