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 returning players in each 2010 statistical category. To be eligible for the percentage categories (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) a player must have at least 2.5 at-bats per team game.
Matt Rice — WKU — .369
Ryan Wright — UofL — .366
Richie Rodriguez — EKU — .357
Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — .350
Brandon Elliott — Murray St. — .347
Ryan Wright — UofL — 16
Cameron Flynn — UK — 15 *
Stewart Ijames — UofL — 14
Andrew Deeds — Morehead St. — 13
Ryan Faidley — EKU — 12
Taylor Black — UK — 11
Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — 11
Ryan Wright — UofL — 80
Matt Rice — WKU — 65
Stewart Ijames — UofL — 63
Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — 57
Kes Carter — WKU — 53
Ryan Wright — UofL — 61
Jared Andreoli — WKU — 61
Richie Rodriguez — EKU — 55
Zach Noonan — Murray St. — 52
Matt Rice — WKU — 51
Neiko Johnson — UK — 24/25
Richie Rodriguez — EKU — 21/28
Logan Robbins — WKU — 18/20
Drew Haynes — UofL — 15/22
Kes Carter — WKU — 14/17
Jared Andreoli — WKU — 14/20
Michael Fear — Morehead St. — .439
Daniel Pugh — Morehead St. — .438
Ryan Faidley — EKU — .420
Kes Carter — WKU — .418
Jared Andreoli — WKU — .415
Cameron Flynn — UK — .658 *
Ryan Wright — UofL — .638
Ryan Faidley — EKU — .605
Andrew Deeds — Morehead St. — .603
Matt Rice — WKU — .585
Stewart Ijames — UofL — .570
* — Cameron Flynn will sit out the 2011 season as a transfer from Morehead St. to UK.
Inspired by College Baseball Daily’s list of the top 100 college baseball players, BluGrass Baseball is counting down the top 25 returning Kentucky collegians in advance of the 2011 season. We continue the list today with a returning draftee who will likely close for one of the top teams in the country this season.
No. 19 — RHP Casey Lucchese — College of Charleston (Paul Laurence Dunbar HS)
Casey Lucchese; College of Charleston photo
Senior right-handed pitcher Casey Lucchese returns to college after being selected in the 39th round of the 2010 draft by the Chicago Cubs. Lucchese was 4-0 with a 3.18 ERA in 21 relief appearances in 2010. The Paul Laurence Dunbar High School alum struck out 52 batters and walked 16 in 39 and two-third innings. He held opponents to a .222 batting average last season. Lucchese appeared in one game for the Lexington Hustlers during the summer.
College of Charleston enters the 2011 season ranked No. 20 team in the country as ranked by Baseball America. Aaron Fitt of BA projects Lucchese as the team’s primary 2011 closer writing Lucchese “was the team’s most reliable reliever last year, and he should do fine as the closer thanks to an 88-92 fastball and a swing-and-miss curve.” The Lexington Herald-Leader included Lucchese on its 2007 all-city team, which also included minor leaguers Ben Revere, Robbie Ross, Jayson Langfels, Tyler Oliver and Thomas Royse and current college standouts Nick Maronde, Cameron Flynn, Justin Riddell and Travis Redmon.
We reported last night via Twitter that former Morehead State University outfielder and right-handed pitcher Cameron Flynn has transferred to the University of Kentucky. Flynn batted .326 with 15 home runs for the Eagles in 2010 and will have to sit out a season as a transfer.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said he will not trade former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton before Opening Day.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks Louisville Bats slugger Yonder Alonso MLB’s No. 5 first base prospect.
Brian Foley of College Baseball Daily has posted the 2011 Cape Cod League rosters. The Cape Cod League is generally considered the most prestigious collegiate summer league. I’ve listed Kentucky players below, but you can see the full rosters here.
RHP Chad Green — Freshman — University of Louisville
C Taylor Davis — Junior — Morehead State University
OF/RHP Cameron Flynn — Junior — University of Kentucky
RHP Dace Kime — Freshman — UofL
RHP Matt Koch — Sophomore — UofL
OF/RHP Taylor Haydel — Sophomore — Western Kentucky University
In the second Morehead State University post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant outfield position.
The departed — All-Ohio Valley Conference outfielder J. D. Ashbrook, a 2010 senior, led Morehead St. in batting (.432), home runs (18), runs scored (69), stolen bases (14), slugging percentage (.795) and on-base percentage (.540) in 2010. The right-handed hitter signed a free agent contract with the Chicago White Sox after not being selected in the 2010 MLB draft. Ashbrook started all but one game in center field for the Eagles last season. His .540 on-base percentage led all Kentucky division one collegians in 2010. Outfielder Cameron Flynn, a 2010 sophomore who transferred following the 2010 season, was the only other Eagle to record a start in center field last season.
Returning candidates — Morehead St. senior Daniel Pugh and junior Luke Bainer return in 2011 after making the majority of the starts in left and right field respectively in 2010…Redshirt freshman outfielder Ryan Conner slugged three home runs during the fall Blood Bowl series after sitting out the 2010 season. Morehead St. coach Jason Neal said of Conner following the fall scrimmage series: “It seems that Ryan Conner has given us a big hit every time we have needed one this whole series. His home run in the seventh [inning of game four] to answer their run in the top of the inning was huge.”…Junior utility man Andrew Deeds made two starts in left field in 2010…Sophomore outfielder Winston Brodrick appeared in 15 games for Morehead St. in 2010, going 1-8 on the season. According to Brodrick’s MSU bio he batted a ridiculous .650 with 52 stolen bases as a senior in high school…Freshman outfielder Nick Duff also redshirted during the 2010 season.
Newcomers to watch — Freshman outfielder and left-handed pitcher Duran Elmore is the only new outfielder listed on the Morehead St. roster. Elmore comes to the Eagles after excelling as the primary center fielder for Danville High School. Elmore was honored with a Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association’s first-team all-state selection following his senior year. As a junior Elmore batted .408 with 46 stolen bases.
Wildcard — Conner was the standout among outfield candidates during the fall Blood Bowl series, so the real wild card in this race may come if head coach Jay Sorg decides to move one of the incumbent corner outfielders (Pugh and Bainer) to center and play Conner or another returner in left or right field. At 6-6 Conner may profile better defensively in a corner outfield role than the vacant center field position.
University of Louisville sophomore infielder Ryan Wright has been selected to the 22-man 2010 Team USA Collegiate National Team.
University of Kentucky and Lexington Hustlers right-handed pitcher Joe Devine was named an all-star in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.
Lexington native Wes Wilson (Indiana), Morehead State University outfielder Cameron Flynn, Morehead St. and Hustlers infielder Travis Redmon, and Lexington native and Hustlers outfielder Justin Riddle were also named GLSC all-stars.
Georgetown College outfielder Tyler Fisher was named a New York Collegiate Baseball League all-star.
UK catcher Michael Williams was named a all-star in the New England Collegiate baseball League.
Check out the hitting BluGrass Baseball leaderboard updated through Sunday’s games. To be eligible for the percentage categories (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) a player must have at least 2.5 at-bats per team game, which means UofL senior first baseman Andrew Clark has qualified for the first time since before he missed three weeks with injury. The college leaderboard is now permanently accessible on its own page on the left sidebar here.
Recaps from a busy Saturday of baseball in the Bluegrass:
No. 9 University of Louisville wasted an excellent start from freshman right-handed pitcher Matt Koch in a 2-1 loss to Georgetown in 10 innings. Koch allowed one run on three hits in eight innings and struck out six batters while walking just one. The Cards managed just four hits in the game and scored their only run on a fourth-inning home run from sophomore shortstop Ryan Wright. Previous Saturday starting pitcher Dean Kiekhefer took the loss after allowing a run in the tenth. (Box Score)
Western Kentucky University fell just short of its second straight ninth inning, come-from-behind win in a 8-6, 10-inning loss to UALR. Senior second baseman Matt Payton and sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins each tallied three hits in the game. Redshirt sophomore closer Rye Davis took the loss after allowing two runs in the tenth inning. (Box Score)
Freshman right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper led the University of Kentucky to a must-win 2-1 victory against No. 6 South Carolina. Cooper allowed one run on four hits in six and two-third innings while striking out five and walking just two. Sophomore designated hitter Braden Kapteyn gave UK the lead with a two-run double in the fifth inning. Junior right-handed pitcher Matt Little pitched the finale two and one-third innings for his seventh save. (Box Score)
Murray State University moved into first place in the Ohio Valley conference after sweeping a doubleheader from Eastern Kentucky University with a 8-1 win in game one and a 9-6 win in game two. Breds senior first baseman Wes Cunningham tallied five hits, a home run and six RBI on the day. Senior right-handed pitcher Chris Craycraft earned the victory in game one with a complete-game performance. He struck out eight and walked one. Senior left-handed pitcher Matt McGaha took the victory in game two. (Box Score GM 1)
EKU Sophomore shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 3-7 with three runs scored in the doubleheader. Junior left-handed pitcher Paul Duncan took the loss in game one and sophomore left-handed pitcher Greg Terry took the loss in game two. (Box Score GM 2)
Morehead State University was swept in its Saturday doubleheader by UT Martin with a 10-9 loss in game one and a 17-8 loss in game two. Senior shortstop Drew Lee was 4-6 on the afternoon, and sophomore catcher Taylor Davis launched two home runs in game two. Sophomore right fielder Cameron Flynn and sophomore third baseman Andrew Deeds also homered in game two. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Hitter of the day: 1B Wes Cunningham (Murray St.)
Stats: 5-7, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB
Honorable Mention: Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Drew Lee (Morehead St.), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.), Cameron Flynn (Morehead St.), Braden Kapteyn (UK), Jason Laws (Murray St.), Colton Moore (Murray St.), Matt Payton (WKU), Logan Robbins (WKU)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Chris Craycraft (Murray St.)
Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
Honorable Mention: Jordan Cooper (UK), Matt Koch (UofL), Matt McGaha (Murray St.), Matt Little (UK)
Check out the hitting BluGrass Baseball leaderboard updated through Sunday’s games. To be eligible for the percentage categories (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) a player must have at least 2.5 at-bats per team game, which means UofL senior first baseman Andrew Clark is still not eligible in those categories after missing three weeks due to injury. The college leaderboard is now permanently accessible on its own page on the left sidebar here.
After Saturday’s rain-shortened schedule the Sunday slate of Kentucky baseball was jam packed with five of six teams playing in doubleheaders. Check out recaps and awards from those games below:
No. 13 University of Louisville dropped its series finale 8-6 to Seton Hall. Senior shortstop Adam Duvall, redshirt sophomore right fielder Stewart Ijames and freshmen third basemen Kyle Grieshaber and Cade Stallings each homered in the game for the Cards. Duvall led UofL with three hits. Junior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw suffered his first loss of the season after allowing four runs in four innings. (Box Score)
Western Kentucky University swept a doubleheader from Florida International with a walk-off 8-4 win in game one and an 8-4 win in game two. Sophomore center fielder Kes Carter was 6-9 with three runs scored and one RBI. Junior outfielder Monte Ketchum gave WKU the win in game one with a pinch-hit, walkoff grand slam. Relievers Rye Davis and Bart Carter were credit with the two wins. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
The University of Kentucky rallied for an 8-7 win in game one of a double-header with Auburn, but dropped game two 6-5 to lose a pivotal conference series. Senior first baseman Gunner Glad was 4-7 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBI. Junior right fielder Lance Ray homered in game two. Junior right-handed reliever Matt Little picked up the win in game one after allowing two unearned runs in four innings. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Morehead State University‘s recent offensive outburst was slowed Sunday as the Eagles were swept in a doubleheader by Tennessee Tech with a 5-3 loss in game one and a 12-4 defeat in game two. Sophomore outfielder Cameron Flynn homered and drove in three runs in game one. Senior right-handed pitcher Michael Bottoms and junior right-handed pitcher Matthew Robertson were handed the two losses. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Eastern Kentucky University swept its Sunday doubleheader against UT Martin with a 7-3 win in game one and a 7-4 victory in game two. Senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando drove in four in the doubleheader, and freshman designated hitter Austin Grisham tallied three hits in game one. Junior left-handed pitcher Paul Duncan allowed three runs in six innings for the game one win, and sophomore left-handed pitcher Greg Terry was credited with the game two win. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Murray State University was swept in its Sunday doubleheader by Eastern Illinois after a 8-6 loss in game one and a 7-4 defeat in game two. Senior first baseman Wes Cunningham and freshman shortstop Brandon Elliott each tallied four hits on the afternoon. Senior right-handed pitcher Chris Craycraft and redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze were credited with the two losses. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Hitter of the Day: OF Jared Andreoli (WKU)
Stats: 5-10, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI
Honorable Mention: Kes Carter (WKU), Kyle Grieshaber (UofL), Adam Duvall (UofL), Keenan Wiley (UK), Gunner Glad (UK), Taylor Davis (Morehead), Anthony Ottrando (EKU), Wes Cunningham (Murray St.)
Pitcher of the Day: LHP Paul Duncan (EKU)
Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO
Matt Little (UK), Brian Edelen (WKU), Shane Cameron (WKU), Tony Zych (UofL), Anthony Bazzani (EKU)