Western Kentucky University scored the eventual winning run on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh inning in a 3-2 win over Murray State University. WKU Sophomore catcher Ryan Huck and freshman first baseman Justin Hageman singled to lead of the seventh inning then moved up on a sacrifice bunt. Murray St. junior left-handed pitcher Luke Shuemaker intentionally walked WKU senior designated hitter Matt Rice to load the bases before walking WKU junior center fielder Kes Carter to force in the go-ahead run.
WKU freshman right-handed pitcher G. J. Strauss earned the win after surrendering one run on three hits in two innings while striking out three batters and walking none. WKU redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Rye Davis, who had served as the team’s closer for most of the season, started the game and surrendered one run on four hits in five innings while striking out two batters and walking three. Junior right-handed pitcher Phil Wetherell recorded the final four outs of the game without surrendering a run to earn his fourth save.
Shuemaker took the loss for Murray St. despite recording a quality start by surrendering three runs on nine hits in seven innings while striking out one batter and walking three. Murray St. junior catcher Jacob Rhodes was 2-5 with one home run, and freshman left fielder Ty Stetson reached base four times with two hits and two walks. Rice and junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson each had two hits for the Hilltoppers. (Box Score)
Player of the game: CF Kes Carter (WKU) — 1-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Paul Ritzheimer bats vs. UK; BluGrass Baseball photo
Highlights and recaps from Tuesday Kentucky college baseball:
The University of Louisville scored three unanswered runs from the sixth inning on but could not overcome an early 4-0 deficit in a 4-3 loss to Southern California. Senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw, making his first start of the season, took the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits in three innings while striking out one batter and walking two. Sophomore third baseman Cade Stallings was 2-3 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored. Freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson struck out four batters and walked one in four scoreless innings of relief. (Box Score)
You can see the BluGrass Baseball recap of the University of Kentucky 7-6 win over Murray State University here.
Western Kentucky University scored five runs in the first inning then held on for an 11-6 win over Belmont. Eight WKU batters recorded multiple hits in the game, including three batters who recorded three hits. Junior shortstop Logan Robbins was 3-5 with a home run, one RBI and two runs scored, junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 3-5 with two runs scored and junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson was 3-6 with two RBI and two runs scored. Freshman right-handed pitcher G. J. Strauss earned his first collegiate win after surrendering two runs in two innings. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: 3B Paul Ritzheimer (Murray St.)
Stats: 3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R
Honorable Mention: SS Logan Robbins (WKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU), Ryan Hutchinson (WKU), Jared Andreoli (WKU), J. T. Riddle (UK), Brian Adams (UK), Cade Stallings (UofL)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Jeff Thompson (UofL)
Stats: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
Honorable Mention: Phil Wetherell (WKU), Walter Wijas (UK), Tyler Saltsman (Murray St.)
It’s time for the midweek schedule for Week Five Kentucky College baseball. Check out the Tuesday and Wednesday games below with probable starters listed when available and links to live stats. EKU’s Tuesday double-header has already been moved to Wednesday due to weather, and with rain affecting most of the Bluegrass today other games could be affected.
Western Kentucky University was one of two Kentucky schools to earn a series sweep in its opening series of the season. In our second opening weekend review post we’ll look at the Hilltoppers.
BGSU no match for Hilltoppers’ offense: Seven different WKU batters hit at least .300 in the opening series of the season, highlighted by senior Matt Rice‘s .538 performance with seven RBI and three runs scored. Outfielders Matt Borgschulte, Jared Andreoli and Ryan Hutchinson each hit over .400 in the series as well. Perhaps influenced by the new NCAA mandated bats, no Hilltopper homered in the series, but the team did tally eight doubles and three triples. Even without the power surge WKU scored 32 runs in the series.
Perkins anchors new weekend rotation: WKU had to replace two weekend starting pitchers this season, but sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins, who spent parts of 2010 in the weekend rotation, made his case to be the new WKU ace with six shutout innings Friday. Perkins struck out five batters, walked two and surrendered just two hits in the game. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Taylor Haydel struggled in his Saturday start, but senior Brian Edelen, the team’s fourth starting pitcher, recorded three scoreless innings of relief Sunday.
Freshmen excel in limited action: Sunday starting pitcher Justin Hageman was the only freshman to see extended playing time on the weekend, but WKU head coach Chris Finwood did let six freshmen make their collegiate debuts. Hageman earned a win in his first collegiate start on Sunday after surrendering three runs in five innings. Freshmen relievers G. J. Strauss and Austin Clay recorded three outs without surrendering a run. At the plate freshman infielder Scott Wilcox was 1-1 in two games, and freshman outfielder David Simmons was 0-1 in one game. Freshman outfielder Jordan Cessna also made his debut as a defensive replacement.
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