Little Falls, NJ – The 2019 Can-Am League Champion New Jersey Jackals announce signing right-handed pitchers Brendan Butler and Reece Karalus to contract extensions. Both pitchers were key contributors to the Jackals’ starting rotation and bullpen, respectively.
“The signing of Brendan and Reece were a definite priority. They are both a huge piece of the puzzle we are trying to put together. There is no way we could have won the Can-Am League Championship last year without them,” Jackals manager Brooks Carey said. “Brendan’s strong finish down the stretch was crucial and his two Game 1 starts in the playoffs set the tone for the rest of the series. Reece was obviously one of our go-to guys in the bullpen and his Game 5 performance in the Can-Am League Semi-Finals [against the Trois Rivieres Aigles] was as good as you’ll ever see.”
Butler epitomized reliability and durability for the Jackals’ starting rotation. Ranking second on the team with 101.1 innings pitched, he logged a 6-3 record and a 3.55 ERA while posting 41 walks and 93 strikeouts. Not only did the Jackals go 9-7 in his starts, but he also pitched six or more innings 12-times and seven or more innings six times. Plus the 26-year old Queens, New York native tied for second in the league for the longest winning streak (August 2-20: 3-0, 0.93 ERA, 29IP, 10 BB, 27 SO). This sizzling stretch helped him garner Can-Am League Pitcher of the Month honors for August. Overall, he went 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA including hurling two seven-inning shutouts (T-2nd in the circuit). Butler was the club’s top starting pitcher during the playoffs as he went 1-0 with a 0.63 ERA including a masterful 3-0 outing against the Trois Rivieres Aigles where he tossed seven scoreless innings and posted seven strikeouts. The seven-year veteran was drafted by the Oakland A’s out of Dowling College (Long Island, NY) in the 30th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. Butler spent three seasons in the A’s system and went 12-18 with a 4.25 ERA and 268 strikeouts in 292.1 innings.
Karalus was the Jackals’ busiest reliever. Leading the club with 35 appearances, he posted a 6-4 record with four saves and a 3.25 ERA while logging 22 walks and 56 strikeouts over 55.1 innings. Karalus was also one of the team’s steadiest relief pitchers. In June, he only allowed one earned run (four overall) and nine hits over 11 appearances while going 1-0 with one save and a 0.56 ERA over 16 innings while posting eight walks and 14 strikeouts. The 25-year old North Bend, Washington native finished the regular season on fire by authoring a 10 scoreless inning streak over six appearances. During this scorching stretch (August 12-31), he went 2-0 with one save and tallied eight strikeouts while only yielding two walks. Little did anyone know, this streak signaled his being locked in for the Can-Am League Playoffs. Over six outings, Karalus went 3-0 and only allowed three runs over 13.1 innings while posting six walks and 21 strikeouts. His best performance came in Game 5 of the Can-Am League Semi-Finals when he hurled four scoreless innings against the Trois Rivieres Aigles and struck out nine while not allowing a walk or a hit. Karalus was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth round of the 2015 First Year Player Draft out of Santa Clara University where he was named Second Team All-West Coast Conference. Spending three seasons in the Rays organization, Karalus made it as high as Double-A Montgomery (Southern League) in 2018. Overall, he amassed a career record of 12-8 with a 3.70 ERA and nine saves over 93 appearances with 173 strikeouts and 65 walks in 189.2 innings pitched.
About The New Jersey Jackals
2019 Can-Am League New Jersey Jackals professional baseball team plays at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, NJ on Montclair State University’s campus. The Jackals play a 96-game schedule in the newly formed Frontier League from May through September. Yogi Berra Stadium is centrally located near the intersection of Route 3 and Route 46 and is easily accessible by car or via local commuter trains, which offer stops on the university’s campus. The Jackals have a wealth of fan-friendly amenities to enhance everybody’s experience when visiting “The House That Yogi Built”. Everyone can enjoy watching exciting highlights and engaging videos on Yogi Berra Stadium’s first-ever HD video scoreboard. Fans can kick back enjoy tasty food and drinks in the Fork in the Road craft beer pub and children can enjoy the fun-filled kid zone. Open since 1998, Yogi Berra Stadium’s seating capacity exceeds 5,000, including fixed seats, lawn seating, an open-air picnic area for birthday parties and special events, and, a general admission lawn seating section. For group and season tickets, call 973-746-7434 or email email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Phil Hoops