In the fifth “Opening Weekend Review” post we’ll look at Eastern Kentucky University, which finished 0-3 on the weekend:
- Hefler gem wasted: The Colonels wasted a one-hit gem from senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler on Sunday in a 3-1 loss to Pepperdine. Hefler surrendered one unearned run on one hit in six innings while striking out five and walking one. The Colonels’ offense did not score a run until the top of the eighth inning, but the EKU bullpen immediately gave back the lead with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Hefler’s performance was the only positive for a pitching staff that surrendered nine runs in each of the first two games of the series.
- Rodriguez excels in first three games: EKU junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 9-13 (.692) with two doubles, one triple, two RBI and two runs scored in three games. Rodriguez also stole two bases in two attempts. The shortstop was a rare offensive bright spot for the Colonels as just one other player batted over .300 in the three games.
- Freshmen hitters impressive in debut: EKU freshmen third baseman Bryan Soloman and catcher Sean Hagen both made impressive debuts for the Colonels in their first collegiate action. Soloman was 5-14 (.357) with two doubles, one RBI and one run scored in three games. Hagen was 4-14 (.286) with one RBI and three runs scored in three games. The debut was not as good for freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath, who surrendered three runs in four innings in his Friday start.