BluGrass Baseball Weekend Schedule: Week Three

College Baseball

BluGrass Baseball graphic

Check out the weekend schedule for week three college baseball action with probable starters when available. Links take you to team game notes.

University of Louisville (4-2) vs. Kent State

  • Friday — 3 p.m. — RHP Matt Koch (1-1, 3.27 ERA) — Gametracker
  • Saturday — 1 p.m. — RHP Justin Amlung (1-0, 0.66 ERA) — Gametracker
  • Sunday — 1 p.m. — RHP Mike Nastold (0-0, 1.29 ERA) — Gametracker

Western Kentucky University (5-3) — College of Charleston Tournament

  • Friday — 4 p.m. (CT) — vs. College of Charleston (18) — LHP Tanner Perkins (2-0, 2.25 ERA)
  • Saturday — 4 p.m. (CT) — vs. New York Tech — RHP Justin Hageman (1-1, 3.00 ERA)
  • Sunday — 10 a.m. (CT) — vs. Auburn — RHP Taylor Haydel (1-1, 5.84 ERA)

University of Kentucky (4-4) — Houston College Classic

  • Friday — 8 p.m. — vs. Rice — LHP Taylor Rogers (0-0, 3.55 ERA) — Gametracker
  • Saturday — 4:30 p.m. — vs. Houston — RHP Alex Meyer (1-1, 3.00 ERA) — Gametracker
  • Sunday — 12 p.m. — vs. Utah — RHP Jordan Cooper (0-0, 5.79 ERA) — Audio

Eastern Kentucky University (3-5) — Memphis Classic Tournament

  • Friday — 2 p.m. — vs. Southern Ill. — RHP Anthony Bazzani (0-2, 10.38 ERA) — Live Stats
  • Saturday — 5:30 p.m. — vs. Memphis — LHP Kyle McGrath (1-0, 6.30 ERA) —  Live Stats
  • Sunday — 1 p.m. — Oral Roberts — RHP Stephen Hefler (1-0, 1.59 ERA) — Live Stats

Murray State University (2-6) vs. North Dakota State

Morehead State University (1-8) — University of Tennessee Tournament

  • Friday — 1 p.m. — vs. Indiana — RHP Josh Schneider (0-1, 13.09) vs. RHP Chad Martin (0-0, 2.16)
  • Saturday — 12 p.m. — vs. Bradley — RHP Trey Smith (0-2, 7.82)
  • Sunday — 4 p.m. — vs. Tennessee — LHP Noah Smallwood (0-1, 10.45)

BluGrass Baseball Week Three Weekend Preview

College Baseball

It’s time for the Week three weekend preview. Check out storylines to watch in a tournament-heavy slate of weekend games for Kentucky colleges:

Matchup of the week: University of Kentucky @ Rice

UK heads to Houston this weekend for the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. On Friday the Cats face No. 21 Rice and preseason national player of the year favorite Anthony Rendon. UK head coach Gary Henderson tabbed sophomore left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers to the mound versus the Owls. Rogers doesn’t have a decision on the season but has a 3.55 ERA in 12 and two-third innings on the season. Rendon, who Baseball America ranks as the No. 1 prospect in the 2011 draft, is batting .429 with two home runs, seven RBI and 12 runs scored in 10 games.

Tournament Spotlight No. 1: Houston College Classic

Henderson and the Cats have the rare opportunity to play a weekend series at a MLB stadium in front of a national audience. National baseball writers as well a plethora of scouts will be on hand to see Rendon and UK top draft prospect Alex Meyer. Henderson decided not to send Meyer to the mound on Friday for the matchup with Rendon everyone hoped to see, but he will start versus Houston on Saturday. On Sunday sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper will take the mound versus Utah.

Tournament Spotlight No. 2: College of Charleston Classic

Western Kentucky University will head to South Carolina for the second consecutive weekend, this time for to face No. 18 College of Charleston, New York Tech and Auburn. WKU will look to rebound from a disappointing showing at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S. C., during which the team went 1-2. Head coach Chris Finwood will send sophomore ace Tanner Perkins to the mound on Friday versus College of Charleston, freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman to the mound on Saturday versus New York Tech and sophomore right-handed pitcher Taylor Haydel to the mound on Sunday versus Auburn.

Tournament spotlight No. 3: University of Tennessee Tournament

Morehead State University will head south to Knoxville, Tenn., to play in the UT Tournament versus Indiana, Bradley and Tennessee. On Friday the Eagles will send redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Josh Schneider to the mound versus Indiana and Lexington native Chad Martin. PLD alum Martin is 0-0 with a 2.16 ERA in three relief appearances on the season. On Saturday Morehead St. senior right-handed pitcher Trey Smith will face Bradley, and on Sunday freshman left-handed pitcher Noah Smallwood will face Tennessee.

Tournament spotlight No. 4: Memphis Classic Tournament

Eastern Kentucky University heads to Memphis, Tenn., this weekend for a three-game appearance in the Memphis Classic. The Colonels will face Southern Illinois on Friday, Memphis on Saturday and Oral Roberts on Sunday. Expect sophomore right-handed pitcher Anthony Bazzani to get the Friday start for EKU, though head coach Jason Stein has not yet announced his weekend rotation.

Out-of-state Ky. collegians playing Ky. colleges: RHP Chad Martin (Indiana), C/OF Wes Wilson (Indiana), C Ty Downing,  SS Zach Osborne (Tennessee), RHP Casey Lucchese (College of Charleston), RHP Chase Joiner (Memphis)

Morehead St. will face a quartet of Kentucky high school alumni in the University of Tennessee Tournament in the form of Indiana catchers Wes Wilson and Ty Downing and right-handed pitcher Chad Martin and Tennessee shortstop Zach Osborne. Martin, a PLD alum, will start versus Morehead St. on Friday. Wilson, a Bryan Station alum, is batting .278 in six games, and Downing, a Greenwood alum, is batting .333 in five games. Osborne, a PRP alum, is batting .438 with three RBI and four runs scored on the season. College of Charleston closer Casey Lucchese, a PLD alum, will look for his first save of the season versus WKU. Joiner is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Saturday roundup: UK blows out UIC; EKU, Murray State, Morehead State pick up first wins of 2011; UofL, WKU lose

College Baseball

BluGrass Baseball graphic

Highlights and recaps from Saturday baseball action:

  • Western Kentucky University dropped its first game of the season with a 6-1 loss to Coastal Carolina in the Baseball at the Beach Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but Coastal Carolina rallied with four runs in the fourth inning helped by a throwing error from WKU junior shortstop Logan Robbins. Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman took the loss after surrendering four runs, one of which was earned, on three hits in four innings while striking out five batters and walking three. At the plate senior catcher Matt Rice was the only Hilltoppers’ batter with multiple hits and finished the game 2-4. (Box Score)
  • University of Louisville preseason All-American closer Tony Zych blew his first save of the season as Toledo scored three runs in the ninth inning to send the Cards to a 4-2 loss. The loss wasted a second consecutive strong outing from redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung, who surrendered one run on five hits in six innings while striking out five and walking one. Toledo’s ninth-inning rally began with a throwing error from freshman shortstop Alex Chittenden. Junior second baseman Ryan Wright was 3-3 with a triple, one RBI, one run scored and one walk in the game. Just two other Cards batters tallied hits in the game. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky used a five-run fifth inning to blow open what had been a close game en route to a 13-3 win over Illinois-Chicago in game two of a three-game series. Every UK starter recorded at least one hit in the game, led by senior shortstop Taylor Black, who was 3-5 with a grand slam, four RBI, three runs scored and one walk. Sophomore center fielder Brian Adams and sophomore catcher Luke Maile each tallied three hits in five at-bats. Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer earned his first win of the season after surrendering three runs on three hits in five innings while striking out seven and walking five. (Box Score)
  • In game one of a double-header Eastern Kentucky University struggled to find any offense in a 7-1 loss to Penn State and fell to 0-4 on the season. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Anthony Bazzani took the loss after surrendering four runs on seven hits in five innings while striking out six and walking two. Freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman was 3-4 with a double and run scored in the game. (Box Score)
  • In game two of its double-header EKU earned its first win of the season with a 7-5 victory in a seven-inning game versus Penn State. Freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath earned his first collegiate win after surrendering four runs on seven hits in six innings while striking out five and walking one. Junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 3-4 with three RBI, and freshman second baseman Alex Arovits was 2-2 with two runs scored in the game. Senior designated hitter Jacob Daniel drove in three runs. Senior closer Ryne Purcell earned his first save of the season despite surrendering one run in the ninth inning. (Box Score)
  • A strong pitching performance from junior left-handed pitcher Luke Shuemaker led Murray State University to its first win of the season in a 6-3 victory over Bowling Green St. in game one of a double-header. Shuemaker surrendered two unearned runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out five batters and walking six. Sophomore shortstop Brandon Elliott was 2-3 with a double and two RBI in the game. Sophomore outfielder Paul Ritzheimer drove in two runs in the game. (Box Score)
  • Murray St. finished its double-header sweep of BGSU with a walk-off 4-3 win in game two. Elliott doubled with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, moved to third and eventually scored on a fielding error by the BGSU pitcher with two outs. The game was scheduled to last just seven innings but the two teams were tied at three after seven. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Will Handlin earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze surrendered three runs on six hits in seven innings while striking out five batters and walking five. Redshirt freshman outfielder Brandon Eggenschwiler finished the game 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • In game one of a double-header versus Purdue, Morehead State University turned an early blowout into a close game late but still fell to 0-5 on the season with a 11-8 loss. Junior third baseman Andrew Deeds slugged his first home run of the season for the Eagles, but the early Purdue lead proved to be too much to overcome. Senior right-handed pitcher Trey Smith took the loss after surrendering eight runs in three and two-third innings pitched. (Box Score)
  • In game two of the double-header a RBI-single from junior catcher Eric Bainer in the 11th inning plated redshirt freshman outfielder Ryan Conner to send Morehead St. to its first win of the season, a 10-9 victory. After Purdue scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 7-5 lead, Morehead St. junior catcher Taylor Davis slugged a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning to send the game to extra innings. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Josh Schneider surrendered five runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out seven batters and walking one. Deeds continued his strong play in the double-header with a 3-6, one RBI, one run scored performance in game two. Junior left-handed pitcher Tyler Hieneman earned the win after surrendering four runs in five innings of relief. (Box Score)

Hitter of the Day: SS Taylor Black (UK)

  • Stats: 3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Wright (UofL), Brandon Elliott (Murray St.), Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Austin Grisham (EKU), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the Day: RHP Justin Amlung (UofL)

  • Stats: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Alex Meyer (UK), Jake Donze (Murray St.), Luke Shuemaker (Murray St.), Kyle McGrath (EKU)

BluGrass Baseball Weekend Schedule: Week Two

College Baseball

BluGrass Baseball graphic

It’s time for the weekend schedule post. Remember we use Baseball America’s top 25 rankings, so none of Kentucky teams or their opponents are ranked this week. Games are listed below with starting pitchers when available and links to live stats.

Western Kentucky University (4-0) — Baseball at the Beach Tournament (S.C.)

  • Friday — vs. Kansas St. — 6:30 p.m. (CT) — LHP Tanner Perkins (1-0, 0.00)
  • Saturday — @ Coastal Carolina — 2:30 p.m. (CT) — RHP Justin Hageman (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
  • Sunday — vs. Pacific — 10 a.m. (CT) — TBA

University of Louisville (3-0) vs. Toledo

  • Friday — 3 p.m. — RHP Matt Koch (1-0, 3.60 ERA) — Gametracker
  • Saturday — 1 p.m. — RHP Justin Amlung (1-0, 0.00 ERA) — Gametracker
  • Sunday — 12 p.m. — RHP Mike Nastold (0-0, o.00 ERA) — Gametracker

University of Kentucky (2-3) vs. Illinois-Chicago

  • Friday — 4 p.m. — LHP Taylor Rogers (0-0, 3.00 ERA) — Gametracker
  • Saturday — 1 p.m. — RHP Alex Meyer (0-0, 1.29 ERA) — Gametracker
  • Sunday — 1 p.m. — RHP Jordan Cooper (0-1, 11.25 ERA) — Gametracker

Eastern Kentucky University (0-3) vs. Penn State

  • Saturday — 11 a.m. — RHP Anthony Bazzani (0-1, 14.73) — Live Stats
  • Saturday — GM 2 (DH) — LHP Kyle McGrath (0-0, 6.75)
  • Sunday — 12 p.m. — RHP Stephen Hefler (0-0, 0.00)

Murray State University (0-4) vs. Bowling Green St.

  • Friday — 2 p.m. (CT) — LHP Luke Shuemaker (0-1, 11.25 ERA) — Live Stats
  • Saturday — 1 p.m. (CT) — LHP Jake Donze (0-0, 1.69 ERA) — Live Stats
  • Sunday — 1 p.m. (CT) — RHP Tyler Beers (0-0, 4.50 ERA) — Live Stats

Morehead State University (0-4) vs. Purdue

  • Saturday — 1 p.m. — RHP Trey Smith (0-1, 3.86 ERA) — Live Stats
  • Saturday — GM 2 (DH) — RHP Josh Schneider (0-1, 18.69 ERA)*
  • Sunday — 12 p.m. — RHP Garrick Whittle (0-0, 1.59 ERA)*
  • Sunday — GM 2 (DH) — RHP Cody Gibson (0-1, 19.64 ERA)*

* — Morehead St.’s starting pitchers are part of the “projected lineup” listed in the Eagles’ game notes and are subject to change.

EKU drops 9-2 decision to Pepperdine in season opener

College Baseball

Eastern Kentucky University finished a winless opening day on the diamond for Kentucky Ohio Valley Conference teams with a 9-2 loss to Pepperdine in its 2011 opener. Pepperdine scored two runs in the third inning to take an early lead then blew the game open with a five-run fourth inning. EKU sophomore right-handed pitcher Anthony Bazzani took the loss after surrendering seven runs on five hits in three and two-third innings pitched. The EKU offense could do nothing against Pepperdine freshman right-handed pitcher Scott Frazier, who was the fifth-round pick of the Phillies in the 2010 draft. Frazier surrendered one run in five innings.

EKU freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman posted an impressive collegiate debut with a 3-4 performance. Junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 2-4 with a run scored in the game, and freshman catcher Sean Hagen singled and scored the Colonels’ other run. The Colonels started three freshmen in the game. In addition to Hagen and Soloman, freshman designated hitter Mitch Durbin earned a start in the season opener and finished the game 0-2. (Box Score)

BluGrass Baseball 2011 Weekend Schedule: Week 1

College Baseball

The 2011 baseball season officially kicks off today, so it’s time for the weekly BluGrass Baseball weekend schedule for each of the six Kentucky division one schools. Remember we use the Baseball America top 25 for rankings and probable starters are listed below.

University of Louisville — Big East/Big Ten Challenge

  • Friday — vs. Michigan — 4 p.m. — RHP Matt KochGametracker
  • Saturday — vs. Ohio State — 4 p.m. — RHP Justin AmlungGametracker
  • Sunday — vs. Minnesota — 10 a.m. — RHP Mike NastoldGametracker

Western Kentucky University vs. Bowling Green State

  • Friday — 3 p.m. (CT) — LHP Tanner PerkinsLive Stats
  • Saturday — 2 p.m. (CT) — RHP Taylor HaydelLive Stats
  • Sunday — 1 p.m. (CT) — RHP Justin Hageman Live Stats

University of Kentucky — College of Charleston Invitational

  • Friday — 5 p.m. — @ College of Charleston (20) — RHP Jordan Cooper Live Video
  • Saturday — 5 p.m. — vs. Marshall — LHP Taylor Rogers Gametracker
  • Sunday — 11 a.m. — vs. Miami (OH) — RHP Alex Meyer

Murray State University @ UNC Asheville

  • Friday — 1 p.m. (CT) — RHP Tyler BeersLive Stats
  • Saturday — 12 p.m. (CT) — LHP Luke Shuemaker
  • Sunday — 12 p.m. (CT) — RHP Jake Donze

Eastern Kentucky University @ Pepperdine

Morehead State University @ Western Carolina

  • Friday — 4 p.m. — RHP Trey Smith — Live Stats
  • Saturday — 2 p.m. — RHP Josh Schneider — Live Stats
  • Sunday — 2 p.m. — LHP Garrick Whittle —  Live Stats

Perfect Game previews Sun Belt, OVC; Rauch injured in Jays camp; Downs may compete for Angels closer job

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Jon Rauch; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA previews the Sun Belt Conference and Ohio Valley Conference among others. Rogers picks Western Kentucky University to finish fourth in the Sun Belt, but ranks senior catcher Matt Rice the best hitter in the league. Rice, junior outfielder Kes Carter and redshirt junior reliever Rye Davis were each selected to the All-Sun Belt team, and Carter was ranked the top 2011 draft prospect in the conference. WKU junior shortstop Logan Robins ranked No. 2 on the 2011 prospects list, and Davis, Rice, and junior right-handed pitcher Phil Wetherell were also included on the list. Sophomore pitchers Tanner Perkins and Taylor Haydel were ranked among the top 2012 draft prospects.
  • In the OVC preview Rogers picks Eastern Kentucky University to finish fifth, Murray State University to finish sixth and Morehead State University to finish eighth. Rogers selected Morehead St. junior catcher Taylor Davis to the all-OVC team. Davis was ranked the No. 3 2011 draft prospect in the conference, and EKU sophomore right-handed pitcher Anthony Bazzani ranked No. 5 on the 2012 draft prospects list.
  • Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times reports former UK left-handed pitcher and Louisville native Scott Downs has a chance to open the season as the Angels’ closer if Fernando Rodney pitches poorly during Spring Training.
  • Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun reports former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher and Louisville native Jon Rauch turned his ankle and may miss a few days of Blue Jays’ camp as a result.
  • Richard Durrett of reports former UK right-handed pitcher and Ashland native Brandon Webb hopes to be ready for Opening Day.

BluGrass Baseball Preseason All-State Team

College Baseball

Matt Rice bats for WKU: BluGrass Baseball photo

With just two days remaining until the start of the 2011 college baseball season it’s time to unveil the 2011 preseason BluGrass Baseball All-State team. Eligible players either play for a Kentucky college or attended a Kentucky high school. Check out the team below, with short bios on the first-team players. Remember, we’ll update this team at midseason and after the regular season is over.

C — Matt Rice — Western Kentucky University

  • .369/.446/.585, 10 HR, 65 RBI, 51 R
  • Rice was the first-team catcher on the 2010 BluGrass Baseball postseason All-State Team and returns to WKU after declining to sign with the New York Yankees as the team’s 50th round draft pick this summer. Rice may have been Mr. Irrelevant in the draft after being selected with the last pick, but he’s far from irrelevant in Kentucky college baseball as he should be in the running all season for the player of the year award. Rice was named All-Sun Belt Conference following the 2010 season, and recently was named the preseason Sun Belt player of the year by Baseball America.
  • Second Team: J. J. Ethel (UofL) — .303/.384/.459, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 15 R

1B — Rich Witten — Coastal Carolina (Danville High School)

  • 2010: .312/.393/.584, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 22 R
  • After spending most of 2010 as a key reserve for the Chanticleers before moving into the starting lineup as the everyday first baseman in time for postseason play. Witten is expected to begin 2011 as the NCAA-regional hopeful’s first baseman and hopes to build on his strong postseason play. Witten was named to the Myrtle Beach All-Regional team after batting .278 with a double, home run and 6 RBI in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. As a junior at Danville High School Witten slugged 25 home runs, the second most in a single season in KHSAA history.
  • Second Team: Zak Wasserman (UofL) — .324/.405/.419, 11 RBI, 9 R

2B — Ryan Wright — University of Louisville

  • 2010: .366/.413/.638, 16 HR, 80 RBI, 61 R
  • Junior infielder Ryan Wright has already been named a preseason all-American by three different outlets, including a second-team selection by Baseball America. Wright leads returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 RBI, runs scored and home runs and ranks second in 2010 batting average and slugging percentage. The second baseman spent the summer with Team USA, where he led everyday players with a .361 batting average and 18 runs scored. UofL head coach Dan McDonnell recently called Wright a “RBI mongrel,” noting the junior has 146 RBI in two seasons at UofL.
  • Second Team: Travis Redmon (Morehead St.) — .333/.411/.497, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 42 R

3B — Andrew Deeds — Morehead State University

  • 2010: .305/.356/.603, 13 HR, 39 RBI, 43 R
  • Junior infielder Andrew Deeds leads a weak crop of Kentucky third baseman returning from the 2010 season. Deeds ranks third among returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 home runs and slugging percentage. The Trinity High School alum finished the 2010 season on a 12-game hitting streak and tallied 12 multi-hit games on the year. In the Eagles’ series against in-state rival EKU, Deeds was 7-15 with four home runs and six RBI.
  • Second Team: Colton Moore (Murray St.) — .328/.383/.429, 1 HR, 39 RBI, 23 R

SS — Richie Rodriguez — Eastern Kentucky University

  • 2010: .357/.405/.496, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 55 R, 21 SB
  • Junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez led the Colonels in batting average, stolen bases and hits in 2010. He ranks second in 2010 stolen bases and third in 2010 batting average and runs scored among returning Kentucky collegians. The Miami, Fla., native was named a Louisville Slugger freshman all-American following the 2009 season. Rodriguez started every game in 2010 at shortstop and the leadoff slot in the lineup for EKU. He tallied 24 multi-hit games in 2010 including five four-hit games.
  • Second team: Taylor Black (UK) — .270/.386/.489, 11 HR, 37 RBI, 44 R, 12 SB

OF — Stewart Ijames — University of Louisville

  • 2010: .324/.406/.570, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 47 R
  • Redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames returns to Louisville after declining to sign with the New York Yankees as the team’s 29th round pick in the 2010 draft. Ijames was named second-team All-Big East and selected to the all-Big East Tournament Team following the 2010 season. He ranks third among returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 batting average and RBI and fifth in 2010 slugging percentage. Ijames was named a Ping! Baseball and Louisville Slugger freshman all-American in 2008 and missed the 2009 season with a shoulder injury.
  • Second Team: Ryan Faidley (EKU) — .324/.420/.605, 12 HR, 46 RBI, 44 R

OF — Kes Carter — Western Kentucky University

  • 2010: .341/.418/.484, 7 HR, 53 RBI, 40 R, 14 SB
  • Junior outfielder Kes Carter was named first-team all-Sun Belt following the 2010 season and returns to WKU hoping to improve his draft status. Carter ranks fourth among returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 on-base percentage and fifth in 2010 RBI and stolen bases. The outfielder recorded a 15-game hitting streak last season between April 6 and 25 and committed just one error in 2010. Carter was selected in the 43rd round of the 2008 draft by the Florida Marlins following his senior season in high school.
  • Second Team: Chad Wright (UK) — .316/.388/.413, 2 HR, 37 RBI, 36 R, 12 SB

OF — Jared Andreoli — Western Kentucky University

  • 2010: .341/.415/.484, 5 HR, 49 RBI, 61 R, 14 SB
  • Junior outfielder Jared Andreoli led the Hilltoppers with 32 multi-hit games in 2010 and tallied a 15-game hitting streak from March 12 to April 3. Among returning Kentucky collegians Andreoli ranks first in 2010 runs scored, fifth in stolen bases and fifth in on-base percentage. Andreoli ranked eight in runs scored in the Sun Belt Conference last season and fifth in triples. The outfielder leads returning Hilltoppers in total bases and tallied six sacrifice bunts last season.
  • Second Team: Daniel Pugh — .335/.438/.447, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 45 R

DH — Taylor Davis — Morehead State University

  • 2010: .350/.412/..596, 11 HR, 57 RBI, 40 R
  • Junior catcher Taylor Davis was named preseason all-Ohio Valley Conference after his strong 2010 season. Davis ranks fourth among returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 batting average and RBI and fifth in 2010 home runs. The junior started 36 games at catcher, six at designated hitter and three at third base for the Eagles in 2010. Davis tallied a 13-game hitting streak, 19 multi-hit games and 13-multi-RBI games last season. The catcher has been selected to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League during the summer of 2011.
  • Second team — Braden Kapteyn (UK) — .297/.403/.484, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 31 R

SP — Matt Koch — University of Louisville

  • 2010: 3-0, 3.27 ERA, 31 SO/9BB, 44 IP
  • Sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch did not qualify for the ERA title in 2010, but was outstanding after moving into the Cards’ weekend rotation during conference play. Koch appeared in 11 games for UofL in 2010, including six starts. He surrendered just one run in six innings in UofL’s win over Vanderbilt in the NCAA Regional, earning a spot on the all-regional team. Koch moved into the weekend rotation on April 30 against Rutgers and remained there for the rest of the season. He was the 37th round pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 2009 draft out of high school.
  • Second Team: Anthony Bazzani (EKU) — 5-3, 5.47 ERA, 41 SO/30 BB, 77.1 IP

SP — Justin Amlung — University of Louisville

  • 2010: 5-2, 4.27 ERA, 55 SO/14 BB, 65.1 IP
  • Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung was named the 2010 freshman of the year and boasts the lowest qualifying 2010 ERA of any returning Kentucky pitcher. Amlung started 10 games for the Cards last season, beginning the year as a midweek starter before moving into the weekend rotation. He surrendered just three home runs in 65.1 innings pitched that season and begins the season as UofL’s Saturday starting pitcher.
  • Second team: Jordan Cooper (UK) — 4-5, 5.71 ERA, 35 SO/27 BB, 58.1 IP

SP — Alex Meyer — University of Kentucky

  • 2010: 5-3, 7.06 ERA, 63 SO/36 BB, 51 IP
  • Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer has struggled in two season on campus, but he begins 2011 in the same place he has the last two years as arguably the state’s most talented player. Baseball America recently ranked Meyer the No. 34 prospect in the 2011 draft and selected him to its preseason All-Southeastern Conference team. Meyer is 6-7 with a 6.34 ERA and 143 strikeouts in his UK career but should be a first-round pick in 2011 with a strong season.
  • Second Team: Jake Donze (Murray St.) 6-6, 6.02 ERA, 71 SO/56 BB, 83.2 IP

RP — Rye Davis — Western Kentucky University

  • 2010: 3-4, 2.72 ERA, 9 saves, 63 SO/20 BB, 49.2 IP
  • Relief pitcher might be the most hotly contested spot on the All-State team with redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Rye Davis and UofL top draft prospect Tony Zych. Davis was the 36th round pick of the Cleveland Indians during the summer of 2010 but returned to WKU in hopes of improving his draft status, that may have been hurt when he missed all of 2009 after being struck in the face by a line drive. Davis leads returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 appearances and ranks second in strikeouts and saves.
  • Second Team: Tony Zych — 5-2, 5.13 ERA, 1 save, 50 SO/11 BB, 61.2 IP

BluGrass Baseball Preseason Pitching Leaderboard

College Baseball

Throughout the college baseball season BluGrass Baseball publishes a weekly statistics leaderboard for Kentucky collegians. As part of the 2011 college baseball preview we’ll begin the weekly leaderboard series with a look at the top five returners in each statistical category from 2010. Yesterday we looked at the top returning hitters, so today we give the pitchers their turn. To qualify for the ERA and batting average against, pitchers must have a minimum of 1.0 IP per team game.


  • Justin Amlung — UofL — 4.01
  • Damon McCormick — Valparaiso (St. X) — 5.35
  • Anthony Bazzani — EKU — 5.47
  • Jordan Cooper — UK — 5.71
  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — 6.02


  • Derek Self — UofL — 7-0
  • Damon McCormick  — Valparaiso (St. X) — 7-1
  • Josh Schneider — Morehead St. — 7-5
  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — 6-6
  • 6 players tied with 5 wins each


  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — 71
  • Rye Davis — WKU — 63
  • Alex Meyer — UK — 63
  • Justin Amlung — UofL — 55
  • Casey Lucchese — College of Charleston (PLD) — 52

Innings Pitched

  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — 83.2
  • Taylor Rogers — UK — 83.0
  • Anthony Bazzani — EKU — 77.1
  • Stephen Hefler — EKU — 70
  • Damon McCormick — Valparaiso (St. X) — 67.1


  • Ryne Purcell — EKU — 12
  • Rye Davis — WKU — 9
  • Gabriel Shaw — UofL — 3
  • Cody Gibson — Morehead St. — 3
  • Braden Kapteyn — UK — 2
  • Matt Harris — EKU — 2

Batting Average Against

  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — .278
  • Anthony Bazzani — EKU — .282
  • Justin Amlung — UofL — .286
  • Damon McCormick — Valparaiso (St. X) — .289
  • Jordan Cooper — UK — .303


  • Rye Davis — WKU — 33
  • Ryne Purcell — EKU — 30
  • Matt Harris — EKU — 29
  • Gabriel Shaw — UofL — 28
  • Derek Self — UofL — 27

2011 lineup projections: Eastern Kentucky University


Following the completion of the “offseason position battle” series we will post a lineup project for each of the five division one schools this week. The lineups are based on the position battle posts and are a my projection with a little background research of what the Opening Day lineup might look like. Note that while some positions were not included in the offseason battle series because they had an incumbent starter those starters can still change. We will also include weekend rotations, midweek starters and closers for good measure. We are moving in reverse order of 2010 records and will look at Eastern Kentucky University today.


  • C — Sean Hagan
  • 1B — Bryce Labhart
  • 2B — Matt Phipps
  • 3B — Brian Soloman
  • SS — Richie Rodriguez
  • LF — Austin Grisham
  • CF — Ryan Faidley
  • RF — Michael Garcia
  • DH — A. J. Jamison

Weekend rotation

  • RHP Anthony Bazzani
  • LHP Paul Duncan
  • RHP Chris Hord

Midweek starters

  • LHP Kyle McGrath
  • RHP Stephen Hefler


  • RHP Ryne Purcell