Lexington native Austin Kearns and Louisville native Todd Wellemeyer, who signed Minor League contracts with the Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants this offseason, will both be included on their respective team’s 25 man roster when Spring Training ends. Kearns, who was competing for the starting left field job with the Indians, will serve as the teams fourth outfielder and should see plenty of work as a right-handed substitute in a lefty-heavy lineup, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports. Wellemeyer will break camp as the Giants’ fifth starter after beating top prospect Madison Bumgarner for the job, although Giants manager Bruce Bochy hasn’t officially named him the winner, Chris Hart of MLB.com reports.
Four Kentucky Division One colleges were in action Tuesday, and each team won its game. Check out short recaps of those contests, including one in-state matchup below, with links to athletic department recaps.
- Senior first baseman Andrew Clark‘s two-run ninth inning home run off Indiana’s ace led No. 9 University of Louisville to a 5-4 victory over the Hoosiers. Clark was 2-5 with one home run, three RBI and one run scored in the game, and freshman left fielder Kyle Grieshaber tallied three hits in the game. UofL closer Neil Holland earned the win with one and two-third perfect innings of relief. (Box Score)
- Sophomore right-handed pitcher Sean Bouthilette gave the University of Kentucky the mid-week pitching performance it had been looking for with six innings of one-run ball in a 11-2 blowout win over Cincinnati Tuesday. Senior infielder Gunner Glad was 4-5 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored, and sophomore left fielder Chad Wright was 3-3 in the game. (Box Score)
- A four-run sixth inning led Murray State University to a 6-5 win over Belmont Tuesday. Senior right-handed pitcher Alex Love earned the victory with four scoreless innings of relief, and senior second baseman Kyle Tiernan was 3-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Senior left-handed pitcher Matt McGaha recorded his second save of the season. (Box Score)
- In Tuesday’s in-state matchup Morehead State University blew out NAIA foe Georgetown College 12-3. Morehead junior right-handed pitcher Jeff Arnold allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings for the win. Eagles senior outfielder J. D. Ashbrook, sophomore designated hitter Cameron Flynn and senior first baseman Michael Bottoms each homered in the game. Georgetown center fielder Chris Wood was 3-4 with a home run, three RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
In the second weekly statistics leaderboard update, we’ll look at the pitching categories. To qualify for the ERA and batting average against, pitchers must have a minimum of 1.0 IP per team game (which eliminates UK closer Matt Little this week but makes UofL closer Neil Holland eligible with just one-third inning to spare). Stats are current through Sunday.
- Neil Holland — UofL — 0.39
- Thomas Royse — UofL — 1.42
- Derek Self — UofL — 2.77
- Greg Terry — EKU — 3.38
- Matt Ridings — WKU — 3.68
- Josh Schneider — Morehead St. — 6-2
- Thomas Royse — UofL — 5-0
- Matt Ridings — WKU — 5-0
- Derek Self — UofL — 4-0
- Chris Craycraft — Murray St. — 4-1
- Alex Meyer — UK — 4-2
- Josh Schneider — Morehead St. — 4-2
- Alex Meyer — UK — 42
- Thomas Royse — UofL — 39
- Jake Donze — Murray St. — 37
- Shane Cameron — WKU — 33
- Logan Darnell — UK — 32
- Logan Darnell — UK — 40.1
- Chris Craycraft — Murray St. — 38.1
- Taylor Rogers — UK — 38.1
- Thomas Royse — UofL — 38.0
- Matt Ridings — WKU — 36.2
- Neil Holland — UofL — 6
- Ryne Purcell — EKU — 6
- Matt Little — UK — 4
- Rye Davis — WKU — 4
- Dan Huff — Murray St. — 3
- Cody Gibson — Morehead St. — 3
Batting Average Against
- Neil Holland — UofL — .069
- Thomas Royse — UofL — .195
- Matt Ridings — WKU — .222
- Dean Kiekhefer — UofL — .246
- Derek Self — UofL — .231
- Rye Davis — WKU — 14
- Hunter Hewitt — Morehead St. — 14
- Josh Schneider — Morehead St. — 13
- Greg Terry — EKU — 13
- Neil Holland — UofL — 12
- Ryne Purcell — EKU 12
- Craig Stem — WKU — 12
We have two in-state midweek games in week seven, started by Morehead’s contest against Georgetown this afternoon. The big game of the week is of course WKU’s showdown at UK Wednesday which I will be attending.
- University of Louisville (7) @ Indiana University — 3:00 p.m. — Gametracker
- Morehead State University vs. Georgetown College — 3:00 p.m. — RHP Jeff Arnold (2-0 9.00)
- Murray State University @ Belmont University — 4:00 p.m. (CT) — RHP Marc Harmon (1-3, 9.89)
- University of Kentucky @ University of Cincinnati — 6:30 p.m. — Gametracker
- Eastern Kentucky University vs. Marshall University — 3:00 p.m.
- Western Kentucky University (18) @ UK — 6:30 p.m. — Gametracker
Lots of college news to get you through the morning:
- Pleasure Ridge Park alum and Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after batting .556 and stretching his hitting streak to 23 games.
- Morehead State University sophomore outfielder Cameron Flynn was named Ohio Valley Conference player of the week, and Eastern Kentucky University sophomore right-handed reliever Matt Harris was named OVC pitcher of the week. (Both players were also honored with the BluGrass Baseball weekly honors)
- Northern Kentucky University ace was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference pitcher of the week for the second time this season.
- The University of Louisville moved up to No. 11 in the latest Baseball America top 25, and Western Kentucky University moved up to No. 18.
- UofL stayed at No. 7 in the latest Rivals.com top 25 and WKU moved into the rankings at No. 24.
- NKU moved up to No. 19 in the latest Division II poll from The College Baseball Newspaper.
- Mike Stunson of the College Heights Herald reports on WKU’s best start in school history.
- Stunson also profiles WKU senior second baseman Matt Payton.
- Herald columnist Jonathan Lintner writes WKU coach Chris Finwood is building a baseball powerhouse.
- Aaron Smith of the Kentucky Kernel profiles the University of Kentucky bullpen.
Check out the hitting BluGrass Baseball leaderboard updated through Sunday’s games. To be eligible for the percentage categories (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) a player must have at least 2.5 at-bats per team game.
- Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .439
- Zack Cox — Arkansas (PRP) — .435
- Jayson Langfels — .424
- J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .416
- Drew Lee — Morehead St. — .411
- Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 12
- J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — 11
- Phil Wunderlich — UofL — 10
- Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 9
- Cameron Flynn — Morehead St. — 8
- Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 41
- Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 36
- Matt Rice — WKU — 35
- Kes Carter — WKU — 33
- Phil Wunderlich — UofL — 30
- J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — 30
- Cameron Flynn — Morehead St. — 30
- Matt Payton — WKU — 30
- J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — 43
- Jared Andreoli — WKU — 38
- Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 34
- Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 32
- Adam Duvall — UofL — 29
- Neiko Johnson — UK — 15/16
- Logan Robbins — WKU — 9/9
- J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — 9/11
- Drew Haynes — UofL — 9/14
- Kes Carter — WKU — 8/10
- Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 8/10
- Jared Andreoli — WKU — 8/10
- Chris Bisson — UK — 8/12
- J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .550
- Jayson Langfels — EKU — .495
- Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .491
- Anthony Ottrando — EKU — .485
- Chris Bisson — UK — .476
- Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .918
- Jayson Langfels — EKU — .826
- J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .802
- Phil Wunderlich — UofL — .766
- Bryan Propst — Murray St. — .720
- Stats: 10-18 (.556), 4 HR, 16 RBI, 7 R
- Honorable Mention: Zack Cox (Arkansas, PRP), Jared Andreoli (WKU), J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead), Jayson Langfels (EKU), Chris Bisson (UK), Wes Cunningham (Murray St.), Drew Haynes (UofL),
BluGrass Baseball Pitcher of Week: Matt Harris (EKU)
- Stats: 3 G, 1-0, 1 Save, 9.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO
- Honorable Mention: Thomas Royse (UofL), Shane Cameron (WKU), Matt Ridings (WKU), Taylor Rogers (UK), Matt McGaha (Murray St.), Greg Terry (EKU), Stephen Hefler (EKU)
BluGrass Baseball Freshman of Week: Tanner Perkins (WKU)
- Stats: 1-0, 6 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
- Honorable Mention: Taylor Rogers (UK), Kyle Grieshaber (UofL), Colton Moore (Murray State)
- Senior right fielder Daniel Hill was 2-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI to lead Murray State University to a 9-6 win over Austin Peay. Redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze earned the win after allowing five runs on eight hits in eight innings with four walks and nine strikeouts. (Box Score)
- Junior third baseman Jayson Langfels drove home two runs with a single in the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie and lead Eastern Kentucky University to a 7-6 victory over Eastern Illinois. Sophomore shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 3-5 with two runs scored in the game, and sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Harris earned his second win of the series in relief.
- Southeast Missouri pounded out 15 runs despite rainy weather to defeat Morehead State University 15-7 in the series finale Sunday. Sophomore catcher Taylor Davis was 2-5 with two home runs and five RBI. (Box Score)
Hitter of Day — Taylor Davis (Morehead)
- Stats: 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI
Pitcher of Day — Jake Donze (Murray St.)
- Stats: 1-0, 8 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 9 SO
Player of the Day — OF Cameron Flynn (Morehead St)
- Stats: 5-7, 3 HR, 4 R, 9 RBI
- Honorable Mention: Wes Cunningham (Murray St.), Jonathan Craycraft (Murray St.), J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead St.), Ryan Wright (UofL), Jared Andreoli (WKU), Kes Carter (WKU), Chris Bisson (UK)
Pitcher of the Day — RHP Shane Cameron (WKU)
- Stats: 1-0, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO
- Honorable Mention: Stephen Hefler (EKU), Taylor Rogers (UK), Matt Harris (EKU), Dean Kiekhefer (UofL)
The second part of the Saturday review looks at the three Ohio Valley Conference teams’ performance in their Saturday double-headers:
- Murray State University dropped both games of the Saturday double header to Austin Peay. In game one senior first baseman Wes Cunningham’s two home runs weren’t enough to propel the Breds to win in an 11-8 win. In game two Cunningham blasted another home run and four RBI, but Murray St. lost 14-8. (Box Score 1) (Box Score 2)
- Eastern Kentucky University swept a Saturday double header against Eastern Illinois. Ryan Faidley ended a marathon pitcher’s duel with a walk-off 12th inning RBI single to give EKU a 1-0 victory in game one. The Colonels bats broke out for six runs in game two for a 6-3 win. (Box Score 1) (Box Score 2)
- Morehead State University split its Saturday double-header and OVC opener against Southeast Missouri State. Despite three hits and four RBI from both senior outfielder J. D. Ashbrook and sophomore outfielder Cameron Flynn Morehead lost game one 10-23. Flynn added five more RBI in game two to lead the Eagles to a 12-11 win in game two.