Offseason position battle: WKU second baseman

College Baseball

In the latest position battle series post we will look at Western Kentucky University‘s vacant second base position:

The departed: Senior infielder Matt Payton began 2010 as the Hilltoppers primary second baseman and closed out the season at the same position afer briefly moving to shortstop during the middle of the season. Payton was second among WKU batters with a .354 batting average. He led the team with 63 runs scored, 10 triples and a .586 slugging percentage. Payton was the 27th round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies following his senior season.

The returning candidates: Rising junior Logan Robbins started six games at second base for WKU in 2010, but spent the majority of the season as the team’s starting shortstop. Rising sophomore Blake Crabtree played all over the diamond for the Hilltoppers in 2010, including 12 starts at second base. Crabtree started the final seven games of the 2010 season at third base.

Newcomers to watch: Junior-college transfer Ivan Hartle was named the Easton NJCAA Division I Baseball Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 while playing mostly second base for Iowa Western Community College. Head coach Chris Finwood noted freshmen infielders Scott Wilcox and Jordan Cessna as newcomers who had stood out during fall practice.

Wildcard: Rising sophomore Andrew Zimmerman appeared in just three games as a freshman for the Hilltoppers with all three appearances coming on the mound, but the right-handed pitcher was a standout infielder for Riverview High School in Florida. Zimmerman batted .404 with three home runs and 20 RBI as a senior in 2009.

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