The race for postseason positioning ratchets up this weekend as each Kentucky team faces important conference matchups. Of particular note: UK faces a must-win series against Tennessee in the race for the eighth and final spot in the Southeastern Conference tournament, and Murray St. squares off with Ohio Valley Conference leader Southeast Missouri.
Mike Fields of the Herald-Leaderprofiles Trinity High School ace and UK signee Corey Littrell.
UK alum Joe Blanton says he’s ready to return to the Phillies after his rehab assignment.
In his latest start Louisville Bats ace and top Reds prospect Aroldis Chapman surrendered three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits in six innings. He struck out 4 and walked two in the Bats’ 5-4 loss to Scranton. (Box Score)
No. 12 University of Louisville withstood a late University of Kentucky rally and scored four runs of its own in the bottom of the ninth to record a 10-9 walkoff win over the Cats. The Cards jumped out to a 5-3 lead after six innings and led 6-4 entering the ninth inning, but closer Neil Holland suffered a rare blown save after giving up five runs in the ninth. The Cats couldn’t hold the lead as freshman Zak Wasserman singled home sophomore Ryan Wright in the bottom of the ninth to cap the UofL rally.
Senior first baseman Phil Wunderlich was 4-4 with a home run, two runs scored and one RBI. Senior catcher Jeff Arnold and Wright both tallied three hits in the game for the Cards. Wright drove in two runs and scored twice. Holland recorded his seventh win of the season despite surrendering five runs in just one inning of work.
UK junior second baseman Chris Bisson was 2-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored, and the first four hitters in UK’s lineup were 9-20 in the game. Junior closer Matt Little took the loss after allowing four runs in one-third of an inning. Freshman right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper held the Cards scoreless over the first three frames. (Box Score)
BluGrass Baseball POG: 3B Phil Wunderlich (UofL) — In a game that seemed at times like no one wanted to win, Wunderlich’s performance stood above the rest. The senior third baseman was 4-4 with a home run, one RBI and two runs scored. His ninth-inning single moved the eventual winning run into scoring position and all but put the Cats away with just one out in the inning.
Murray State University gave No. 14 Mississippi everything it could handle, but the Rebels defeated the Breds 11-10 in 10 innings. Senior first baseman Wes Cunningham homered and drove in four runs, and senior right fielder Daniel Hill tallied three hits in the game. Redshirt freshman reliever Will Handlin took the loss after surrendering a walkoff home run in the 10th. (Box Score)
Freshman right-handed pitcher Cody Gibson picked up his first career victory in Morehead State University‘s 3-2 win over Marshall. Gibson surrendered just two hits and one walk in four and two-third innings. Sophomore third baseman Andrew Deeds was 3-3 with two runs scored, and senior designated hitter Michael Bottoms scored the Eagles other run. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: 3B Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)
Stats: 3-3, 2 R
Honorable Mention: Wes Cunningham (Murray St.), Bryan Propst (Murray St.), Daniel Hill (Murray St.)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Cody Gibson (Morehead St.)
Stats: 1-0, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO
Honorable Mention: Ben Lady (Murray St.), Jeff Arnold (Morehead St.)
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 just makes Murray St. reliever Matt McGaha eligible, but excludes new UofL weekend starting pitcher Gabriel Shaw and Cards closer Neil Holland. Stats are current through Sunday. The college leaderboard is now permanently accessible on its own page on the left sidebar here.
The midweek schedule lost two teams Monday when Western Kentucky University canceled its in-state rivalry game with Eastern Kentucky University. While the Hilltoppers and Colonels won’t be squaring off this week, there is one other in-state matchup, and one of the OVC squads will visit a top-15 foe.
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, which means UofL senior first baseman Andrew Clark is still not eligible in those categories after missing three weeks due to injury. The college leaderboard is now permanently accessible on its own page on the left sidebar here.
After Saturday’s rain-shortened schedule the Sunday slate of Kentucky baseball was jam packed with five of six teams playing in doubleheaders. Check out recaps and awards from those games below:
No. 13 University of Louisville dropped its series finale 8-6 to Seton Hall. Senior shortstop Adam Duvall, redshirt sophomore right fielder Stewart Ijames and freshmen third basemen Kyle Grieshaber and Cade Stallings each homered in the game for the Cards. Duvall led UofL with three hits. Junior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw suffered his first loss of the season after allowing four runs in four innings. (Box Score)
Western Kentucky University swept a doubleheader from Florida International with a walk-off 8-4 win in game one and an 8-4 win in game two. Sophomore center fielder Kes Carter was 6-9 with three runs scored and one RBI. Junior outfielder Monte Ketchum gave WKU the win in game one with a pinch-hit, walkoff grand slam. Relievers Rye Davis and Bart Carter were credit with the two wins. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
The University of Kentucky rallied for an 8-7 win in game one of a double-header with Auburn, but dropped game two 6-5 to lose a pivotal conference series. Senior first baseman Gunner Glad was 4-7 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBI. Junior right fielder Lance Ray homered in game two. Junior right-handed reliever Matt Little picked up the win in game one after allowing two unearned runs in four innings. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Morehead State University‘s recent offensive outburst was slowed Sunday as the Eagles were swept in a doubleheader by Tennessee Tech with a 5-3 loss in game one and a 12-4 defeat in game two. Sophomore outfielder Cameron Flynn homered and drove in three runs in game one. Senior right-handed pitcher Michael Bottoms and junior right-handed pitcher Matthew Robertson were handed the two losses. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Eastern Kentucky University swept its Sunday doubleheader against UT Martin with a 7-3 win in game one and a 7-4 victory in game two. Senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando drove in four in the doubleheader, and freshman designated hitter Austin Grisham tallied three hits in game one. Junior left-handed pitcher Paul Duncan allowed three runs in six innings for the game one win, and sophomore left-handed pitcher Greg Terry was credited with the game two win. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Murray State University was swept in its Sunday doubleheader by Eastern Illinois after a 8-6 loss in game one and a 7-4 defeat in game two. Senior first baseman Wes Cunningham and freshman shortstop Brandon Elliott each tallied four hits on the afternoon. Senior right-handed pitcher Chris Craycraft and redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze were credited with the two losses. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Hitter of the Day: OF Jared Andreoli (WKU)
Stats: 5-10, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI
Honorable Mention: Kes Carter (WKU), Kyle Grieshaber (UofL), Adam Duvall (UofL), Keenan Wiley (UK), Gunner Glad (UK), Taylor Davis (Morehead), Anthony Ottrando (EKU), Wes Cunningham (Murray St.)
Pitcher of the Day: LHP Paul Duncan (EKU)
Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO
Matt Little (UK), Brian Edelen (WKU), Shane Cameron (WKU), Tony Zych (UofL), Anthony Bazzani (EKU)
Saturday was a raining day on the diamond for Kentucky teams. UK, WKU, Morehead State and Murray State were all rained out, and EKU lost one game of its doubleheader to weather. The Colonels and Cards did manage to get in one game each, so check out recaps and awards from those contests below:
Freshman right-handed reliever Matt Koch earned his first career victory with three scoreless innings of relief in No. 13 University of Louisville‘s 3-1 victory over Seton Hall. Junior right-handed closer Neil Holland recorded his tenth save of the season after recording the last five outs of the game. Senior shortstop Adam Duvall was 2-3 with a run scored, and senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich and redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames both homered. (Box Score)
Eastern Kentucky University wasted a 7-1 lead in an 18-9 loss to UT Martin. Junior third baseman Jayson Langfels was 3-5 with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored. Senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando tallied three hits and two RBI. Freshman right-handed reliever Chris Barte was the only Colonel pitcher to hold UT Martin scoreless in his appearance. Barte recorded the final two outs of the game. (Box Score)
Hitter of the Day: 3B Jayson Langfels (EKU)
Stats: 3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R
Honorable Mention: Adam Duvall (UofL), Anthony Ottrando (EKU), Joey Stevens (EKU), Phil Wunderlich (UofL), Stewart Ijames (UofL)
Pitcher of the Day: RHP Matt Koch (UofL)
Stats: 1-0, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO
Honorable Mention: Neil Holland (UofL), Dean Kiekhefer (UofL)