July 24, 2013
CAMDEN, N.J. - UConn reliever Pat Butler (Chatham, N.J.) has parlayed his breakout senior season into a professional contract, signing yesterday with the Camden River Sharks of the Atlantic (Independent) League.
Butler, a four-year letter winner for the Huskies, posted a career-best 2.75 ERA in 2013 as UConn made its improbable run to the NCAA Tournament. In 39.1 innings of work over 24 appearances, the 6'5 right-hander compiled a 3-2 record, striking out 23 batters while holding opponents to a .226 average. He also notched five saves, tied for the team lead.
Some of his best work came in the postseason, as Butler appeared in the BIG EAST Championship against both Louisville and Rutgers. The senior allowed just one hit in 1.2 innings to help UConn claim the tournament crown. He also picked up the save in UConn's NCAA regional round upset at Virginia Tech on May 31.
Overall for his career, Butler made 53 appearances, including 21 starts. He totaled an 11-7 record and a 4.92 ERA during his time in Storrs, pitching 159 innings for the Huskies and notching 80 strikeouts.
Butler joins classmate L.J. Mazzilli as 2013 senior Huskies joining the pro ranks this year, after Mazzilli was selected by the New York Mets in the fourth round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft in June. Mazzilli currently holds a .307 batting average for the Mets' Class-A short season affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones, second on the squad.
The River Sharks play in the independent Atlantic League and feature a roster containing multiple players with major league experience, including Valentino Pascucci and Wilson Valdez. Butler has already joined the squad and will debut in the near future.