College roundup: UofL, WKU clinch series wins; EKU earns first road win; UK drops second straight to Alabama

College Baseball

Ryan Wright; UofL photo

Recaps and highlights from Saturday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • Western Kentucky University remained undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play and won its eighth game in a row with a 6-4 win over FIU. Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman earned the win after surrendering one run on seven hits in six and two-third innings while striking out eight batters and walking four. Junior shortstop Logan Robbins was 3-4 with one RBI, and junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 2-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore first baseman Ryan Huck slugged his second home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville clinched a series victory in its first Big East Conference series with a 9-2 win over Rutgers. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung improved to 5-0 on the season after surrendering two runs, one of which was earned, on seven hits in six innings while striking out seven batters and walking three. Junior second baseman Ryan Wright finish the game a double shy of the cycle and was 4-5 with a home run, triple, five RBI and three runs scored. Redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames slugged his fifth home run of the season, and junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self held Rutgers scoreless over the final three innings for the save. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky surrendered an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 6-5 loss to Alabama, clinching a series win for the Crimson Tide. Freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott took the loss after surrendering one unearned run on two hits in two and one-third innings. Freshman center fielder Lucas Witt was 2-2 with one walk and one run scored in his return from injury. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper had his second consecutive poor start after surrendering five runs on six hits in two and two-third innings. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University‘s double-header versus Austin Peay was rained out. The two teams will play a double-header on Sunday.
  • Eastern Kentucky University earned its first road win of the season with a 9-7 victory over Eastern Illinois. Senior right-handed pitcher Ryne Purcell was credited with the win after surrendering two runs on three hits in one inning. Senior center fielder Ryan Faidley and sophomore first baseman Alex Hughes each homered in the game, and junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 2-4 with a triple, three RBI and two runs scored. Senior right-handed pitcher Chris Hord pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save, and redshirt junior right-handed starting pitcher Matt Fyffe surrendered two runs in five innings. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University‘s double-header versus Southeast Missouri was rained out. The two teams will play a double-header on Sunday.

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

  • Stats: 4-5, 1 HR, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 3 R
  • Honorable Mention: Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Ryan Faidley (EKU), Lucas Witt (UK), Stewart Ijames (UofL), Kyle Grieshaber (UofL), Logan Robbins (WKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Justin Hageman (WKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Justin Amlung (UofL), Derek Self (UofL), Walter Wijas (UK), Matt Fyffe (EKU)
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Sunday roundup: UK, UofL, EKU finish series sweeps; WKU, Murray St. win rubber matches; Morehead St. falls to 2-14

College Baseball

On a day when three Kentucky basketball teams discovered their NCAA tournament seedings, here are recaps of Sunday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • The University of Louisville finished off a three-game sweep of Pepperdine during which the pitching staff surrendered just two runs with a 7-0 win on Sunday. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold improved to 2-0 on the season after surrendering one hit in five shutout innings while striking out two batters and walking three. Six different UofL batters tallied two hits in the game, and senior left fielder Drew Haynes was 2-3 with three RBI. Sophomore third baseman Cade Stallings was 2-5 with two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University secured a series win versus Illinois with a 13-5 win in the rubber match of the three-game series on Sunday. Senior catcher Matt Rice was 2-2 with three walks and four RBI, and junior shortstop Logan Robbins was 3-5 with three RBI. Junior left fielder Jared Andreoli was 3-3 with two RBI, three runs scored, one walk and one stolen base. Six different WKU batters recorded multiple hits in the game, including freshman Justin Hageman who made his first collegiate start as a designated hitter. Hageman is WKU’s Saturday starting pitcher. Senior right-handed reliever Brian Edelen earned the win after surrendering one run on three hits in three innings. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky scored two runs in the seventh inning to secure a series sweep of Niagara with a 2-1 win on Sunday. Sophomore center fielder Brian Adams scored the eventual winning run and finished the game 2-3. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper took a no decision despite surrendering just one run on six hits in six and two-third innings while striking out three batters and walking four. Junior left-handed pitcher Alex Phillips earned his first career win after recording the final out in the top of the seventh inning, and senior left-handed pitcher Mike Kaczmarek earned his second save after recording the final six outs of the game without surrendering a baserunner. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University scored three runs in the fifth inning to earn a 4-1 win and series victory over IPFW on Sunday. Junior left-handed pitcher Bryan Babin earned the win after surrendering one run on five hits in six innings while striking out three batters and walking four. Freshman right-handed pitcher Cameron Finch did not surrender a run over the final three innings to record his third save of the season. Junior second baseman Travis Isaak had the big blow for the Breds in the fifth inning and finished the game 2-3 with a double and three RBI. Sophomore shortstop Brandon Elliott scored two runs in the game. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University finished a series sweep of UNC Asheville with a 13-6 win on Sunday. Senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler earned his second win of the season after surrendering five runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits in seven and two-third innings while striking out seven batters and walking two. Sophomore designated hitter Alex Hughes was 1-5 with one home run, three RBI and two runs scored, and freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman was 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Six different EKU batters recorded multiple hits in the game. (Box Score)
  • The Morehead State University pitching staff continued its poor performance during the early portion of the 2011 season in a 9-6 loss to La Salle. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cody Gibson took the loss after surrendering seven runs on 11 hits in three and one-third innings. Junior third baseman Andrew Deeds was 2-4 with two doubles, two stolen bases and two runs scored, and junior catcher Eric Bainer was 2-4 with a double, one RBI and two runs scored. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: LF Jared Andreoli (WKU)

  • Stats: 3-3, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 3 R, 1 SB, 1 3B
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Rice (WKU), Logan Robbins (WKU), Drew Haynes (UofL), Cade Stallings (UofL), Brian Adams (UK), Travis Isaak (Murray St.), Matt Phipps (EKU), Bryan Soloman (EKU), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.), Eric Bainer (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Mike Nastold (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Jordan Cooper (UK), Bryan Babin (Murray St.), Stephen Hefler (EKU)

Offseason position battle: EKU first baseman

College Baseball

We continue our second lap in the “offseason position battle” series with a look at the vacant Eastern Kentucky University first base position.

The departed — Senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando batted .335 with 17 home runs, 67 RBI and 47 runs score while starting 54 games for EKU in 2010. Ottrando led the team in home runs, RBI and doubles (15). For good measure he added 11 stolen bases in 13 attempts. Ottrando made seven erros on the season while posting a .986 fielding percentage. The slugger was honored as the second team All-OVC first baseman following the 2010 season. Ottrando started all but one game at first for EKU in 2010 with the other start going to freshman Kyle England, who is not listed on the current EKU roster. In August Ed Richter of the Middletown Journal in Ohio reported England and one other man had been indicted on charges of sexual battery after a 16-year-old girl accused them of assaulting her during a party at England’s home.

Returning candidates — The only returning Colonel to appear in a game at first base in 2010 is junior Dustin Dunlop who played one game at the position. Dunlop spent most his time playing second base for the Colonels in 2010 and also appeared at third base during his freshman and sophomore years…Junior Jacob Daniel has served as the EKU designated hitter for the last two seasons but could conceivably move to first base if needed…Sophomore infielder Alex Hughes didn’t appear in a game during 2010 for EKU but at 6-4 he has the size to fill in at first base.

Newcomers to watch — Freshman infielder Mitch Durbin signed with EKU as a corner infielder and left-handed power bat. In Nov. 2009 EKU head coach Jason Stein said “Following graduation and the draft of 2010, we will probably have two immediate needs and, as a left-handed bat with power and a corner infielder, Mitch fills both of them.”…At 6-2 and 6-0 respectively freshman infielders Alex Arovits and Dillon Pelfrey both also could fill in at first base.

Wildcard — The only wildcard in the EKU first base battle appears to be a position change from one of the catchers or outfielders. Senior outfielder Bryce Labhart is listed as an OF/INF on the roster but played left field primarily in 2010 and came to EKU from Onley Central Junior College as a second baseman/outfielder. Sophomore outfielders Michael Buschmann and Jeff Emerich are likely reserves. Juniors A. J. Jamison and Brian Shrimpton are the returning catchers on the roster.

Offseason position battle: EKU third baseman

College Baseball

The offseason position battle series moves to Richmond today with a look at Eastern Kentucky University‘s vacant third base position:

The departed: Junior third baseman Jayson Langfels started ever game at third base for EKU in 2010 and batted .353 with 16 home runs, 52 RBI and 61 runs scored. Langfels has since moved on to professional baseball as the 16th round pick of the Colorado Rockies. Langfels’ 61 runs scored and .696 slugging percentage led the team and his 18 career triples are a Ohio Valley Conference record.

Returning candidates: Rising junior infielder Dustin Dunlop was the only other Colonel to appear in a game at third base in 2010 after pinch running for Langfels against the University of the Cumberlands. Dunlop spent most of his time at second base in 2010 but did play some third base as a freshman in 2009. Rising senior Bryce Labhart, rising sophomore Alex Hughes, rising junior Richie Rodriguez and rising sophomore Matt Phipps are the other returning infielders on the roster. Rodriguez and Phipps ended 2010 as the starting shortstop and second baseman respectively.

Newcomers to watch: Incoming freshmen infielders Bryan Solomon, Alex Arovits and Mitch Durbin each boasted strong performances during the EKU fall World Series. When Solomon signed with the Colonels head coach Jason Stein called him “a complete third baseman” who could hit for average and power while playing great defense with a “great arm.” Solomon may also pitch for the Colonels.

Wildcard: The candidates for EKU’s vacant infield positions appear to be fairly straight forward, so don’t look for any surprises. Head coach Jason Stein could conceivably move one of the team’s surplus outfielders to the infield or rearrange incumbents Rodriguez, Phipps and Dunlop.