NCAA roundup: UofL, WKU clinch series wins; Murray St., EKU split double-headers; UK loses 8th straight SEC game

College Baseball

Richie Rodriguez; BluGrass Baseball photo

Recaps and highlights from Saturday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • The University of Louisville scored two runs in the eighth inning to break open a 3-3 tie en route to a 5-3 win over Cincinnati. Junior right-handed pitcher Travis Tingle earned the win after striking out three of the four batters he faced. Redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames was 1-2 with one home run, two walks, one RBI and one run scored, and sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman was 2-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung took a no decision after surrendering three runs on six hits in six and two-third innings while striking out six batters and walking two. Junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University clinched a series win versus Louisiana-Lafayette with a 2-1 victory. The Hilltoppers scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a RBI single from senior catcher Matt Rice. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Ross Hammonds was credited with the win after pitching two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, and junior right-handed pitcher Phil Wetherell pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save. Junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was the only WKU batter with multiple hits in the game. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins took a no decision after surrendering one run on six hits in six innings. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky dropped its eighth consecutive Southeastern Conference game with a 15-8 loss to Auburn. Freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell took the loss after surrendering seven runs on 11 hits in six and one-third innings while striking out five batters and walking none. Junior left fielder Chad Wright was 2-4 with one home run, three RBI and one run scored. Junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy and freshman designated hitter Dallen Reber both had two hits and one home run. UK led Auburn 6-3 after five innings, but the Tigers scored 12 runs over the final four innings to blow the game open. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University‘s pitching was no match for the Jacksonville State offense in a 20-7 loss in game one of a double-header. Junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers took the loss after surrendering six runs on eight hits in two and two-third innings. Freshman catcher Clay Fuson and senior center fielder Elliot Frey both homered in the game. Junior first baseman Cody Larson was 3-3 with three RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • In game two of the double-header Murray St. rebounded for a 12-6 win over Jacksonville State. Senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze earned the win after surrendering six runs on 12 hits in seven innings. Senior right fielder Zach Noonan was 3-4 with one home run, six RBI and two runs scored. Larson was 3-4 in game two, and junior second baseman Travis Isaak was 2-3 with one RBI and three runs scored. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University dropped game one of a double-header 7-4 Daviess County High School alum Jeremy Dobbs and Austin Peay. Dobbs surrendered three runs on six hits in six and two-thirds innings while striking out seven batters and walking one to earn the win. EKU redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Matt Fyffe took the loss after surrendering five runs on nine hits in five and two-third innings. EKU junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 4-5, and junior right fielder Michael Garcia was 3-4. Freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman slugged his fifth home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • EKU earned a split in the double-header versus Austin Peay with a 8-5 win in game two. Junior right-handed pitcher Matt Harris earned the win after surrendering one run in four innings of relief. Rodriguez was 3-3 with three runs scored, and junior catcher A. J. Jamison was 2-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Junior left fielder Jacob Daniel drove in three runs, and Soloman was 2-4 with two RBI. Bowling Green High School alum Jack Snodgrass took the loss for Austin Peay after surrendering seven runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits in four innings. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University‘s double-header versus Eastern Illinois was rained out and will be rescheduled for Sunday.

Hitter of the day: SS Richie Rodriguez (EKU)

  • Stats: 7-8, 4 R, 2 SBs
  • Honorable Mention: Stewart Ijames (UofL), Ivan Hartle (WKU), Chad Wright (UK), Thomas McCarthy (UK), Dallen Reber (UK), Cody Larson (Murray St.), Zach Noonan (Murray St.), A. J. Jamison (EKU), Bryan Soloman (EKU)

Pitcher of the day: LHP Jeremy Dobbs (Austin Peay, Daviess Co. HS)

  • Stats: 1-0, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Justin Amlung (UofL), Tanner Perkins (WKU), Travis Tingle (UofL), Ross Hammonds (WKU), Matt Harris (EKU)

Offseason position battle: Murray State catcher

College Baseball

Jason Laws; BluGrass Baseball photo

In our second Murray State University post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the Breds’ vacant catching position.

The departed — Senior Jason Laws batted .314 with four home runs, 36 RBI, 41 runs scored and 14 doubles in 52 games for Murray St. in 2010. Laws started 45 games behind the plate for Murray State last season and five games at designated hitter when he wasn’t catching. Laws was one of just three Breds to appear in over 50 games in 2010. The catcher made 13 errors on the season and finished 2010 with a .951 fielding percentage. Laws also was credited with 11 passed balls. Opposing runners were successful 86.4 percent of the time in 57 stolen base attempts against Laws.

Returning candidates — Senior catcher Drew Pixley made all 12 starts behind the plate in 2010 that didn’t go to Laws for Murray State. Pixley batted .309 with no home runs, six RBI and 14 runs scored in 2010. The left-handed pitcher appeared in 22 total games for Murray State in 2010. Opposing runners were successful 75 percent of the time in 18 stolen base attempts against Pixley in 2010…Senior catcher Bo Akers has appeared in seven games over two seasons with Murray St…Freshman catcher Nick Paradossi redshirted during the 2010 season but batted .443 as a senior at Bosse High School in Evansville, Ind.

Newcomers to watch — Junior college transfer Jacob Rhodes figures to earn significant playing time after coming to Murray St. from Wabash Valley Junior College. Rhodes earned honorable mention JUCO All-American honors as a sophomore at Wabash after batting .391 with eight home runs and 76 RBI. Rhodes scored 72 runs in 56 games for Wabash…Freshman Clay Fuson is the other new catcher on the roster. Fuson comes to Murray St. from Lipscomb High School in Nashville, Tenn., where he batted .389 as a senior.

Wildcard — It appears the only surprise in the Breds’ catching battle would be if Pixley or Rhodes didn’t get the majority of the playing time behind the plate. The real wildcard in this battle will be if head coach Rob McDonald tries to get both players in the lineup at the same time by playing one at DH, first base or some other position on the diamond.

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.)