KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers are pleased to announce the signing of a pair of right-handed pitchers from the state of Indiana. B.J. Butler from Ball State University and Matt Frawley from Purdue University will head one state north to spend the 2015 season at Homer Stryker Field.
B.J. Butler: 6’1” – 195lb, RHP, Bats R/Throws R, Ball State (So.) Mattawan, MI
Matt Frawley: 6’1” – 185lb, RHP, Bats R/Throws R, Purdue (So.), Carol Stream, IL
B.J. Butler has been not only Ball State’s most consistent reliever but also one of the top arms in the Mid-American Conference. Through a team-leading 17 appearances, he holds a 3-3 record with a team-best 2.85 ERA and six saves, his most recent a one-hit, 3.1-inning effort on Saturday against Kent State. Butler ranks in the top 10 in the MAC in appearances (t-3rd) and saves (t-2nd), and his 2.85 ERA is second amongst conference relievers. The closer has helped lead his Cardinals to 22 wins in their first 34 games, putting them in prime position to defend the conference crown.
Born in Kalamazoo, Butler spent his formative years in nearby Mattawan, where he was a three-time all-conference selection at Mattawan High School. He won 28 games over his four-year career and as a senior set the school career strikeout record while leading the Wildcats to a 23-7 record. In his junior season, Butler went 10-3 with a 0.91 ERA and 11.42 strikeouts per nine innings as MHS won a share of the conference title. He also earned two letters playing football and garnered an all-conference nod as a kicker and punter.
Matt Frawley is the second weekend starter from Purdue to join the Growlers, joining teammate Shane Bryant. Through nine starts, he his 1-6 with a 4.85 ERA, tossing 16 walks and 21 strikeouts in 42.2 innings of work. In a start on March 15, Frawley held future teammate Stephen Letz and Northern Illinois to two hits over six innings of the Boilermakers’ 23-5 win over the Huskies.
A native of Carol Stream, Illinois, Frawley won four varsity letters playing for Glenbard North High School. He earned DuPage Valley Conference co-Pitcher of the Year honors during his senior year in which he went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Frawley picked up a pair of first-team all-conference nods and as a sophomore led the Panthers to a regional title.
Frawley’s ties to baseball in the Prairie State run deep. His father Michael played four seasons for Illinois State University during the late 1980s. The younger Frawley was one of the top starters for the local DuPage County Hounds of the Midwest Collegiate League last summer, posting a 2.05 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 36 strikeouts over 39.1 innings. In game two of the league semifinals, Frawley allowed just one unearned run over eight innings to lead the Hounds into the MCL championship series, which they lost to Stephen Letz and the Southland Vikings.
Butler’s Cardinals hosted Frawley’s Boilermakers in Muncie on March 25 with Ball State winning 8-2. The rematch in West Lafayette is set for Wednesday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. and will be televised on BTN Plus.
Kalamazoo begins its second season on Tuesday, May 26 at Madison. The Growlers’ home opener comes on Friday, May 29 against the Battle Creek Bombers. The full Growlers schedule can be found here. For information on 2015 Growlers season tickets, click here.
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The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit http://www.growlersbaseball.com.