NCAA roundup: UofL rallies for late win; WKU, UK lose

College Baseball

Stewart Ijames and Ryan Wright look on from the UofL dugout; BluGrass Baseball photo

Recaps and highlights from Friday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • Western Kentucky University held a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning but surrendered single runs over the final three frames, culminated by a walk-off home run in the ninth inning, give Louisiana Monroe a 5-4 win in game one of a three-game series. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Ross Hammonds took the loss after surrendering two runs on two hits in one and one-third innings. Junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson was 2-4 with one RBI, one run scored and one walk. The Hilltoppers wasted a quality start from sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins, who surrendered three runs on nine hits in seven innings while striking out seven batters and walking one. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn a 3-2 win over Georgetown. Redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames and senior catcher J. J. Ethel tallied RBI in the eighth inning rally, and junior second baseman Ryan Wright was 2-3 with one RBI, one run scored an one walk. Freshman right-handed pitcher Cody Edge was credited with the win after recording the final out in the top of the eighth inning, but junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self pitched well in his second start. Self surrendered two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in seven and two-third innings while striking out four batters and walking none. Junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 11th save. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky like saw any remaining post season hopes dashed with a series-clinching 12-4 win by LSU in game two of the three-game series. Freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell took the loss after surrendering five runs, two of which were earned, on four hits in one and two-third innings. The Cats surrendered five unearned runs in the game and committed four errors. Junior left-fielder Chad Wright was the only UK batter with multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-3 with one RBI, one run scored and one walk. Redshirt senior utility man Neiko Johnson tallied his first hit since returning from injury with a two-run double in the ninth inning. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: LF Chad Wright
  • Stats: 2-3, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Hutchinson (WKU), Matt Rice (WKU), Ryan Wright (UofL)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Derek Self (UofL)
  • Stats: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Tanner Perkins (WKU)

Black, Amlung, Littrell earn week 2 BluGrass Baseball awards

College Baseball

Taylor Black; UK Athletics photo

It’s time for the weekly BluGrass Baseball awards. Check out the best hitting, pitching and freshmen performances from week two of the 2011 season:

Hitter of the week: SS Taylor Black (UK)

  • Stats: 9-17 (.529), 1 HR, 9 R, 9 RBI, 5 BB, 3 doubles, 1 stolen base
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Rice (WKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU), Luke Maile (UK), Ryan Wright (UofL), Jacob Daniel (EKU), Austin Grisham (EKU), Jacob Rhodes (Murray St.), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the week: RHP Justin Amlung (UofL)

  • Stats: 0-0, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Tanner Perkins (WKU), Taylor Haydel (WKU), Walter Wijas (UK), Corey Littrell (UK), Matt Koch (UofL), Stephen Hefler (EKU), Kyle McGrath (EKU), Tyler Beers (Murray St.), Jake Donze (Murray St.)

Freshman of the week: LHP Corey Littrell (UK)

  • Stats: 1-0, 6.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Scott Wilcox (WKU), Trevor Gott (UK), Matt Reida (UK), Cody Edge (UofL), Kyle McGrath (EKU), Cameron Finch (Murray St.), Noah Smallwood (Morehead St.)

Sunday roundup: UofL, UK, EKU pick up wins in finales

College Baseball

Highlights and recaps from Sunday Kentucky collegiate baseball action:

  • Western Kentucky University closed out the Baseball at the Beach Tournament with a disappointing 4-1 loss to previously winless Pacific. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Taylor Haydel took the loss after surrendering four runs on seven hits in five and two-third innings while striking out six and walking none. At the plate junior second baseman Ivan Hartle and freshman third baseman Scott Wilcox were the only Hilltoppers with multiple hits, and both finished the game 2-4. Sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins scored the only run of the game for WKU. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville salvaged one win in its three-game series versus Toledo with a 4-2 victory following a late rally on Sunday. The Cards scored three runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a home run from junior second baseman Ryan Wright and a RBI double from sophomore first baseman Cade Stallings. Freshman left-handed pitcher Cody Edge earned his first collegiate victory after surrendering one run on one hit in two innings of relief. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold surrendered one run on three hits in four innings while striking out four and walking two. The Cards took the lead in the sixth inning on a RBI-groundout from senior catcher J. J. Ethel. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning and scored two runs without recording a hit to earn a 3-1 win in the rubber match of its three-game series vs. Illinois-Chicago. Freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott earned his first collegiate victory after inducing a double play when he entered the game in the sixth inning with two men on base and one out. Senior left-handed pitcher Mike Kaczmarek recorded the final four outs to earn his first career save. No UK batter recorded multiple hits in the game, but sophomore center fielder Brian Adams was 1-2 with a run scored and a hit-by-pitch. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University couldn’t finish of its series sweep of Bowling Green St. as it dropped a 4-2 decision in a rain-shortened Sunday game. Junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers took the loss after surrendering four runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits in six innings while striking out three and walking none. Redshirt freshman outfielder Ty Stetson and junior second baseman Travis Isaak were each 2-3 in the game. Junior first baseman Jacob Rhodes was the only other Murray St. batter to record a hit, and he drove in two runs. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University earned its first series win of the season after holding off a late Purdue rally to preserve a 7-6 win in the rubber match of the series Sunday. Senior designated hitter Jacob Daniel finished the game 3-5 with one RBI. Freshman catcher Sean Hagen and senior center fielder Ryan Faidley each tallied two hits and scored two runs in the game. Senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler earned the win after surrendering two runs on six hits in five and one-third innings while striking out one batter and walking four. Purdue rallied for three runs in the ninth inning off junior right-handed pitcher Lincoln Wagner, but EKU senior closer Ryne Purcell got the final out for his second save of the season. (Box Score)
  • In its Sunday double-header Morehead State University surrendered 35  runs in two games, dropping game one 18-1 and game two 17-9 to Purdue. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cody Gibson took the loss in game one after surrendering seven runs, five of which were earned on nine hits in two and two-third innings. In game two junior right-handed pitcher Matthew Robertson took the loss after surrendering 11 runs, seven of which were earned in three and one-third innings. Junior catcher Taylor Davis was 5-8 with three RBI and two runs scored in the two games, and redshirt sophomore designated hitter Kellen Begeman was 3-5 with two RBI and one run scored in game two. (Box Score, GM 1) (Box Score, GM 2)

Hitter of the day: C Taylor Davis (Morehead St.)

  • Stats: 4-8, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R
  • Honorable Mention: Travis Isaak (Murray St.), Kellen Begeman (Morhead St.), Jacob Daniel (EKU), Ryan Faidley (EKU), Ryan Wright (UofL)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Mike Nastold (UofL)

  • Stats: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Trevor Gott (UK), Jordan Cooper (UK), Tyler Beers (Murray St.), Stephen Hefler (EKU)

Offseason position battle: UofL outfielder

College Baseball

In the sixth University of Louisville post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant outfield position.

The departed — Texas Rangers draftee Josh Richmond, a 2010 junior, missed most of last season with a wrist injury but batted .262 with one home run, 10 RBI and 17 runs scored in 23 games for the Cards. Richmond, an outfielder who started in each of his 23 appearances, was the Rangers 12th round pick in the 2010 draft…Tampa Bay Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich, a 2010 junior, started five games in left field last season…First baseman and outfielder Mike Morrison, a 2010 sophomore, and outfielder Drew Fitzpatrick, a 2010 freshman, started 12 games in the outfield for the Cards last season but neither is listed on the 2011 UofL roster

Returning candidates — Outfield stalwarts senior Drew Haynes and redshirt junior Stewart Ijames return to UofL after starting 64 and 63 games respectively for the Cards in 2010. Haynes batted .291 with 15 stolen bases and served as the primary center fielder until Richmond returned from injury late in the season. Ijames, the 29th round pick of the New York Yankees, batted .324 with 14 home runs, 63 RBI and 64 runs scored in 2010…Sophomore utility man Kyle Grieshaber started 23 games in left field for the Cards in 2010 while serving as Richmond’s primary replacement during his injury. Grieshaber batted .239 with one home run, 15 RBI and 24 runs scored in 53 games last season, but he is the leading candidate for the vacant third base position, after starting each of the five Fall Pizza Bowl Series games there…Sophomore outfielder Jarred Clarkson started two games in left field in 2010 but was just 2-16 in 28 games for the Cards last year.

Newcomers to watch — Freshman Cody Edge started each of the five Pizza Bowl Series games in left field, going 4-12 with two runs scored, two RBI and a walk. Edge will also likely pitch for the Cards in 2011. The two-way player was a three-time all-state selection at Cherokee Washington High School in Iowa and batted .456 with nine home runs, 34 RBI and 32 runs scored as a senior…Freshman outfielder and left-handed pitcher Cole Sturgeon started each of the five Pizza Bowl Series games in centerfield and finished the series 7-17 with two runs scored, five RBI and two walks. Sturgeon was named first-team all state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association as a senior at Owensboro Catholic High School.

Wildcard — Freshman infielders Ryan Seiz and Adam Engel both have the ability to play outfield but started each Pizza Bowl Series game at third base and second base respectively. Each of those positions is likely to be manned by a veteran when the Cards begin the 2011 season so head coach Dan McDonnell could elect to player either newcomer in the outfield to get some playing time. The vacant outfield position will also be heavily effect by the corner infield battles as McDonnell is likely to make sure sophomores Grieshaber, Zak Wasserman and Cade Stallings are each in the lineup in some combination at first base, third base, outfield and designated hitter.

Offseason position battle: UofL weekend starting pitcher

College Baseball

In the second University of Louisville post in the “Offseason position battle” series we will look at the two vacant weekend starting pitcher slots:

The departed: Big East pitcher of the year Thomas Royse has moved on to professional ball after going 9-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 16 starts for the Cards in 2010. Royse, who was the third-supplemental round pick of the Chicago White Sox, struck out 99 batters and walked just 26 in 104.1 innings pitched last season. Left-handed pitcher Dean Kiekhefer made 10 starts for UofL in 2010 before moving to professional ball as the 36th round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch finished the 2010 season as a weekend starter and is likely to begin 2011 in the same position. UofL returns several mid-week starters from 2010 and welcomes a plethora of talented freshman so there is no shortage of candidates for the vacant weekend starting slot.

Returning candidates: Redshirt sophomore Justin Amlung is the only returning Card who made at least 10 starts last season and is likely a favorite to slide into one of weekend starting slots. Amlung was 5-2 with a 4.27 ERA in 2010…Senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw pitched mostly out of the bullpen for UofL in 2011, but held his own in three starts. On the season Shaw was 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA but was 1-1 in three starts, highlighted by a seven-inning, one-run performance against West Virginia…Junior Derek Self was 7-0 with a 4.52 ERA in 27 games including eight starts for UofL in 2010. This summer he was named a Cape Cod League All-Star after going 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA for the Chatham Anglers…Koch, Shaw, Amlung and junior right-handed pitcher Travis Tingle each received at least one start during the fall Pizza Bowl series…After missing all of 2010 with an injury redshirt sophomore Mike Nastold made two starts during the Pizza Bowl. Nastold made six starts as a freshman in 2009.

Newcomers to watch: Freshman right-handed pitcher Dace Kime was the eighth round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010 an arrives at UofL after receiving All-American honors as a senior at Defiance High School in Ohio. As a senior Kime was 7-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 108 strikeouts…Freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Green was the 37th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2010 draft after going 9-2 with a 1.65 ERA and 107 strikeouts as a senior at Effingham High School in Illinois…Freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson pitched four and two-third scoreless innings in a Pizza Bowl start during fall practice…Freshman left-handed pitcher Cody Edge boasted a miniscule 0.97 ERA as a senior at Cherokee Washington High School in Iowa and allowed one run in three and two-third innings during the Pizza Bowl.

Wildcard: Junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych was recently rated the No. 25 college draft prospect by Baseball America. Zych has enjoyed most of his college success as a reliever but did make five starts for UofL to begin the 2010 season. That experiment was an unmitigated failure but head coach Dan McDonnell may not be able to resist trying such a talent in the rotation again. Zych was named a Cape Cod League All-Star last summer and received the league’s postseason best pro prospect and best relief pitcher awards.

2011 Newcomers: University of Louisville

College Baseball

The University of Louisville has posted its 2011 season roster on the athletic department website, which means we have the official list of newcomers for next season. You can see the full roster here, but I’ve listed the newcomers with position and former school below:

  • 2B/SS — Alex Chittenden — FR — Lawrence Central HS (Ind.)
  • INF — Adam Engel — FR — Loveland HS (Ohio)
  • LHP — Cody Edge — FR — Cherokee Washington HS (Iowa)
  • C — Kyle Gibson — FR — Henderson County High School
  • OF/LHP — Cole Sturgeon — FR — Owensboro Catholic High School
  • 3B/OF — Ryan Seiz — FR — Christopher Dock HS (Penn.)
  • RHP — Chad Green — FR — Effingham HS (Ill.)
  • LHP/1B — Brad Hedden — FR — Roxbury HS (N. J.)
  • RHP/3B — Brandon Alphin — FR — Bullitt East High School
  • SS — Ty Young — FR — Malvern Preparatory HS (Penn.)
  • RHP — Travis Tingle — JR — Cleveland State
  • C — Jeff Gardner — FR — Whitefield Academy
  • RHP — Jeff Thompson — FR — Floyd Central HS (Ind.)
  • RHP — Dace Kime — FR — Defiance HS (Ohio)

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