BluGrass Baseball Wednesday Review: Conference Tourneys

College Baseball

While one of the Wednesday’s conference tournament games scheduled for Kentucky teams was postponed, the other two postseason eligible squads were in action. Read below for recaps and awards from those games:

  • No. 9 University of Louisville, the No. 1 seed in the Big East Conference tournament, came-from-behind to defeat eight-seed West Virginia 11-4 in the Cards’ opening game of the tournament. UofL trailed four to one entering the seventh inning, but scored four times in the seventh and six times in the eighth inning to blow the game open. Sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright was 2-5 with a home run, five RBI and two runs scored. Senior shortstop Adam Duvall and senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich also tallied two hits in the game. Sophomore right-handed reliever Tony Zych earned the win with one and one-third scoreless innings out of the Cards’ bullpen. (Box Score)
  • Eight-seed Western Kentucky University took the lead in extra innings, but one-seed Florida Atlantic launched a walk-off, three-run home run in the bottom of the 13th inning to hand the Hilltoppers a 9-8 loss in their opening game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins was 3-6 with a home run, four RBI and one run scored. Junior closer Rye Davis made his first start of the season and allowed five runs, two of which were earned, in four and one-third innings. Senior reliever Bart Carter took his first loss of the season. (Box Score)
  • The opening-round Ohio Valley Conference tournament game between Murray State University and Eastern Kentucky University was postponed untill 9 a.m. (CT) Thursday due to a power outage that prevented the lights from being turned on. The loser of today’s game will have to immediately turn around and face Southeast Missouri at 12:30 (CT).

Hitter of the day: 2B Ryan Wright (UofL)

  • Stats: 2-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, 1 2B
  • Honorable Mention: Logan Robbins (WKU), Jared Andreoli (WKU), Adam Duvall (UofL)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Thomas Royse (UofL)

  • Stats: ND, 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB 6 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Tony Zych (UofL), Neil Holland (UofL), Phil Wetherell (WKU)
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Conference tournament schedule: Day 1

College Baseball

In lieu of the normal mid-week schedule item, I’ll be posting daily schedules for the conference tournament action including Kentucky teams this week. Four schools will be battling for automatic bids to the NCAA tournament in the Big East Conference, Sun Belt Conference and Ohio Valley Conference. Day one is highlighted by a matchup between two Kentucky schools in EKU and Murray St. Teams’ tournament seeds are included in parentheses below:

  • 12:30 p.m. (CT): Western Kentucky University (8) vs. Florida Atlantic (1) — Sun Belt Tournament —Live Stats
  • 5 p.m. : University of Louisville (1) vs. West Virginia (8) — Big East Tournament — Live Stats
  • 8 p.m.: Eastern Kentucky University (6) vs. Murray State University (3) — OVC Tournament — RHP Anthony Bazzani (4-3, 5.71) vs. Chris Craycraft (6-4, 5.25) — Live Stats

Royse, Cunningham, Ridings receive conference awards; 29 Kentucky players named to all-conference teams

College Baseball

Tuesday saw the naming of all-conference teams across the country and the awarding of pitcher and player of the year honors. Kentucky collegiate players received their fair share of recognition, and I’ve listed those honors below:

  • University of Louisville (9) junior right-handed pitcher Thomas Royse was named the Big East Conference pitcher of the year.
  • Western Kentucky University senior right-handed pitcher Matt Ridings was named the Sun Belt Conference pitcher of the year.
  • Murray State University senior first baseman Wes Cunningham was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year.
  • First team All-Southeastern Conference: 3B Zack Cox (Arkansas, PRP)
  • Second team All-SEC: 2B Chris Bisson (University of Kentucky)
  • First team All-Big East: P Neil Holland (UofL), P Thomas Royse (UofL), 1B Andrew Clark (UofL), 2B Ryan Wright (UofL)
  • Second team All-Big East: C Jeff Arnold (UofL), 3B Phil Wunderlich (UofL), SS Adam Duvall (UofL), OF Stewart Ijames (UofL)
  • First team All-Big Ten Conference: SS Jonathan Roof (Michigan St., Paducah)
  • First team All-Sun Belt: RHP Matt Ridings (WKU), RP Rye Davis (WKU), C Matt Rice (WKU), OF Kes Carter (WKU)
  • Second team All-Sun Belt: 2B Matt Payton (WKU)
  • First team All-OVC: 1B Wes Cunningham (Murray St.), SS Drew Lee (Morehead State University), 3B Jayson Langfels (Eastern Kentucky University), OF J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead St.).
  • Second team All-OVC: 1B Anthony Ottrando (EKU), UT Michael Bottoms (Morehead St.), SP Chris Craycraft (Murray St.), RP Matt McGaha (Murray St.)
  • Freshman All-OVC: RHP Anthony Bazzani (EKU), OF Austin Grisham (EKU), SS Brandon Elliott (Murray St.), 3B/DH Colton Moore (Murray St.)
  • Honorable Mention All-Missouri Valley Conference: SP Patrick Cooper (Bradley, Danville)

BluGrass Baseball Pitching Leaderboard: May 25

College Baseball

Check out the final regular season pitching leaderboard below. As with the offensive categories, stats will continue to update for postseason teams, but this represents the final update for Morehead St. and likely UK. To qualify for the ERA and batting average against, pitchers must have a minimum of 1.0 IP per team game, which makes Murray St. left-handed pitcher Matt McGaha the only eligible full-time reliever. Stats are current through Sunday. The college leaderboard is now permanently accessible on its own page on the left sidebar here.

ERA

  • Thomas Royse — UofL — 2.71
  • Matt Ridings — WKU — 3.01
  • Matt McGaha — Murray St. — 3.36
  • Dean Kiekhefer — UofL — 4.28
  • Shane Cameron — WKU — 4.89

Wins

  • Matt Ridings — WKU — 9-1
  • Thomas Royse — UofL — 9-1
  • Neil Holland — UofL — 7-0
  • Derek Self — UofL — 7-0
  • Josh Schneider — Morehead St. — 7-5

Strikeouts

  • Matt Ridings — WKU — 90
  • Thomas Royse — UofL — 88
  • Shane Cameron — WKU — 74
  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — 64
  • Chris Craycraft — Murray St. — 64

Innings Pitched

  • Thomas Royse — UofL — 93.0
  • Matt Ridings — WKU —92.2
  • Chris Craycraft — Murray St. — 85.2
  • Taylor Rogers — UK — 83.0
  • Shane Cameron — WKU — 81.0

Saves

  • Neil Holland — UofL — 15
  • Ryne Purcell — EKU — 11
  • Rye Davis — WKU — 9
  • Matt Little — UK — 7
  • Dan Huff — Murray St. — 4

Batting Average Against

  • Matt Ridings — WKU — .218
  • Thomas Royse — UofL — .249
  • Dean Kiekhefer — UofL — .258
  • Matt McGaha — Murray St. — .272
  • Shane Cameron — WKU — .275

Appearances

  • Rye Davis — WKU — 32
  • Matt Harris — EKU — 28
  • Ryne Purcell — EKU — 28
  • Neil Holland — UofL — 25
  • Gabriel Shaw — UofL — 25
  • Matt McGaha — Murray St. — 25

BluGrass Baseball Postseason All-State Team

College Baseball

Matt Rice bats for WKU: BluGrass Baseball photo

Now that the collegiate regular season is officially over it’s time to name the BluGrass Baseball postseason All-State team. You can see the preseason and mid-season teams on the All-State team page here. I had to do a little maneuvering to fill out the team, for instance both the first and second team include a pitcher who didn’t start on the weekend in the final SP slot. Matt McGaha qualified for the ERA title, so I had no problem including him despite only pitching in relief, but Brian Edelen was the best of a lackluster group of candidates for the third SP spot on the second team. He made 11 starts on the season. UK utility man Gunner Glad spent most of his time at first base, but his outfield time gives him the nod for the final second-team outfield position. Check back tomorrow for the player, pitcher and freshman of the year awards.

Stats are listed as batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage for batters.

First Team

  • C — Matt Rice — Western Kentucky University — .373/.446/.579, 10 HR, 63 RBI, 49 R
  • 1B — Wes Cunningham — Murray State University — .415/.484/.835, 20 HR, 77 RBI, 69 R
  • 2B — Ryan Wright — University of Louisville — .361/.412/.635, 14 HR, 66 RBI, 52 R
  • 3B — Zack Cox — Arkansas — .432/.514/.607, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 60 R
  • SS — Drew Lee — Morehead State University — .412/.485/.765, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 60 R, 13 SB
  • OF — J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .432/.540/.795, 18 HR, 55 RBI, 69 R, 14 SB
  • OF — Stewart Ijames — UofL — .344/.426/.590, 12 HR, 57 RBI, 40 R
  • OF — Kes Carter — WKU — .343/.418/.492, 7 HR, 53 RBI, 38 R, 13 SB
  • DH — Jayson Langfels — Eastern Kentucky University — .373/.483/.736, 16 HR, 50 RBI, 53 R
  • SP — Thomas Royse — UofL — 9-1, 2.71 ERA, 88 SO/25 BB, 93 IP, .249 BA against
  • SP — Matt Ridings — WKU — 9-1, 3.01 ERA, 90 SO/17 BB, 92.2 IP, .218 BA against
  • P — Matt McGaha — Murray St. — 5-1, 3.36 ERA, 50 SO/11 BB, 61.2 IP, .272 BA against
  • RP — Neil Holland — UofL — 7-0, 15 saves, 2.08 ERA, 48 SO/14 BB, 47.2 IP, .158 BA against

Second Team

  • C — Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — .350/.412/.596, 11 HR, 57 RBI, 40 R
  • 1B — Andrew Clark — UofL — .385/.488/.708, 12 HR, 56 RBI, 45 R
  • 2B — Matt Payton — WKU — .363/.436/.597, 7 HR, 55 RBI, 62 R
  • 3B — Phil Wunderlich — UofL — .356/.440/.707, 19 HR, 55 RBI, 49 R
  • SS — Adam Duvall — UofL — .346/.408/.620, 12 HR, 45 RBI, 63 R
  • OF — Bryan Propst — Murray St. — .339/.403/.645, 13 HR, 45 RBI, 51 R
  • OF — Jared Andreoli — WKU — .338/.410/.481, 5 HR, 48 RBI, 60 R, 14 SB
  • OF — Gunner Glad — University of Kentucky — .336/.423/.565, 12 HR, 45 RBI, 49 R
  • DH — Anthony Ottrando — EKU — .353/.459/.721, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 47 R
  • SP — Shane Cameron — WKU — 4-2, 4.89 ERA, 74 SO/23 BB, 81 IP, .275 BA against
  • SP — Dean Kiekhefer — UofL — 3-3, 4.28 ERA, 38 SO/18 BB, 61 IP, .258 BA against
  • P — Brian Edelen — WKU — 4-1, 3.58 ERA, 28 SO/28 BB, 50.1 IP, .272 BA against
  • RP — Rye Davis — WKU — 3-4, 9 saves, 2.58 ERA, 60 SO/19 BB, 45.1 IP, .234 BA against

BluGrass Baseball Hitting Leaderboard: May 25

College Baseball

Check out the final regular season hitting BluGrass Baseball leaderboard updated through Sunday’s games. Stats will continue to update through postseason play for UofL, WKU, Murray St. and EKU, but the season is over for Morehead St. and, barring a miracle NCAA bid, UK. 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. The college leaderboard is now permanently accessible on its own page on the left sidebar here.

Batting Average

  • Zack Cox — Arkansas (PRP) — .432
  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .432
  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .415
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — .412
  • Andrew Clark — UofL — .385

Home Runs

  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 20
  • Phil Wunderlich — UofL — 19
  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — 18
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 17
  • Anthony Ottrando — EKU — 17

RBI

  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 77
  • Anthony Ottrando — EKU — 67
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 66
  • Ryan Wright — UofL — 66
  • Matt Rice — WKU — 63

Runs

  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — 69
  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 69
  • Adam Duvall — UofL — 63
  • Matt Payton — WKU — 62
  • Jayson Langfels — EKU — 61

Stolen Bases

  • Chris Bisson — UK — 32/39
  • Neiko Johnson — UK — 24/25
  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — 19/26
  • Logan Robbins — WKU — 17/19
  • Jonathan Roof — Michigan St. (St. Mary’s) — 16/22

On-Base Percentage

  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .540
  • Zack  Cox — Arkansas (PRP) — .514
  • Andrew Clark — UofL — .488
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — .485
  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .484

Slugging Percentage

  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .835
  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .795
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — .765
  • Jayson Langfels — EKU — .736
  • Anthony Ottrando — EKU — .721

LeCure, Revere, Adcock, Hinze named MiLB players of week

Minor League Baseball

Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The most recent slate of Minor League players of the week has been released and several players with Kentucky ties have been honored with the best performances in their respective leagues. I’ve listed those players below along with their stats for the week:

  • RHP Sam LeCure — Louisville Bats — AAA International League — 2-0, 16 IP, 0 R, 9 H, 3 BB, 13 SO
  • OF Ben Revere — Lexington, Ky. — AA Eastern League — 14-26 (.538), 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 2Bs, 5 SB
  • RHP Nathan Adcock — Elizabethtown, Ky. — High A Florida State League — 1-0, 2 GS, 12 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 SO
  • 1B Kody Hinze — Lexington Legends — South Atlantic League — 9-25 (.360), 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 4 2Bs,

BluGrass Baseball Week 14 Awards

College Baseball

Awards from the final regular season week of the Kentucky college baseball season:

Player of the week: SS Adam Duvall (UofL)

  • Stats: 7-18 (.389), 2 HR, 4 R, 7 RBI, 3 2Bs, 1 3B, 1 SB
  • Honorable Mention: Brian Adams (UK), Logan Robbins (WKU), Ryan Huck (WKU), Bryan Propst (Murray St.), Joey Stevens (EKU), J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the week: RHP Justin Amlung (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Thomas Royse (UofL), Joe Devine (UK), Shane Cameron (WKU), Matt Ridings (WKU), Matt McGaha (Murray St.), Paul Duncan (EKU), Eric Sanders (EKU), Michael Bottoms (Morehead St.)

Freshman of the week: OF Brian Adams (UK)

  • Stats: 8-14 (.571), 1 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 3 R, 6 RBI
  • Honorable Mention: Justin Amlung (UofL), Cade Stallings (UofL), Ryan Huck (WKU), Taylor Haydel (WKU), Anthony Bazzani (EKU)

BluGrass Baseball Saturday Review: Week 14

College Baseball

Recaps and awards from the final Kentucky college regular season slate of baseball:

  • For the full recap of No. 11 University of Louisville‘s Big East regular season championship-clinching double-header sweep of Notre Dame click here.
  • The University of Kentucky avoided a series-sweep to last-place Georgia, but likely ended its season with a 14-11 victory Sunday. Redshirt Senior first baseman Gunner Glad launched a three-run, ninth inning home run in what was likely his last collegiate at-bat to give UK the win. Freshman outfielder Brian Adams finished the season on a hot streak with a 4-5 performance with his first collegiate home run, six RBI and three runs scored in the finale. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Nick Kennedy earned the win after allowing one run in two innings. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University gained some much-needed momentum heading into the Sun Belt Conference tournament with a 15-5 win over Middle Tennessee Saturday. The win gave WKU its first series since April 25. The game was called after six and one-half innings due to the 10-run rule for the final game of a Sun Belt series. Freshman designated hitter Ryan Huck was 2-3 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Redshirt sophomore right-handed reliever Ross Hammonds earned the victory with three scoreless innings. WKU will face top-seeded Florida Atlantic in game one of the Sun Belt tournament Wednesday. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University ended its season on a sour note with an 11-1 blowout loss to Tennessee Tech. The Breds will enter the OVC tournament as the three seed and will face EKU in game one Wednesday. Murray St. tallied just three hits in the game, and senior right-handed pitcher Alex Love surrendered six runs in three innings to take the loss. (Box Score)
  • Junior Jayson Langfels launched two home runs to send Eastern Kentucky University to a 8-7 win on senior night and a series sweep of SIU Edwardsville. Langfels was 2-5 with two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored. Junior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler earned the victory after allowing five runs in seven innings. EKU will enter the OVC tournament as the six seed and faces Murray St. in game one Wednesday. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University ended its season with a 21-10 loss to Jacksonville State on senior night. The loss was the final collegiate game for seniors Drew LeeJ.D. AshbrookMichael BottomsMichael FahsQuentin Morgan and Hunter Hewitt. Ashbrook ended his collegiate career with a 4-6 performance with two RBI and one run scored. Sophomore third baseman Andrew Deeds was 3-5 with a home run, six RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: LF Brian Adams (UK)

  • Stats: 4-5, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 1 3B
  • Honorable Mention: Adam Duvall (UofL), Ryan Huck (WKU), Jayson Langfels (EKU), J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead St.), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Justin Amlung (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Koch (UofL), Ross Hamonds (WKU), Stephen Hefler (EKU)

UofL clinches second consecutive Big East title

College Baseball

No. 11 University of Louisville clinched its second consecutive Big East Conference championship with a double-header sweep of Notre Dame Saturday. The Cards took defeated the Fighting Irish 13-3 in game two to secure the regular season championship after a 4-3 win in game one.

“One of our biggest goals for this season was to win the BIG EAST regular season title and we were able to do that,” Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, who is now 181-73 in his fourth season with two BIG EAST regular season titles and two BIG EAST Tournament titles, said in a news release. “We have so much respect for this league, as well as the coaches and players in it. Anytime you can win the regular season title, that is a huge accomplishment and I’m very proud of these guys because it’s never easy. Now, we’ll turn our focus to the post-season, and hopefully, even more great things for this program.”

Senior shortstop Adam Duvall was 5-9 on the afternoon with two home runs, three runs scored and six RBI. Freshman designated hitter Cade Stallings had his best performance of the season with a 3-3 performance in game two. Sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright also homored in game one. Redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung earned the championship-clinching victory with six shutout innings in game two. Junior right-handed reliever Gabriel Shaw earned the game-one win. (Box Score GM1) (Box Score GM 2)