2011 Lineup Projections: Murray St. University

College Baseball

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 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 Murray State University today.

Lineup

  • C — Drew Pixley
  • 1B — Tyler Beers
  • 2B — Travis Isaak
  • 3B — Colton Moore
  • SS — Brandon Elliott
  • LF — Zach Noonan
  • CF — Elliot Frey
  • RF — Paul Ritzheimer
  • DH — Jacob Rhodes

Weekend rotation

  • LHP — Jacob Donze
  • LHP — Bryan Babin
  • LHP — Kyle Cornett

Midweek starting pitchers

  • LHP — Brock Downey
  • LHP — Mark Roberts

Closer

  • LHP — Luke Shuemaker
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Offseason position battle: Murray St. closer

College Baseball

We are closing out the “offseason position battle” series with a look at the three vacant Kentucky closer positions, starting today with Murray State University.

The departed — Left-handed pitcher Matt McGaha, a 2010 senior, was Murray State’s top reliever last season, finishing the season at 5-3 with a 3.90 ERA. McGaha pitched enough innings out of the Breds’ bullpen to qualify for the ERA title and recorded three saves on the season. The right-handed pitcher struck out 52 batters and walked 13 in 67 innings pitched on the season…Right-handed pitcher Dan Huff, a 2010 senior, led Murray St. with four saves in 2010. Huff was 1-4 with an 8.35 ERA in 18 games, including six starts.

Returning candidates — No returning Murray St. reliever recorded a save in 2010, but sophomore right-handed pitcher Joe Major had the most success out of the pen of any Breds returner. Major did not record a decision and posted a 3.60 ERA in four appearances, including one start. Major struck out four batters and walked nine in 10 innings pitched…Sophomore right-handed pitcher Ben Lady is the returning reliever with the most innings pitched at 20 and one-third innings, but struggled to the tune of a 7.97 ERA in 2010…No returning Murray St. reliever other than Major posted an ERA below 6.35 in 2010.

Newcomers to watch — Junior college transfer Bryan Babin had moderate success as a reliever for Mississippi Gulf Coast College in 2010, going 5-1 with a 3.46 ERA in 39 innings pitched. Babin struck out 23 batters and walked 11 in 13 appearances…Junior college transfer Luke Shuemaker proved able to miss bats with 40 strikeouts in 50 and two-third innings pitched for Rend Lake College in 2010…Junior college transfer Mark Roberts posted a save and five wins for Lincoln Trail College in 2010 while striking out 35 batters and walking 25 in 55 innings pitched…Freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle Cornett was named first-team all state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association as a senior at Eastern High School and could serve as a valuable reliever if he does not start for the Breds…Freshman right-handed pitcher Tyler Saltsman was named second-team all-state by KHSBCA as a senior at Grayson County High School.

Wildcard — Freshman two-way player Brock Downey may be called on to pitch and play outfield for the Breds in 2011. As a senior left-handed pitcher at Murray High School Downey posted a 2.18 ERA and 102 strikeouts. KHSBCA named him first-team all-state and the Region 1 player of the year as a senior. Downey batted .550 and stole 52 bases as a senior at the plate. Considering no Murray St. reliever posted more than four saves in 2010 there is a good chance head coach Rob McDonald may use a revolving set of pitchers in the late innings all season.

Offseason position battle: Murray St. starting pitchers

College Baseball

In the fifth Murray State University post of the “offseason position battle series we will look at the vacant weekend starting pitching slots.

The departed — Right-handed pitcher Chris Craycraft, a 2010 senior, served as the Murray State ace for each of the last two seasons, being named second-team all-Ohio Valley Conference following the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Craycraft was 6-4 with a 5.05 ERA in 16 games, including 15 starts, for the Breds in 2010. The Lexington native struck out 72 batters and walked 35 in 92 and two-third innings pitched…Right-handed pitcher Alex Love, a 2010 senior, was 8-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 19 games, including eight starts, for the Breds last season. Love struck out 35 batters and walked 23 in 70 and one-third innings pitched…Right-handed pitchers Marc Harmon and Dan Huff, both 2010 seniors, combined to make 13 starts for Murray St. last season but neither finished the year with an ERA below 8.35.

Returning candidates — Senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze made 16 starts for Murray St. in 2010 and finished the season at 6-6 with a 6.02 ERA. Donze struck out 71 batters and walked 56 in 83.2 innings pitched and enters 2011 as the Breds de facto ace…Sophomore right-handed pitchers Joe Major, Will Handlin, and Ben Lady each made one start for Murray St. in 2010. Major was the only returning Murray St. pitcher to finish 2010 with a sub-4.00 ERA, but he logged just 10 innings pitched on the season.

Newcomers to watch — Junior college transfer Bryan Babin pitched four shutout innings in the decisive game of the Murray St. Fall World Series. Babin, a junior left-handed pitcher, was 5-1 with a 3.46 ERA in 39 innings pitched as a sophomore at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College…Junior college transfer Luke Shuemaker, a junior left-handed pitcher, was 4-2 with a 5.15 ERA in 50 and two-third innings pitched for Rend Lake College in 2010…Junior college transfer Mark Roberts, a junior left-handed pitcher, was 5-3 with a 4.42 ERA in 55 innings pitched for Lincoln Trail College in 2010…Freshman left-handed pitchers Kyle Cornett and Brock Downey were both named first-team all-state as a seniors by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association…Freshman right-handed pitcher Cameron Finch was named first-team all state as a senior in Collierville, Tenn., and pitched eight complete games and two no-hitters in 2010.

Wildcard — The Breds have no shortage of starting pitcher candidates as head coach Rob McDonald brought in nine new pitchers to the 2011 pitching staff. Junior Tyler Beers, a junior college transfer, may be needed to man the vacant first base position for the Breds, but he also logged experience as a right-handed pitcher at Mineral Area college. Beers was 2-7 with a 6.12 ERA as a sophomore, but proved to be an innings eater after striking out 55 in 64 and two-third innings pitched.

Offseason position battle: Murray St. outfielder

College Baseball

Zach Noonan; BluGrass Baseball photo

In the fourth Murray State University post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant outfield position.

The departed — Outfielder Daniel Hill, a 2010 senior, started 33 games in right field and six as the designated hitter for the Breds in 2010. On the season he batted .284 with five home runs, 37 RBI and 33 runs scored. As a junior Hill batted .344 with a then school-record 16 home runs…Utility man Bryan Propst started 26 games in left field, five games in right field, five games at first base and 15 as the Breds’ designated hitter in 2010. Propst was second on the team in batting (.366), home runs (14), runs scored (57), hits (75), RBI (56) and total bases (140). He tied for the team lead with 19 doubles.

Returning candidates — The Breds return their every day center fielder in senior Elliot Frey, who started 51 games in the outfield in 2010, and corner outfielder senior Zach Noonan, who started 50 games in the outfield last season… The race for the third outfield spot is wide open as Murray state returns just one player who started a game in the outfield in 2010, and that player, senior catcher Drew Pixley, started just one game…Freshman outfielder Brandon Eggenschwiler and Ty Stetson both redshirted during the 2010 season.

Newcomers to watch — Murray St. head coach Rob McDonald added two junior college transfers to the outfield mix for the 2011 Breds. Redshirt sophomore Paul Ritzheimer comes to Murray from Kaskaskia Community College where he batted .405 with three home runs and 20 RBI as a freshman…Junior outfielder Cody Larson batted .263 with three home runs, 16 RBI and 16 runs scored as a sophomore at Skyline Junior College…Freshman left-handed pitcher and outfielder Brock Downey was named first-team all state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association as a senior at Murray High School. Downey batted .550 with 52 stolen bases as a senior.

Wildcard — The wildcard in the Murray State outfield race may be the only returning reserve who started a game in the outfield in 2010: senior catcher Drew Pixley. The Breds boast five catchers on the roster with Pixley and junior college transfer Jacob Rhodes leading the race for playing time. If McDonnell wants to get both players in the lineup, he could try Pixley in the outfield once again.

2011 Newcomers: Murray State University

Minor League Baseball

Murray State University has posted its 2011 roster which means we have out first look at the official list of Breds’ newcomers for the upcoming season. The roster may change slightly by the spring semester, but this list should at least give you a good idea of what the Breds will look like in 2011. You can see the full roster here, but I’ve listed the newcomers below with year and previous school:

  • INF — Wes Warren — FR — Hendersonville HS (Tenn.)
  • RHP — Cameron Finch — FR — Collier HS (Tenn.)
  • C — Clay Fuson — FR — Lipscomb HS (Tenn.)
  • INF — Chase Freeman — FR — Anderson HS (Ind.)
  • LHP/OF — Brock Downey — FR — Murray High School (Ky.)
  • LHP — Thomas McGurk — FR — Medina HS (Ohio)
  • RHP — Tyler Saltsman — FR — Grayson County High School (Ky.)
  • LHP — Kyle Cornett — FR — Eastern High School (Ky.)
  • OF — Paul Ritzheimer — SO — Kaskaskia CC (Ill.)
  • LHP — Bryan Babin — JR — Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
  • RHP/1B — Tyler Beers — JR — Mineral Area College (Mo.)
  • INF — Travis Isaak — JR — Lincoln Trail CC (Ill.)
  • OF — Corey Larson — JR — Skyline CC (Cal.)
  • C — Jacob Rhodes — JR — Wabash Valley College (Mich.)
  • LHP — Luke Shuemaker — JR — Rend Lake College (Paducah, Ky.)
  • LHP — Mark Roberts — JR — Lincoln Tail CC (Henderson, Ky.)
  • RHP — Curan McNeely — JR — Land Lake College (Ill.)

KHSBCA Region Players of Year

High School Baseball

In the last of the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association 2010 awards we’ll look at the players of the year from each of the 16 regions. You can also see the coach and assistant coach of the year for each region here.

    • Region 1 — Brock Downey (Murray)
    • Region 2 — Kyle Gibson (Henderson County)
    • Region 3 — Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro Catholic)
    • Region 4 — Ty Downing (Greenwood)
    • Region 5 — Aaron Schwoebel (Campbellsville)
    • Region 6 — Brandon Alphin (Bullit East)
    • Region 7 — Corey Littrell (Trinity)
    • Region 8 — A.J. Knezevich (Oldham Co.)
    • Region 9 — Austin Pugh (Conner)
    • Region 10 — Jared Martin (Harrison Co.)
    • Region 11 — Trevor Gott (Tates Creek)
    • Region 12 — Aaron Watts (McCreary Central)
    • Region 13 — John Wilson (Clay Co.)
    • Region 14 — Kevin Smith (Perry Central)
    • Region 15 — Chandler Shepherd (Lawrence Co.)
    • Region 16 — Joe Hunt (Fleming Co.)

Ky seniors named Rawlings All-Americans

High School Baseball

Earlier today we linked Perfect Game USA‘s underclassmen high school All-American teams. Perfect Game partnered with Rawlings Sporting Goods to release the senior All-American team a few weeks ago, but several Kentucky high schoolers and in-state college signees were honored, so the list is still worth passing along. I’ve included those players with school and college commitment below, but you can see the full team here.

3rd Team All-American

  • LHP Corey Littrell — Trinity — University of Kentucky
  • C Jake DePew — Granite City (Ill.) — University of Louisville
  • RHP Kim Dace — Defiance (Ohio) — UofL

High Honorable Mention

  • RHP Patrick Maronde — Lexington Catholic — Coastal Carolina
  • LHP Joel Bender — Oak Hills (Ohio) — UofL
  • INF Alex Chittenden — Lawrence Central (Ind.) — UofL
  • RHP Chad Green — Effingham (Ill.) — UofL
  • P Jeffrey Thompson — Floyd Centrall (Ind.) — UofL
  • RHP Trevor Gott — Tates Creek — UK
  • OF Gavin Patton — IMG Academies (Fla.) — UK
  • RHP Blake Perry — Danville, IMG Academies (Fla.) — UK
  • SS Matt Reida — Russiaville (Ind.) — UK
  • OF G. J. Strauss — Chesterfield (Mo.) — Western Kentucky University

Hit the jump for players honored on regional teams

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.