I’m proud to announce BluGrass Baseball is joining a new central Kentucky-focused news website called KyForward, which launched yesterday. I will be working full-time for KyForward as the website’s sports editor and will be bringing BluGrass Baseball with me. What does this mean for BluGrass Baseball readers? Your favorite BluGrass Baseball features, including the “Ky in the Minors” and “Ky in the Majors” databases, are moving to KyForward as well. I will still post daily baseball updates on the KyForward “Our Sports” page. That page will have a special category for BluGrass Baseball content, which can be accessed here. The BluGrass Baseball archive of posts published before May 1, 2011, will remain at http://www.bluegrassbaseball.wordpress.com. The BluGrass Baseball Twitter page will remain the place for up-to-the-minute breaking baseball news, but I encourage you to also follow my KyForward Twitter account, @jonkyforward, for other sports updates.
When I launched BluGrass Baseball almost two years ago, my goal was to fill a gaping hole in the media coverage of Kentucky baseball. It is that motivation that attracted me to KyForward, which hopes to fill the gaps in media coverage of all issues in central Kentucky. By moving to KyForward I will be able to devote my full effort to sports coverage. That means, in addition to the features you have become accustomed to from Bluegrass Baseball, I will be publishing in-depth stories about your favorite Kentucky baseball players and teams, including this one about Mount Sterling native Drew Lee. Baseball is not the only sport I will cover for KyForward, but you can expect to see the same level of baseball coverage there that BluGrass Baseball has made a name for.
I encourage you to become not just a regular reader of the KyForward sports coverage, but also the website’s coverage of all things Lexington and Central Kentucky. We boast an extremely talented staff that will cover the region in a way that has been lacking in the past. The KyForward team is committed to being your number one cyberspace stop for local news and information, interesting – even offbeat – stories well told, and overt “community-building.” You can see the early examples of the work you can come to expect from the website at http://www.KyForward.com. Beginning later this week, BluGrassBaseball.com will automatically re-direct you to the BluGrass Baseball posts on KyForward.
In the second weekly leaderboard post we’ll look at the top pitching statistics through 10 weeks of the college baseball season. To be eligible for the ERA and batting average against categories, pitchers must have at least one inning per team game. Eligible players attend a Kentucky college or graduated from a Kentucky high school. Stats are current through Sunday’s games.
Honorable Mention: Kes Carter (WKU), Jared Andreoli (WKU), Adam Engel (UofL), Thomas McCarthy (UK), Dustin Dunlop (EKU), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.)
Pitcher of the week: RHP Alex Meyer (UK)
Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO
Honorable Mention: Justin Hageman (WKU), Brian Edelen (WKU), Justin Amlung (UofL), Derek Self (UofL), Chad Green (UofL), Travis Tingle (UofL), Jordan Cooper (UK), Stephen Hefler (EKU), Greg Terry (EKU), Bryan Babin (Murray St.), Matthew Robertson (Morehead St.)
Freshman of the week: RHP Justin Hageman (WKU)
Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
Honorable Mention: Jordan Cessna (WKU), Adam Engel (UofL), Chad Green (UofL), Bryan Soloman (EKU), Tyler Saltsman (Murray St.), Bud Morton (Morehead St.)
Recaps and highlights from Sunday Kentucky MiLB action:
Western Kentucky University held off a late rally from Florida Atlantic to preserve a 5-4 win and clinch the series victory. Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Brian Edelen earned the win after surrendering two runs on four hits in five innings of relief while striking out seven batters and walking none. Freshman first baseman Jordan Cessna was 2-3 with one walk and two runs scored in a rare start, and junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
The University of Kentucky bullpen fell apart again, surrendering three runs with two outs in the ninth inning in a 6-3 loss to Vanderbilt. The loss officially eliminated UK from Southeastern Conference tournament contention. Junior left-handed pitcher Alex Phillips took the loss after surrendering two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper surrendered three runs on five hits in six innings while striking out five batters and walking six in his return to the weekend rotation. Junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy was 3-4 with one RBI and one run scored, and junior catcher Michael Williams slugged his sixth home run of the season. (Box Score)
Eastern Kentucky University finished a three-game sweep of Murray State University with a 5-1 win Sunday. Junior left-handed pitcher Greg Terry earned the win after surrendering one run on four hits in five and two-third innings while striking out two batters and walking one. Junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 3-5 with one run scored, and sophomore center fielder Austin Grisham slugged his second home run of the season. Junior right-handed pitcher Matt Fyffe earned his first save with three and one-third scoreless innings of relief. No Murray St. batter recorded multiple hits in the game. Junior left-handed pitcher Luke Shuemaker took the loss after surrendering four runs in three innings. (Box Score)
UT Martin scored four runs after the sixth inning to send Morehead State University to a 9-8 loss. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Matt Cartwright took the loss after surrendering one run without recording an out. Junior center fielder Andrew Deeds was 3-4 with one double, one triple, three RBI and one run scored while setting the school single-season and career triples records. Junior catcher Taylor Davis was 2-5 with two runs scored, and junior catcher Eric Bainer was 2-5 with one RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: CF Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)
Stats: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
Honorable Mention: Jordan Cessna (WKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU), Thomas McCarthy (UK), Michael Williams (UK), Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Austin Grisham (EKU), Ty Stetson (Murray St.), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Brian Edelen (WKU)
Stats: 1-0, 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO
Honorable Mention: Jordan Cooper (UK), Greg Terry (EKU), Matt Fyffe (EKU), Tyler Saltsman (Murray St.)
Recaps and highlights from Saturday Kentucky college baseball action:
Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman posted a complete game to lead Western Kentucky University to a 6-2 win over Florida Atlantic. Hageman improved to 8-4 on the season after surrendering two runs on nine hits in nine innings while striking out four batters and walking one. Junior left fielder Jared Andreoli was 4-5 with two runs scored and one stolen base. Junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 2-5 with one triple, one RBI and one run scored, and junior shortstop Logan Robbins was 2-4 with two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
Vanderbilt scored six runs in the first inning to put the game out of reach early and send the University of Kentucky to a 10-3 loss. Freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell took the loss after surrendering seven runs on nine hits in five innings while striking out three batters and walking three. Junior left fielder Chad Wright was 3-5 with two RBI and one run scored. UK loaded the bases on three walks in the ninth inning and plated two runs before senior shortstop Taylor Black flew out to center field to end the game. (Box Score)
The University of Louisville finally scored in its series versus Seton Hall but still could not avoid the series sweep after a 4-3 loss in game three. Freshman right-handed pitcher Cole Sturgeon took the loss after surrendering three runs on three hits in two innings. Senior catcher J. J. Ethel was 3-4 with one RBI, and junior shortstop Ryan Wright was 2-5 with one triple, one home run, two RBI and one run scored. Junior right-handed pitcher Travis Tingle pitched five scoreless innings in a start. (Box Score)
You can read the BluGrass Baseball recap of the doubleheader split between Eastern Kentucky University and Murray State Universityhere.
Despite trailing 8-1 after three innings, Morehead State University rallied for a 10-9 win in game one of a doubleheader versus UT Martin. Junior right-handed pitcher Matthew Robertson earned the win after surrendering two runs on four hits in five innings of relief while striking out four batters and walking one. Junior catcher Taylor Davis was 3-4 with one home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Freshman third baseman Bud Morton was 2-4 with his first home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Josh Schneider pitched two scoreless innings for his first save. (Box Score)
In game two of its double-header Morehead St. suffered a 7-6 loss after UT Martin scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to end the game, which was scheduled to last seven innings. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Schneider took the loss after surrendering two runs on four hits in two innings while striking out three batters and walking none. Junior center fielder Andrew Deeds was 3-5 with two doubles, three RBI and one run scored, and junior right fielder Luke Bainer was 2-3 with one solo home run. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: C Taylor Davis (Morehead St.)
Stats: 4-8, 1 HR, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB
Honorable Mention: Jared Andreoli (WKU), Logan Robbins (WKU), Ryan Wright (UofL), J. J. Ethel (UofL), Chad Wright (UofL), Dustin Dunlop (EKU), A. J. Jamison (EKU), Cody Larson (Murray St.), Bud Morton (Morehead St.), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.), Luke Bainer (Morehead St.)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Justin Hageman (WKU)
Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
Honorable Mention: Travis Tingle (UofL), Braden Kapteyn (UK), Stephen Hefler (EKU), Tyler Beers (Murray St.), Matthew Robertson (Morehead St.)
Eastern Kentucky University swept a doubleheader from Murray State University Saturday with a 5-3 win in game one and a 9-4 win in game two. EKU senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler earned the win in game one after surrendering three runs on five hits in nine innings while striking out three batters and walking three. No EKU batter tallied multiple hits in the game, but junior left fielder Jacob Daniel and junior infielder Dustin Dunlop each homered. Murray St. junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers took the loss after surrendering five runs on six hits in eight innings.
In game two, EKU sophomore right-handed pitcher Alex Rexroat earned his first win after recording the final out of the sixth inning. The Colonels scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to rally for the 9-4 win. EKU junior first baseman A. J. Jamison was 3-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. EKU junior right fielder Michael Garcia was 2-4 with one RBI and one run scored, and Dunlop was 2-3 with one walk, one RBI and one run scored. Murray St. senior right-handed pitcher Jake Donze took the loss after surrendering eight runs on eight hits in five and two-third innings.
In game one, Murray St. junior first baseman Cody Larson 2-2 with one walk and one run scored, and junior second baseman Travis Isaak slugged a home run. In game two, Murray St. junior catcher Jacob Rhodes was 2-3 with one run scored, and sophomore third baseman Paul Ritzheimer was 2-3 with one walk, one RBI and one run scored. (Box Score, GM 1) (Box Score, Gm 2)
Recaps and highlights from Tuesday Kentucky college baseball action:
University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer out dueled fellow first-round draft pick Sonny Gray to lead the Cats to a 2-0 win over No. 4 Vanderbilt. Meyer posted a complete-game shutout, surrendering five hits and striking out five batters while walking one. Junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy put UK on the board with a solo home run to lead off the second inning. The Cats added an insurance run in the seventh inning while junior designated hitter Braden Kapteyn singled to lead off the inning then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from McCarthy, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch. (Box Score)
Western Kentucky University suffered a serious setback in its push for a Sun Belt Conference championship with a 4-2 loss to Florida Atlantic in game one of a three-game series. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins took the loss after surrendering four runs on nine hits in six and one-third innings while striking out four batters and walking two. Senior third baseman Casey Dykes was 3-4 with one run scored. No other WKU batter tallied multiple hits in the game. (Box Score)
The University of Louisville offense extended its scoreless innings streak to 33 in a 1-0 loss to Seton Hall. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung suffered his first loss of the season after surrendering one run on four hits in eight and two-third innings while striking out three batters and walking four. The UofL offense tallied just two hits in the game. Seton Hall put two runners on base with two outs in the ninth inning against Amlung before UofL head coach Dan McDonnell brought closer Tony Zych in the game. Zych allowed the runners to advance on a wild pitch before giving up the game-winning single. (Box Score)
Series of the week: Western Kentucky University vs. Florida Atlantic
Western Kentucky University (27-18, 12-9) welcomes Florida Atlantic to Bowling Green this weekend. The Hilltoppers sit in fifth place in the conference but are just three games out of first place. Florida Atlantic and two other teams are tied in second place, one game ahead of WKU. WKU has lost five of its last seven games but still has a chance to play its way into a NCAA tournament at-large bid. The marquee mound matchup of the series will likely come on Saturday when WKU freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman (7-4, 3.42 ERA) takes on Florida Atlantic junior right-handed pitcher Paul Davis (8-1, 2.72 ERA).
Player to watch: RHP Alex Meyer (UK)
The best pitching matchup in the nation this weekend will likely be in Lexington Friday night when University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitch Alex Meyer takes on Vanderbilt junior right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray. Both pitchers are likely to be first-round picks in the June MLB draft. Meyer has been one of the few bright spots for UK this season and is 4-5 with a 3.32 ERA on the year. Meyer and Gray rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the Southeastern Conference in strikeouts with 91 and 86 respectively. Gray leads the league in wins, ranks second in opponents’ batting average and fifth in ERA. Meyer ranks third in the conference in innings pitched.
Stat of the week: Crazy UofL Friday night game
This week’s stat is technically from week 12 baseball, but we couldn’t pass up the chance to note some more odd stats from the University of Louisville‘s 1-0, 18-inning loss to Seton Hall Thursday night. The two teams played the equivalent of just under two complete games of scoreless baseball. UofL junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self and Seton Hall pitcher Joe Dirocco each pitched at least nine scoreless innings but didn’t get a complete game or a win. Cards’ batters not named Adam Engel combined to go 1-47 in the game. Two different UofL pitchers for each team lasted long enough to qualify for a win if they were making a start. Five different batters in the game failed to record a hit in at least six at-bats.
Out-of-state Ky. collegian to watch: OF Justin Riddell (Cincinnati)
Lexington Catholic alum Justin Riddell will attempt to lead Cincinnati to what could amount to a Big East Tournament berth clinching series win versus West Virginia this weekend. Cincinnati is currently seventh in the conference but is 2.5 games up in the race for the eighth and final tournament berth. Riddell has been the best former Kentucky high school batter playing outside the state this season. He is batting .342 with six home runs, 50 RBIs and 20 runs scored on the season. His six home runs, 50 RBIs and .544 slugging percentage lead Bearcats’ hitters.
Highlights from Thursday’s lone Kentucky college baseball game as well as the latest links from around Kentucky baseball:
After playing the equivalent of almost two complete scoreless games, the University of Louisville surrendered one run in the bottom of the 18th inning to suffer a 1-0 loss to Seton Hall. Freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson took the loss after surrendering one unearned run on two hits in two and one-third innings. Freshman center fielder Adam Engel was 3-7 in the game, while the rest of the UofL offense was just 1-49. Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self accomplished the rare feat of pitching over nine innings but not being credited with a complete game. Self surrendered seven hits in nine and one-third innings while striking out two batters and walking none. Freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Green pitched five and two-third innings of relief. (Box Score)
Guy Curtright of MLB.com reports the Milwaukee Brewers have optioned Louisville native and former UofL right-handed pitcher Sean Green to AAA Nashville.
Jonathan Kleppinger of the Jessamine Journal reports the lawyers for Lexington native and Cleveland Indians outfielder Austin Kearnsfiled a motion in Jessamine County to dismiss the drunk-driving charges against Kearns resulting from his Feb. 12 arrest because the Lexington police officer who pulled him over was out of his jurisdiction.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports the Texas Rangers scratched Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb from his scheduled Thursday start in extended spring training, option to have the former Cy Young award winner work on his mechanics during a bullpen session instead.