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Radwan Named Sox New Manager

The Butler BlueSox ownership group have selected Jason Radwan, a former standout player and assistant coach, to be their field manager in 2015. He will replace Anthony Rebyanski, who guided the team since 2011.

Radwan is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where he started all four season. He was Butler's starting second baseman in 2011 and 2012; he was named to the Prospect League East Division All Star Team in both seasons. Radwan served as an Assistant Coach under Rebyanski in 2013 and 2014, helping lead Butler to its first-ever Prospect League playoff appearance in 2014.

"The BlueSox organization is extremely pleased to have Jason manage our ball club next year," said Wink Robinson, the BlueSox Managing Partner. "His familiarity with our approach to operating a Prospect League team is certainly an asset on which we based our decision."

Radwan (right) will be the third manager in BlueSox' history.

"More importantly though, are Jason's positive ties to our Community that he developed over the past four years. He will be an excellent role model to our ballplayers and a respectable ambassador for the BlueSox," Robinson said.

Radwan is pursuing a Master's Degree in Education at St. Bonaventure University, where he serves as the Bonnies' Women's Softball Team Assistant Coach. Radwan is a native of Farnham, NY.

Radwan's duties for the BlueSox will start immediately. He will be developing the 2015 BlueSox' roster over the next few months. He anticipates certain players from the 2014 playoff team with remaining eligibility will be returning to Butler next season.

"He certainly has some work to do contacting college managers this offseason, but we're confident he'll meet the challenge," Robinson said.

Rebyanski, who recently accepted a position at California University of PA, will serve as the BlueSox' Director of Player Development and assist Radwan in selecting the 2015 squad.

"Those two guys will work well together," said Robinson.

Looking Back on the Best Season Yet!

"We have to keep winning and make the playoffs," said Russell Clark in a post-game interview following a victory this summer.

He was one of the players that returned to a team that lost a playoff spot the final day of the 2013 season when the BlueSox bowed to Slippery Rock. Clark, Cody Herald, and Taylor Schmidt were all there most of last summer along with Manager Anthony Rebyanski and assistant coach Jason Radwan. They all felt that disappointment.

This summer they accomplished that goal and got the team to unchartered territory in the franchise's sixth season.

We had a great time at our first ever Kids Clinic!

Like most seasons the BlueSox started off with a shorthanded roster due to some of their players still finishing out their respective college seasons. The schedule maker wasn't kind to them either as they had to play the defending Prospect League champions West Virginia Miners six times in the first three weeks of the season. All of those games were at home and with both teams still waiting to get their full roster the BlueSox took five of six from West Virginia, which was a huge accomplishment.

Butler played .500 baseball the rest of the first half of the season, finding itself in third place in the division with a 15-13 record.

The second half is when the fun began.

Needing to win the second half to reach the playoffs, the BlueSox jumped out to a 6-1 start, including a thrilling come from behind win in extra innings against the Danville Dans on Independence Day, before the All-Star Break.

The team started slow, losing four of six after the break including two tough loses in West Virginia that put them into second place in the standings at 8-5.

Then the BlueSox caught fire.

With a win in Lorain and four straight victories at home the BlueSox climbed back into first place, but were faced with a tough road five game road trip in Champion City and Richmond which proved to be the turning point of the season.

A rainout the first night at Champion City coupled with a make-up game in Richmond already scheduled Butler was forced to play five games in three days.

They swept the first double header, highlighted by a Brett Sullivan shutout in game one and then got a 15 strikeout performance by Adam Bleday the next night in a 1-0 win. Bleday was later named the Prospect League's left-handed Pitcher of the Year. The freshman from the University of Virginia struck out 58 batters in 53 innings, allowing just 30 hits. He had a 1.65 ERA.

With three wins in the books, Butler then handled both games of the double header in Richmond to finish out the road trip. Jeff Revesz homered twice and Forrest Perron added another one in the first game.

Cody Herald received the BlueSox first-ever Diamond Award, for all-around contribution to the team.

Winning five games in three days is a difficult task, add in that they were all on the road and the feat was truly remarkable. It also pushed their win streak to 10 games. They tied the all-time League record for the longest winning streak with another win at home against Champion City.

Lorain ended the streak the next night with a with a 6-2 victory. Even with the 11-game streak, the Miners were still right on the heels of the BlueSox in the standings with no signs of slowing down. The Bluesox had to keep winning and that's just what they did.

They won the next night to split the two-game set with Lorain and got a big road win in Chillicothe two nights later to bring their magic number to two. A road win against Lorain's ace JT Brubaker set up the opportunity to clinch their first playoff berth ever the next night at the Pipe Yard.

After a rain delay the BlueSox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Mick Fennell hit a lead-off double and scored when the next batter Collin Massanelli doubled him home. Fennell doubled again in the third and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Herald. Lorain scored two in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game, but Fennell answered right back with a triple in the top of the fifth and scored on a Massanelli sac fly.

From there the bullpen took over and preserved the lead for closer Austin Ross who took the ball in the bottom of the ninth. He allowed the tying run to reach base with a two out walk, but struck out Tyler Bires to end the game and put the BlueSox in the playoffs. He was mobbed by his teammates and then during the post game meeting by the dugout Steve Sada and Herald got the water cooler and doused Rebyanski.

With three home games remaining Butler went 2-1 to close out the regular season including a win against Champion City, sweeping them for the season. It is the first time in their history that they had done that to any opponent.

It took six years, but the BlueSox finally reached the post-season!

Butler finished the regular season on a 17-2 run that tied them with Chillicothe for the best record in the league at 40-20. These accomplishments ended in Rebyanski being voted as the Prospect League Manager of the Year. He and his coaching staff of Radwan and Luke Dombrosky guided the team through a record setting year in many facets.

While the BlueSox had that impressive second half, injuries to Schmidt and Nick Sell hurt the offense and numerous pitchers were shut down leaving them in a less than ideal situation going into a postseason matchup with the very talented Chillicothe Paints who had a full roster.

The Paints shut out the BlueSox 5-0 in the first ever Prospect League playoff game in Butler. With the hand they were dealt Butler battled hard the next night in Chillicothe, even taking a brief 2-1 lead, but ultimately their season ended with a 6-2 loss.

It wasn't the way they wanted it to end, but it was a fun ride nonetheless.

Over 19,000 fans came through the gates this summer to check out their hometown team this season, and sometimes they had to put up with less than ideal weather conditions as it was a rainy and cool summer in Butler.

Now the season is well over and fall is setting in on Western Pennsylvania. Soon the cold winter months will be upon us and fans will be yearning for spring to arrive and the BlueSox season to start.

We'll be ready and look forward to seeing you next summer.

Next Game

May 2015