Bulldogs Down Under

Butler to play six baseball games in Australia

Paul Beck led the Bulldogs with a .337 batting average in 2002.

Paul Beck led the Bulldogs with a .337 batting average in 2002.

Oct. 29, 2002

Butler baseball is going international. The Bulldogs will make their first baseball appearance overseas when they travel to Australia in January for a week of games in Brisbane. The trip is scheduled for Dec. 31-Jan. 9, during Butler's winter vacation period.

The Bulldogs will square off against an all-star team from the state of Queensland. The Australian team, which is coached by former Milwaukee Brewers all-star David Nilsson, is preparing for the country's National Championships in late January. The tentative schedule has a single game on Jan. 3, a doubleheader on Jan. 4, and single games on Jan.6-8.

The trip to Australia will give Butler head coach Steve Farley an early look at his 2003 squad. The Bulldogs return eight starters from last year's 34-23 club, including leading hitter Paul Beck, who batted .337 as a first baseman/designated hitter in 2002. Other .300 hitters returning this year are third baseman Jeff Albert (.331), catcher Tim Marks (.316), outfielder Dale Mueller (.315) and first baseman Ryan Nance (.315). Right-handed pitcher Aaron Phillips, who posted a 7-4 record with a 2.86 earned run average last spring, is Butler's top returning pitcher.

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