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.
College summer leagues around the country are starting play this week. BluGrass Baseball will have coverage of the Lexington Hustlers of the Great Lakes League, but I wanted to update you as to where other Kentucky collegians will play this summer. Western Kentucky University has released its summer lineup so we’ll start with them:
- OF Jared Andreoli — Green Bay Bullfrogs — Northwoods League
- OF Kes Carter — Peninsula Pilots — Coastal Plains League
- SS Logan Robbins — Peninsula Pilots — Coastal Plains League
- 3B Mike Mosby — Peninsula Pilots — Coastal Plains League*
- INF Blake Crabtree — Winchester Royals — Valley Leauge
- C Ryan Huck — Winchester Royals — Valley Leauge
- RHP Brian Edelen — New Market Rebels — Valley Leauge
- LHP Tanner Perkins — Lexington Hustlers — Great Lakes League
- RHP Taylor Haydel — Nashville Outlaws — Prospect League
- RHP Andrew Zimmerman — Owensboro Oilers — KIT League
- RHP Caleb Hanes — Owensboro Oilers — KIT League
* Mosby signed to play with WKU for the 2011 season but was the Orioles 14th round draft pick.
Week nine’s midweek schedule is headlined by a showdown between the state’s two ranked teams with No. 13 University of Louisville traveling to Bowling Green to take on No. 19 Western Kentucky University. Our neighbors to the west Marshall University of Huntington, W. V., face off against two in-state teams this week, and remember the University of Kentucky has the week off in preparation for its weekend showdown with No. 7 Florida.
- UofL @ WKU — 7 p.m. —
- Murray St. @ Evansville — 6 p.m. (CT)
- EKU @ Marshall — 3 p.m. — RHP Anthony Bazzani (1-3, 8.67)