NCAA roundup: EKU earns walk-off win vs. WKU; UofL loses

College Baseball

Recaps and highlights from Wednesday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • Eastern Kentucky University scored a run in the bottom of the 11th inning on a wild pitch to earn a 5-4 win over Western Kentucky University. EKU freshman infielder Alex Arovits, who entered the game as a pinch runner in the ninth inning, scored the tying and winning runs. EKU sophomore right-handed pitcher Anthony Bazzani earned his first win of the season after posting a scoreless inning of relief. WKU junior right-handed pitcher Phil Wetherell took the loss after surrendering one run on one hit in two and one-third innings. EKU freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman was 2-5 with one double, one RBI and one run scored. WKU junior center fielder Kes Carter was 3-4 with one walk, one RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville surrendered six runs in the third inning in a 6-2 loss to Eastern Michigan. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold took the loss after surrendering six unearned runs on eight hits in three innings. Junior shortstop Ryan Wright was 3-4 with two doubles, one RBI and one run scored. Senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw surrendered two hits in four scoreless innings of  relief. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: OF Kes Carter (WKU)
  • Stats: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 R
  • Honorable Mention: Scott Wilcox (WKU), Matt Rice (WKU), Ryan Wright (UofL), Bryan Soloman (EKU), Alex Arovits (EKU)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Gabriel Shaw (UofL)
  • Stats: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Rye Davis (WKU), Greg Terry (EKU)
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NCAA roundup: UK, Morehead St. win; WKU, UofL lose; Murray St. splits double-header; EKU swept in double-header

College Baseball

UK baseball players slide on tarp during rain delay; Photo by UKBaseball via twitter

Recaps and highlights from Saturday Kentucky baseball action:

  • Sun Belt Conference-leader Troy clinched a series victory over Western Kentucky University by sending the Hilltoppers to an 11-3 loss. Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman took the loss after surrendering eight runs on eight hits in five innings while striking out five batters and walking one. Junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson was 2-3 with two RBI, and sophomore first baseman Ryan Huck was 2-4 with one RBI. Senior catcher Matt Rice scored two runs. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville could not finish a series sweep of South Florida after a 10-5 loss Sunday. Junior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw took the loss after surrendering two runs on two hits in one-third of an inning. Freshman first baseman Ryan Seiz was 3-5 with two RBI, and redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames was 2-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Senior catcher J. J. Ethel was 2-4 with one double, one RBI, two runs scored and one walk. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky used a complete-game start from junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer to snap a 12-game Southeastern Conference losing streak with a 3-2 win over Arkansas in game one of a double-header. Meyer earned the win after surrendering two runs on three hits in nine innings while striking out 10 batters and walking four. UK earned the win in walk-off fashion with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Junior left fielder Chad Wright drove home freshman infielder Matt Reida to tie the game before junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy walked with the bases loaded to give the Cats the win. Game two of UK’s double-header was suspended in the third inning due to rain. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University scored four runs in the fifth inning to earn a 4-1 win over Eastern Illinois in game one of a double-header. Senior right-handed pitcher Jake Donze earned the win after surrendering one run on four hits in seven innings while striking out two batters and walking two. Sophomore third baseman Paul Ritzheimer was 3-3 with one run scored, and junior catcher Jacob Rhodes slugged his third home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University could not finish the double-header sweep in game two, which it lost 5-3 to Eastern Illinois. Junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers took the loss after surrendering four runs on two hits in two and one-third innings. Rhodes was 3-4 with two RBI, and redshirt freshman designated hitter Brandon Eggenschwiler had two hits in both games of the double-header. (Box Score)
  • In the continuation of a game suspended on Friday due to rain Eastern Kentucky University dropped a 5-3 decision to UT Martin. Freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath took the loss after surrendering five runs on five hits in four and one-third innings. Junior left fielder Jacob Daniel was 2-4, and freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman was 2-3 with one run scored. (Box Score)
  • In game two of a double-header EKU could not avoid the series sweep by UT Martin after a 4-2 loss. The two teams ended the scheduled seven-inning game tied at two, but UT Martin scored two runs in the top of the eighth to earn the win. Senior right-handed pitcher Ryne Purcell took the loss after surrendering two runs on five hits in one and two-third innings. Soloman was 3-4 with one RBI, and junior first baseman A. J. Jamison was 2-4 with one home run, one RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University earned its first Ohio Valley Conference series victory with an 11-4 win in the series finale versus Tennessee Tech. Freshman left-handed pitcher Noah Smallwood earned the win after surrendering three runs on seven hits in five innings while striking out four batters and walking two. Junior third baseman Andrew Deeds was 2-4 with one triple, one home run, six RBI and one run scored. Redshirt sophomore designated hitter Kellen Begeman was 2-3 with two home runs, two RBI and two runs scored. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: 3B Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)
  • Stats: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 R
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Hutchinson (WKU), Ryan Seiz (UofL), J. J. Ethel (UofL), Michael Williams (UK), Jacob Rhodes (Murray St.), Paul Ritzheimer (Murray St.),  Bryan Soloman (EKU), A. J. Jamison (EKU), Kellen Begeman (Morehead St.)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Alex Meyer (UK)
  • Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Jake Donze (Murray St.), Stephen Hefler (EKU), Noah Smallwood (Morehead St.)

Tuesday roundup: UK, WKU win; UofL, Murray St. lose

College Baseball

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.)

BluGrass Baseball Week Five Midweek Schedule

College Baseball

BluGrass Baseball graphic

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.

Tuesday

Wednesday

Tuesday Roundup: UK defeats EKU; UofL loses to Purdue

College Baseball

Taylor Black bats vs. EKU; BluGrass Baseball photo

Highlights and recaps from Tuesday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • You can read the BluGrass Baseball recap of the University of Kentucky‘s 8-1 win over Eastern Kentucky University here.
  • The University of Louisville scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but its rally fell short in a 6-4 loss to Purdue. Freshman right-handed pitcher Dace Kime took the loss after surrendering four runs, one of which was earned, on one hit in one and two-third innings while striking out two batters and walking three. Junior second baseman Ryan Wright was 2-4 with one home run, one RBI and two runs scored, and freshman shortstop Alex Chittenden was 2-4 with two RBI. Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self pitched well in relief, surrendering one unearned run on four hits in three and one-third innings. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University‘s game at Mississippi was rained out and will not be rescheduled. The two teams will still play Wednesday’s game.

Hitter of the day: SS Taylor Black (UK)

  • Stats: 4-5, 1 3B, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 R
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Wright (UofL), Alex Chittenden (UofL), Brian Adams (UK)

Pitcher of the day: LHP Corey Littrell (UK)

  • Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Braden Kapteyn (UK), Derek Self (UofL), Gabriel Shaw (UofL), Ryne Purcell (EKU)

BluGrass Baseball Pitching Leaderboard: February 22

College Baseball

In the second weekly leaderboard post we’ll look at the top pitching statistics from the first weekend of the season. To be eligible for the ERA and batting average against categories, pitchers must have at least one inning per team game.

ERA

  • Justin Amlung — UofL — 0.00 (7.2 IP)
  • Tanner Perkins — WKU — 0.00 (6 IP)
  • Stephen Hefler — EKU — 0.00 (6 IP)
  • Brian Edelen — WKU — 0.00 (3 IP)
  • Chad Green — UofL — 0.00 (3 IP)
  • Derek Self — UofL — 0.00 (3 IP)
  • Mike Nastold — UofL — 0.00 (3 IP)

Wins

  • Justin Amlung — UofL — 1
  • Chad Green — UofL — 1
  • Matt Koch — UofL — 1
  • Tanner Perkins — WKU — 1
  • Justin Hageman — WKU — 1
  • Rye Davis — WKU — 1

Strikeouts

  • Alex Meyer — UK — 13
  • Matt Koch — UofL — 8
  • Garrick Whittle — Morehead St. — 7
  • Taylor Rogers — UK — 7
  • 4 players tied at 5

Innings Pitched

  • Justin Amlung — UofL — 7.2
  • Alex Meyer — UK — 7
  • Tanner Perkins — WKU — 6
  • Stephen Hefler — EKU — 6
  • Taylor Rogers — UK — 6
  • Trey Smith — Morehead St. — 6

Saves

  • Tony Zych — UofL — 2
  • Gabriel Shaw — UofL — 1

Batting Average Against

  • Stephen Hefler — EKU — .056
  • Chad Green — UofL — .083
  • Tanner Perkins — WKU — .111
  • Derek Self — UofL — .111
  • Mike Nastold — UofL — .111

Appearances

  • Tony Zych — UofL — 2
  • Gabriel Shaw — UofL — 2
  • Lincoln Wagner — EKU — 2
  • Tyler Hieneman — Morehead St. — 2
  • Nick Kennedy — UK — 2

Opening Weekend Review: University of Louisville

College Baseball

As the first weekend of the Kentucky college baseball season wraps up we’ll breakdown each of the six Kentucky Division I team’s opening weekend. We’ll start with the first team to finish its weekend schedule: The University of Louisville.

  • Pitching dominates: The Cards finished the weekend with a Big East/Big Ten Challenge-record 23 consecutive scoreless innings after shutouts on Saturday and Sunday. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung was outstanding Saturday, striking out four and allowing just four hits in seven and two-third scoreless innings. On Sunday four UofL pitchers, Mike Nastold, Chad Green, Jeff Gardner and Gabriel Shaw, combined on a three-hit shutout of Big Ten-favorite Minnesota. Juniors Derek Self and Tony Zych held Michigan scoreless over the last five innings in UofL’s friday game, meaning the only UofL pitcher to surrender a run on the weekend was sophomore Matt Koch, who surrendered three runs in five innings pitched.
  • Zych proves his worth: UofL preseason All-American closer Tony Zych saved each of the Cards’ first two wins with scoreless ninth innings. Zych struck out four batters and just surrendered two hits in two innings of work. With Zych unavailable out of UofL bullpen on Tuesday, senior right-handed reliever Gabriel Shaw pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season. If Zych and Shaw keep up their pitching performances from the first weekend they should present the Cards with one of the best bullpen combos in the country.
  • Freshmen contribute in debuts: At the plate six UofL freshmen combined to go 6-37 (.161.) during the Big East/Big Ten Challenge, but if you remove the stats of freshman center fielder Adam Engel and shortstop Alex Chittenden the other four freshmen combined to go 5-17 (.294) with two runs scored and three RBI. Freshmen Ryan Seiz, Ty Young, Cole Sturgeon and Kyle Gibson each tallied at least one hit in the series. On the mound freshmen reliever Chad Green and Jeff Thompson combined to throw five scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

Sunday Roundup: UofL, WKU finish sweeps; UK, EKU, Morehead St., Murray St. finish opening weekend winless

College Baseball

Roundup of the first Sunday of Kentucky college baseball in 2011:

  • The University of Louisville finished off a perfect weekend at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge with a 3-0 win over Minnesota. UofL redshirt sophomore starting pitcher Mike Nastold surrendered just one hit in three shutout innings in his first appearance since 2009. Freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Green earned the win in his collegiate debut after surrendering one hit in three shutout innings and striking out one. After usual closer Tony Zych saved each of the Cards first two wins of the weekend, senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season. Freshman designated hitter Ty Young tallied two RBI in the game. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University finished off an opening series sweep of Bowling Green St. with a 12-3 blowout win on Sunday. Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman earned the win in his collegiate debut after surrendering three runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits in five innings. Hageman struck out three batters and walked three. Sophomore designated hitter Matt Borgschulte was 4-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Junior center fielder Kes Carter and senior catcher Matt Rice each tallied three hits in the game, and Carter scored three runs. Every WKU starter tallied at least one hit in the game. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky finished an abysmal weekend in Charleston, S. C., with a 3-1 loss to Miami of Ohio despite a career-high 13 strikeouts from junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer. Meyer surrendered two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits in seven innings and walked three while striking out 13. The Cats mustered just five hits on offense with two going to sophomore first baseman Luke Maile. UK had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Maile was thrown out at home trying to scored on a ball that was misplayed by the Miami right fielder. Junior shortstop Taylor Black tripled and scored the only UK run on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. (Box Score)
  • UNC Asheville finished a three-game sweep of Murray State University with a 7-6 win Sunday. The Breds were done in by four errors, which contributed to five unearned runs for UNC Asheville. Murray St. senior right-handed pitcher Jake Donze surrendered four runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in five and one-third innings while striking out two and walking two. Freshman right-handed pitcher Cameron Finch took the loss in his collegiate debut after surrendering three runs, one of which was earned, in two and two-third innings. At the plate Breds junior second baseman Travis Isaak was 2-5 with two RBI, and sophomore shortstop Paul Ritzheimer was 2-4 with a run scored. UNC Asheville scored five runs in the sixth inning despite recorded just one hit in the frame. (Box Score)
  • In the completion of a game suspended in the ninth inning Saturday, Eastern Kentucky University senior closer Ryne Purcell blew a save against Pepperdine, which rallied to win the game 9-8 in the bottom of the 11th inning. EKU redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Matt Fyffe took the lost in his first appearance since 2009. (Box Score)
  • EKU senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler surrendered just one hit in six innings, but his effort wasn’t enough to propel the Colonels to victory in a 3-1 loss to Pepperdine. Hefler surrendered one unearned run while striking out five and walking one. EKU took tied the game at one with a single run in the top of the eight inning but immediately surrendered two runs in the bottom of the inning. EKU junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 3-4 with two stolen bases in the game. Senior right-handed pitcher Jim Clancy was credited with the loss after surrendering two runs in one and one-third innings. (Box Sc0re)
  • Morehead State University appeared on its way to its first win of the season but blew a 6-3 lead in the eighth inning of a 9-6 loss to Western Carolina in the series finale. Morehead St. sophomore left-handed pitcher Garrick Whittle surrendered three runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in five and two-third innings. Whittle struck out seven batters and walked five. Western Carolina scored six unearned runs in the eighth inning off junior right-handed pitcher Matt Robertson, who was done in by five Morehead St. errors in the inning. The Eagles tallied eight errors in the game. Junior catcher Taylor Davis was 3-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored for the Eagles. (Box Score)

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

  • Stats: 3-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Borgschulte (WKU), Kes Carter (WKU), Matt Rice (WKU), Richie Rodriguez (EKU)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Alex Meyer (UK)

  • Stats: 0-1, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 13 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Stephen (EKU), Chad Green (UofL), Mike Nastold (UofL), Justin Hageman (WKU), Garrick Whittle (Morehead St.)

Top 2011 Ky. Collegians: Those who just missed the list

College Baseball

Over the past few weeks BluGrass Baseball has been counting down the top 25 Kentucky collegians in advance of the 2011 college baseball season. As with any list of this kind there are plenty of arguments to be made about players who you think were too high, too low, incorrectly left off the list or incorrectly included on it. I’m sure you have plenty of arguments of your own but I’ve included some of the arguments I think could be made below:

Nick Maronde; Florida photo

Most glaring omissionLexington Catholic High School alum Nick Maronde is undoubtedly one of the top 2011 draft prospects among Kentucky collegians, but his undefined role on the University of Florida pitching staff and mixed performance during his first two seasons on campus kept him off the list. Maronde, a left-handed pitcher, is 5-1 with a 4.93 ERA in his collegiate career but will likely pitch in middle relief for the No. 1 Gators this season. If Maronde pitched on any of other team he might be an important weekend starting pitcher or closer, but as a middle reliever I didn’t find room for him on the list.

Biggest stretch — If we were hosting a fantasy draft of Kentucky collegians Georgetown College outfielder Tyler Fisher most likely goes nowhere near the top 25, but his summer league performance led me to included him as the last player in the top 25 if for no other reason than to give some notoriety to a small-college player.

Players most likely to jump onto the list following the season — In addition to Maronde, one could easily envision University of Louisville senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw, UofL sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman, University of Kentucky sophomore left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers, UK outfielder Brian Adams, Western Kentucky University sophomore catcher and first baseman Ryan Huck, Morehead State University second baseman Travis Redmon and Eastern Kentucky University senior outfielder Ryan Faidley as having 2011 seasons that might propel them into consideration for this list following the season.

Performance versus talent — This list tended to value college performance over talent, but in a few cases I did give a players MLB draft prospect status added weight. The two most obvious cases of this dilemma came with UK junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer and UofL junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych. Neither player’s 2010 statistics warrant inclusion in the top six players, but Meyer and Zych rank as the top two draft prospects in the state. If either player lives up to his potential in 2011, the duo could climb to the top of this list.

BA names Matt Rice preseason Sun-Belt player of the year; UofL players among Big East top draft prospects

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Matt Rice bats for WKU: BluGrass Baseball photo

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Baseball America has released its South region NCAA baseball preview, which includes the Southeastern, Ohio Valley and Sun Belt conferences. The magazine named Western Kentucky University senior catcher Matt Rice its preseason Sun Belt player of the year and selected University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer to its preseason All-SEC team. Morehead State University junior catcher Taylor Davis and Eastern Kentucky University senior outfielder Ryan Faidley were named to the All-OVC team. BA ranked WKU outfielder Kes Carter as the best prospect in the Sun Belt and projected UK, WKU, EKU, Morehead St. and Murray State University to each miss the postseason. (Subscription required)
  • Detroit Tigers farmhand Wade Gaynor recently returned to his alma mater for an interview with the WKU media relations department.
  • The University of Louisville will host the red-gray scrimmage Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
  • In a revised Big East Conference preview from Kendall Rogers, Allan Simpson of Perfect Game USA ranks UofL junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych the No. 3 2011 draft prospect in the conference. Other UofL players included on the 2011 draft prospect rankings were second baseman Ryan Wright (No. 6), right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold (No. 8), outfielder Stewart Ijames (No. 11), right-handed pitcher Derek Self (No. 15) and right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw (No. 20). Simpson ranked UofL sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch, sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman, freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Green and sophomore outfielder Jared Clarkson among the Big East’s top 2012 draft prospects.