Recaps and highlights from Wednesday Kentucky college baseball action:
- Eastern Kentucky University junior right-handed pitcher Matt Fyffe surrendered two runs in four innings in his first start since 2009, but his effort wasn’t enough to prevent a 5-0 loss to Western Carolina. Fyffe surrendered six hits in four innings and struck out four while walking one. At the plate the Colonels tallied just two hits, a double by junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez and a triple by senior center fielder Ryan Faidley. Senior right-handed pitchers Macon Smith and Jim Clancy each pitched two scoreless innings out of the EKU bullpen. (Box Score)
- In his first start for Murray State University junior left-handed pitcher Bryan Babin surrendered just one unearned run in seven innings, but Arkansas St. scored four runs in the ninth inning to send the Breds to a 5-1 loss. Babin surrendered four hits in seven innings and struck out five batters while walking three. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Will Handlin took the loss after surrendering two runs in one inning of work. Redshirt freshman right fielder Brandon Eggenschwiler and senior center fielder Elliot Frey both tallied two hits in the game. Senior first baseman Drew Pixley scored Murray St.’s only run. (Read more)
Pitcher of the day: LHP Bryan Babin (Murray St.)
- Stats: 0-0, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO
- Honorable Mention: Jim Clancy (EKU), Matt Fyffe (EKU)
Hitter of the day: CF Elliot Frey (Murray St.)
- Stats: 2-2, 1 2B
- Honorable Mention: Brandon Eggenschwiler (Murray St.)
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.
- 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
- LHP — Jacob Donze
- LHP — Bryan Babin
- LHP — Kyle Cornett
Midweek starting pitchers
- LHP — Brock Downey
- LHP — Mark Roberts
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.
Wes Cunningham: BluGrass Baseball photo
Baseball took a back seat Sunday as serious storms wreaked havoc across the Bluegrass and surrounding states. EKU and Morehead both lost their weekend series to weather, but after reading some headlines from across Kentucky and Tennessee a few rainouts don’t seem like that big of a deal. Check out these recaps and awards from the weather-shortened schedule:
- Western Kentucky University never overcame a four-run Troy first inning in a 6-3 loss in the rubber match of the series. Sophomore right-handed relief pitcher Phil Wetherell kept the Hilltoppers in the game with three scoreless innings out of the bullpen, but Troy scored twice in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach. Sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins scored twice in the game, and each of the first three hitters in the WKU lineup drove in one run. (Box Score)
- Freshman right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper turned in his best start to date, but the University of Kentucky offense could break through against Tennessee in a 3-1 loss in the rubber match of the series. The loss dropped UK to tenth place in the Southeastern Conference standings. Cooper allowed two runs on four hits in five plus innings. Senior first baseman Gunner Glad and junior second baseman Chris Bisson each tallied two hits in the game. (Box Score)
- Senior first baseman Wes Cunningham tied the Murray State University single-season home run record in game one the Breds’ doubleheader sweep of Southeast Missouri and set the new mark in game two. Murray St. took game one 5-3 and game two 13-9. Cunningham launched two home runs on the day, giving him 17 for the season. The previous single-season record was 16, held by four other players. Senior left-handed reliever Matt McGaha earned the game one victory with four hitless innings out of the Breds’ bullpen. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
Hitter of the Day: 1B Wes Cunningham (Murray St.)
- Stats: 4-7, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB
- Honorable Mention: Elliot Frey (Murray St.), Brandon Elliott (Murray St.), Gunner Glad (UK), Blake Crabtree (WKU)
Pitcher of the Day: LHP Matt McGaha (Murray St.)
- Stats: 1-0, 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO
- Honorable Mention: Jordan Cooper (UK), Will Handlin (Murray St.), Phil Wetherell (WKU)
Recaps from UofL’s win over WKU and Murray St.’s loss Wednesday:
- Southern Illinois rallied for an 8-7 victory over Murray State University Wednesday with a go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Junior center fielder Elliot Frey was 2-4 with a home run, three RBI and one run scored in the game. Senior catcher Jason Laws tallied three hits on the afternoon. Freshman right-handed pitcher Ben Lady took the loss for the Breds. (Box Score)
- Josh Cook recaps No. 13 University of Louisville‘s fifth consecutive win over Western Kentucky University for the Courier Journal.
- UofL has its own recap of the win.
- WKU also recaps the game.
Hitter of the Day: 2B Ryan Wright (UofL)
- Stats: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R
- Honorable Mention: Andrew Clark (UofL), Stewart Ijames (UofL), Jeff Arnold (UofL), Kory Petri (WKU), Elliot Frey (Murray St.), Jason Laws (Murray St.)
Pitcher of the Day: RHP Justin Amlung (UofL)
- Stats: 1-0, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO
- Honorable Mention: Matt McGaha (Murray St.), Tony Zych (UofL), Rye Davis (WKU)
No. 22 Western Kentucky University made good on its national ranking in the first game since receiving the honor with a 14-5 win over in-state rival Murray State University. WKU scored six runs in the second and third innings to jump out to an early 12-1 lead and never looked back. Sophomore center fielder Jared Andreoli was 2-4 with a home run, three RBI and one run scored in the game. Every Hilltopper tallied at least one hit in the game.
Sophomore right-handed reliever Craig Stem earned the victory after recording the last two outs in the fourth inning for WKU. Murray State redshirt junior reliever Jake Donze took the loss after allowing six runs in one and one-third innings. Junior center fielder Elliot Frey and senior designated hitter Daniel Hill each tallied two hits for the Breds.
BluGrass Baseball POG: Jared Andreoli — In a game where every WKU starter recorded a hit, the sophomore outfielder from Wisconsin was most impressive with two hits, a home run and three RBI in the game to lead the Hilltoppers to their 17th win of the season. Andreoli’s long ball was his first of the season.
Murray State University struggled to get its bats going for the second consecutive game in a 3-2 loss to Northwestern State. Senior right-handed pitcher Marc Harmon took the loss in relief for Murray State moving from his usual spot as Sunday starter. Junior center fielder Elliot Frey led the Racers with a home run and one RBI. Murray State fell to 4-5 on the season. (Box Score)
BluGrass Baseball POG: Elliot Frey — The junior center fielder was 1-3 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored in the game. Frey also walked once and is batting .233 with one home run and four RBI on the season.
Murray State University clinched its first series victory of the 2010 season with a 16-6 blowout victory of Lipscomb Saturday. Senior designated hitter and preseason BluGrass Baseball All-State first baseman Wes Cunningham was 2-6 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBI. Junior center fielder Elliot Frey, senior right-fielder Daniel Hill and junior left fielder Zach Noonan each drove in two runs in the game. All but one Murray starter scored a run, and all but two scored at least two runs.
On the mound redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze allowed three runs, one earned, in six innings to pick up the win. Donze struck out five, walked four and allowed five hits. Senior left-handed reliever Matt McGaha recorded a save with three innings of relief to close the game, but did allow three runs in the ninth. (Box Score)
BluGrass Baseball POG: Wes Cunningham — Cunningham is the best player in Kentucky without any recognition. Look for the first baseman to post games like this throughout the season in the way to a possible .400 season and a 2010 draft pick this summer.