In the fourth “Opening Weekend Review” post we’ll look at Murray State University:
- Newcomer starting pitchers struggle early: In each of its first two games in 2011 Murray St. turned to a junior-college transfer for the start. In both games those pitchers struggled mightily early, paving the way for blowout losses. In game one junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers surrendered two runs in the first inning and two more in the third before being removed from the game. The Breds lost that contest 15-11. In game two junior left-handed pitcher Luke Shuemaker surrendered five runs in the first inning before settling down for four more innings of work, but the early hole proved to much for the Breds in a 15-5 loss. The two pitchers surrendered a combined 15 hits in seven innings to go with five walks and eight strikeouts.
- Elliott avoids sophomore slump: In a rare bright spot for the Breds sophomore shortstop Brandon Elliott was 4-8 with a double, one RBI and two runs scored in two games. Elliott sat out Sunday’s finale, but he had no trouble following through on his 2010 success as a freshman. Last season Elliott batted .347 with one home run, 25 RBI and 41 runs scored in 45 games.
- Defense comes up short for Breds: The Murray St. defense was not up to par in the Breds’ opening weekend. Murray St. fielders committed 10 errors in three games, contributing to seven unearned runs. Those errors were particularly hurtful in game three, when four miscues paved the way for five unearned runs in a 7-6 loss. Senior right-handed pitcher Jake Donze was the victim of three of those unearned runs, but took a no decision after surrendering four total runs in five and one-third innings in his Sunday start. Four different Murray St. fielders committed multiple errors on the weekend.