Tuesday saw four Kentucky Division One schools take the field to mixed results. Bluegrass teams were a combined 2-2 on the day, but several individual players featured standout performances. Check out recaps of those games below, and remember the state’s two ranked teams (WKU and UofL) face off today:
Matt Payton wasted no time making his case for the on-field component of the Lowe’s Senior Class Award, which he was named a finalist for Tuesday. Payton was 3-6 with a home run, 2 RBI and three runs scored in Western Kentucky University‘s 14-7 blowout of Austin Peay. Matt Rice and Casey Dykes also homered for the Hilltoppers. Bowling Green native Jeremy Dobbs surrendered seven runs to his hometown team in two and one-third innings of relief for Austin Peay. (Box Score)
In the first of a two-game set in bordering Mountain State, Eastern Kentucky University suffered a 13-11 loss to West Virginia. The Colonels face Marshall Wednesday. Shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 4-5 with one RBI and three runs scored. Designated hitter Jacob Daniel and first baseman Anthony Ottrando each homered for EKU. (Box Score)
A nail-bitter extra-inning game quickly turned into a blowout in Murray State University‘s 20-17 loss to Evansville. The teams were tied at 14 entering the tenth innings, but Evansville scored six run in the top of the frame and the Breds managed just three in the bottom of the inning. Left fielder Zach Noonan was 4-7 with one RBI and four runs scored, and right fielder Daniel Hill and third baseman Cory Hodskins both homered for Murray State. (Box Score)
Center fielder J. D. Ashbrook had a career night for Morehead State University with a perfect 5-5 day at the plate. Ashbrook drove in two, scored twice and also reached base via a hit-by-pitch in the Eagles’ 15-6 win over Marshall. Shortstop Drew Lee, right fielder Cameron Flynn and first baseman Michael Bottoms each homered in the game for Morehead. Reliever Trey Smith earned his second save of the season with four scoreless innings out of the Eagles’ bullpen. (Box Score)
Links to Athletic Department recaps of Tuesday games:
The University of Louisville (11) rallied for an 8-7 win over Evansville with two runs in the top of the ninth inning. Senior infielder Phil Wunderlich and redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames both homered for the Cards. Junior right-handed closer Neil Holland earned his third win of the season. (Box Score)
Home runs from junior shortstop Taylor Black, sophomore right fielder Cory Farris and senior catcher Marcus Nidiffer led the University of Kentucky to a 11-6 win over Xavier. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Nick Kennedy picked up his first win of the season in relief. (Box Score)
Senior shortstop Drew Lee broke the Morehead State University record for career runs scored in a 20-15 victory over Indiana. Six different Eagles tallied at least three hits in the game, and five launched a home run. Sophomore outfielder Cameron Flynn drove in six runs in the game. (Box Score)
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Greg Terry earned the win after allowing three runs in six innings, and junior third baseman Jayson Langfels was a perfect 2-2 with two runs scored and a walk in Eastern Kentucky University‘s 7-3 win over Miami (OH). Senior catcher Joey Stevens slugged his second home run of the season. (Box Score)
The week six baseball schedule gets under way this afternoon with four of six division one Kentucky schools in action. WKU and Murray State take center stage on Wednesday with the week’s only intrastate matchup.
University of Louisville (11) @ Evansville — 4:00 p.m. — Gametracker
In the final week four highlights post we look at Morehead State University. The Eagles took two of three games in the University of Evansville Dunn Hospitality Diamond Challenge. Morehead dropped its first game against Evansville before wins against Purdue and Le Moyne.
Lee continues to standout: Senior shortstop Drew Lee continued to rake with a 6-13 (.462) with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored weekend performance. Lee is batting .392 with seven home runs and 28 RBI on the season.
Ashbrook stays above .400 on season: A 4-11 (.363) performance on the weekend was enough to keep senior center fielder J. D. Ashbrook‘s season average over .400. On the season Ashbrook is batting .409 with six home runs, 16 RBI and 27 runs scored.
Eagles inching back to .500: Morehead State’s 2-3 weekend brought the Eagles within two games of .500 on the season. The Saturday victory ended a streak of five losses in six games for the Eagles. The winning weekend was Murray’s first since the season-opening series against Mercer.
Several state schools are either finishing or starting Spring Break so week four of the college season should have plenty of action starting with the weekend games below. Check out the composite schedule below with information about where you can listen or watch the game. Gametracker links will take you to the livestream of the radio broadcast. I’ve also included each teams probable starting pitcher and Baseball America ranking in parentheses when applicable. Clicking on each team’s name will take you to the university’s preview of the series.
Evansville used a five-run sixth inning against normal Friday starting pitcher Alex Meyer to defeat the University of Kentucky 8-4 Wednesday. Meyer was making a surprise appearance out of the Cats pen, and surrendered five runs on three hits in one plus inning of work. The Cats were led at the plate by sophomore right fielder Cory Farris, who was 3-3 with a home run, a double and two runs scored.
UPDATE 8:15 p.m.: UK head coach Gary Henderson said after the game Meyer was in the game to get some work to avoid a 10-day gap between starts. Today’s appearance would have been his regular bullpen session. Henderson said after Meyer needed only seven pitches during his first inning he though a second inning was a good idea.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Sam Kidd allowed three runs in four innings in his first career start. UK fell to 10-2 on the season. (Box Score)
The University of Kentucky became the second Kentucky school to win at least 10 games Tuesday after a 7-1 victory over Evansville. Sophomore third baseman Andy Burns was 2-5 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored. Senior first baseman Gunner Glad, senior center fielder Keenan Wiley, sophomore designated hitter Braden Kapteyn and sophomore catcher Michael Williams each had two hits in the game. Freshman right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper was credited with his first career victory after allowing one run in four innings.
Redshirt junior right-handed reliever Nick Kennedy earned the save after pitching three scoreless innings in his season debut. The appearance marked Kennedy’s return from injury. Junior shortstop Taylor Black drove in two runs for the Cats, and junior right-handed reliever Kyle Jackson pitched two scoreless innings out of the pen. UK improved to 10-1 on the season. (Box Score)
BluGrass Baseball POG: Nick Kennedy — While Andy Burns delievered the big blow of the game with his home run, the return of Kennedy to the mound gives UK another viable weapon in the pen. When grouped with Matt Little and Kapteyn, the submarine rigthy Kennedy gives UK much needed bullpen depth. His scoreless three inning performance should be a shot in the arm for the Cats, who lost All-American Chris Bisson to injury last weekend.
The state’s college baseball teams are back in action starting this afternoon on a beautiful day for baseball in the Bluegrass. I’ve linked athletic department previews when available and included WKU’s probable starters. Probable pitchers are harder to come by during the week as most are chosen on a fill-in basis and the bullpens end up pitching most of the game. We have one intrastate game this week with Morehead hosting Transy on Wednesday.
University of Louisville (10) vs. Indiana — 3 p.m.