Opening Weekend Review: Western Kentucky University

College Baseball

Western Kentucky University was one of two Kentucky schools to earn a series sweep in its opening series of the season. In our second opening weekend review post we’ll look at the Hilltoppers.

  • BGSU no match for Hilltoppers’ offense: Seven different WKU batters hit at least .300 in the opening series of the season, highlighted by senior Matt Rice‘s .538 performance with seven RBI and three runs scored. Outfielders Matt Borgschulte, Jared Andreoli and Ryan Hutchinson each hit over .400 in the series as well. Perhaps influenced by the new NCAA mandated bats, no Hilltopper homered in the series, but the team did tally eight doubles and three triples. Even without the power surge WKU scored 32 runs in the series.
  • Perkins anchors new weekend rotation: WKU had to replace two weekend starting pitchers this season, but sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins, who spent parts of 2010 in the weekend rotation, made his case to be the new WKU ace with six shutout innings Friday. Perkins struck out five batters, walked two and surrendered just two hits in the game. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Taylor Haydel struggled in his Saturday start, but senior Brian Edelen, the team’s fourth starting pitcher, recorded three scoreless innings of relief Sunday.
  • Freshmen excel in limited action: Sunday starting pitcher Justin Hageman was the only freshman to see extended playing time on the weekend, but WKU head coach Chris Finwood did let six freshmen make their collegiate debuts. Hageman earned a win in his first collegiate start on Sunday after surrendering three runs in five innings.¬†Freshmen relievers G. J. Strauss and Austin Clay recorded three outs without surrendering a run. At the plate freshman infielder Scott Wilcox was 1-1 in two games, and freshman outfielder David Simmons was 0-1 in one game. Freshman outfielder Jordan Cessna also made his debut as a defensive replacement.

KHSAA State Tournament Day Two Roundup

High School Baseball

Recaps and awards from the final four first-round Kentucky High School Athletic Association state tournament games:

  • Region Three champion Daviess County High School broke a 3-3 tie open with a four-run fifth inning to record a 7-4 first-round win against Region Two champion Hopkinsville High School. Daviess County senior starting pitcher Austin Clay recorded the complete game victory to move to 7-0 on the season, allowing just two earned runs and striking out nine while walking just two. Daviess County sophomore center fielder Caleb McIntire was 3-5 with three runs scored in the game. Hopkinsville senior starting pitcher Justin Hageman, a Western Kentucky University signee and Detroit Tigers draft pick, took the loss after allowing seven runs on eight hits in five innings. (Box Score)
  • Region Seven champion Louisville Male High School rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure a walk-off 5-4 victory over Region Four champion Warren Central High School in the second Tuesday first-round matchup. Male used two walks, two doubles, a hit-by-pitch and three wild pitches, all coming with two outs, to finish the improbable comeback. Male senior shortstop Kameron Mason finished the game 2-3 with two runs scored, and junior pitcher Brandon Allen earned his tenth win of the season with three innings of one-run relief out of bullpen. Warren Central senior starting pitcher Shane Waldrop looked to be in line for his 14th win of the year after allowing just one run through six and two-third innings, but could record the final out and fell to 13-3 on the season. Warren Central senior shortstop Jacob King was 3-3 with two RBI and one runs scored, and sophomore center fielder Trevor Lowe was 3-4. (Box Score)
  • In Tuesday’s third first-round game Region 11 champion Lexington Christian Academy had no trouble with Region One champion Lone Oak High School in a 7-2 victory. LCA senior left fielder Evan Stephens was 4-4 with three runs scored in the game. Junior right fielder Austin Bundy was 3-3, and junior starting pitcher Joe Duncan earned the win after allowing one run in five innings. Lone Oak freshman Lucas Englert was 2-3 at the plate but took the loss after allowing three runs in two and two-third innings on the mound. Lone Oak sophomore left fielder Jack Coleman was 2-4 with a run scored. (Box Score)
  • In a game that was suspended due to weather and completed Wednesday morning, Region 10 champion Harrison County High School recorded the tournament’s first shutout in an 8-0 win over Region 13 champion Clay County High School. Harrison County junior left fielder Eric Saunders was 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, and junior designated hitter Shane Fowler was 2-3 with a double, triple and two RBI. Harrison County junior starting pitcher Logan Daily struck out six in three scoreless innings. Clay County junior first baseman Brandon Griffin was 2-2 with two doubles and a walk. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: OF Evan Stephens (LCA)

  • Stats: 4-4, 3 R, 1 2B
  • Honorable Mention: Caleb McIntire (Daviess Co.), Jacob King (Warren Central), Trevor Lowe (Warren Central), Kameron Mason (Male), Austin Bundy (LCA), Lucas Englert (Lone Oak), Brandon Griffin (Clay Co.), Eric Saunders (Harrison Co.)

Pitcher of the day: Austin Clay (Daviess Co.)

  • Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Brandon Allen (Male), Shane Waldrop (Warren Central), Joe Duncan (LCA), Logan Daily (Harrison Co.)

KHSBCA releases 2010 preseason top 50 players

High School Baseball
The Kentucky High School Baseball Coach’s Association has released its 2010 preseason top 50 players list. The honorees are listed below by first name alphabetical order with college commitments when known:
  • Aaron Schwobel (Campbellsville)
  • Andrew Bowling (Trinity)
  • Austin Clay (Daviess Co.)
  • Austin Pugh (Conner)
  • Austin Lyons (Paintsville)
  • Beau Bouthilette (Elizabethtown)
  • Brandon Alphin (Bullit East) — University of Louisville
  • Brian Hockman (Pleasure Ridge Park)
  • Brian Doering (Manual) — Western Kentucky University
  • Brock Downey (Murray) — Murray State University
  • Bud Mortin (West Jessamine) — Morehead State University
  • Chris Beymer (PLD) — Purdue University
  • Cole Isom (Christian Co.)
  • Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro Catholic) — UofL
  • Corey Littrell (Trinity) — University of Kentucky
  • Corey Sloan (Hazard)
  • Dakota Ritchie (Breathitt Co.)
  • Dalton West (Apollo)
  • Derek Stapleton (East Carter)
  • Duran Elmore (Danville) — Morehead St.
  • Eric Standafer (Shelby Co.)
  • Gus Wise (Lee Co.)
  • J. T. Riddle (Western Hills) — UK
  • Jacob Russell (Anderson Co.)
  • Jared Martin (Harrison Co.)
  • Jeff Gardner (Whitefield Academy)
  • Jimmy Conway (Eastern)
  • John Fidanza (Ballard) — Coastal Carolina
  • Jordan Cessna (Henderson Co.) — WKU
  • Justin Hageman (Hopkinsville) — WKU
  • Kyle Gibson (Henderson Co.)
  • Kyle Cornett (Eastern) — Murray St.
  • Logan Dailey (Harrison Co.)
  • Logan McQueary (George Rogers Clark)
  • Loui Helmburg (West Jessamine) — Marshall University
  • Lucas Whitt (LCA) — UK
  • Malcom Thomas (Harrison Co.)
  • Matt Bowles (Bullitt East)
  • Noah Smallwood (West Jessamine) — Morehead St.
  • Ryan Hayden (Graves Co.)
  • Sean Thompson (Franklin Co.)
  • Shane Pack (Lawrence Co.)
  • Spencer Pettet (Monroe Co.) — Belmont University
  • Spencer Drake (Eastern)
  • Tanner Smith (North Laurel) — WKU
  • Tanner Richerson (Murray)
  • Taylor Banks (PRP)
  • Trevor Gott (Tates Creek) — UK
  • Ty Downing (Greenwood) — Indiana University
  • Tyler Saltsman (Grayson Co.) — Murray St.