In our third Murray State University post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant second base position.
The departed — Murray St. split its 57 starts at second base between three players in 2010: seniors Kyle Tiernan and Cory Hodskins and sophomore Jonathan Craycraft. The Breds lost Tiernan, who started 32 games at second base, and Hodskins, who started one game at second, to graduation. Craycraft, who started 24 games at the position, is not listed on the 2011 roster. Tiernan batted .300 with three home runs, 37 RBI and 30 runs scored in 2010, while Craycraft batted .262 with two home runs, 13 RBI and 23 runs scored. Craycraft started 46 games at second base as a freshman, batting .337.
Returning candidates — Murray St. lists just two returning infielders on its 2011 roster: sophomores Brandon Elliott and Colton Moore. Elliott returns to the Breds as the primary shortstop after starting 43 games there in 2010. Moore started 19 games at third base and 24 games as a designated hitter in 2010 and will likely be the primary third baseman in 2011.
Newcomers to watch — Junior college transfer Travis Isaak joins the Breds after batting .420 with 19 doubles, eight home runs and 55 RBI as a sophomore at Lincoln Trail Community College. Isaak batted .365 with 25 doubles, five home runs and 38 RBI as a freshman at LTCC…Freshman infielder Wes Warren comes to Murray St. from Goodlettsville, Tenn., where he batted .419 with seven triples and 32 RBI as a senior at Hendersonville High School.
Wildcard — With just four infielders listed on the 2011 roster there appear to be few surprises in the second base competition. Head coach Rob McDonald could conceivably move incumbent infielders Elliott and Moore to the position, though that appears unlikely as neither logged any time at second base during 2011. If a position change from another player was in order, the Breds boast a surplus at catcher with five players and outfield with six players on the roster.