Small College Roundup: Ky. schools off to strong starts

College Baseball

We do not get too much small-college baseball news on BluGrass Baseball very often, mostly because many of the schools’ websites are slow to update and statistical information is often unavailable. However as Georgetown College pointed out with its win over Morehead St. this week, the Kentucky small-college baseball programs deserve some attention too. With that in mind here is the first post in what hopefully will become a semi-regular “Small College Spotlight” series.

Tigers win over Morehead highlights so-so start to 2011

Georgetown College may have secured a win over Division 1 Morehead St. this week, but the Tigers sit at just 12-12 on the season after the big victory. NAIA Georgetown is 3-5 in Mid-South Conference play and is 4-4 at home. Top hitter Tyler Fisher, who was the MVP of the New York Collegiate Baseball League this summer, has done his part by batting .366 with five home runs, 14 RBI and 17 runs scored through the first 24 games. Senior right-handed pitcher K. C. Massie has been the Tigers’ best pitcher, boasting a 4-2 record and 2.17 ERA in six starts to go with 31 strikeouts and 11 walks.

NKU holds on to ranking without Crisper

Northern Kentucky University was ranked No. 27 in the latest NCAA DII poll from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and has won eight of its first 12 games despite playing without 2010 Great Lakes Valley Conference player of the year Jason Crisper. The Norse still list Crisper on the 2011 roster but had expected word last month as to whether the NCAA would grant the senior outfielder would a fifth year of eligibility after an injury limited him to seven games as a freshman at Miami (OH). NKU ace Dave Middendorf, a senior left-handed pitcher and 2010 draftee, is 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA and 29 strikeouts compared to just four walks in 26 and one-third innings.

Transy pitcher dazzles in win over defending MWC champs

Transylvania University junior right-handed pitcher Taylor Bugh was outstanding in a 7-1 Transy win over defending Midwest Conference champion Ripon. Bugh surrendered just one run on four hits in a complete-game performance while striking out 10 batters and walking just one. Bugh is 3-0 with a 2.95 ERA and 19 strikeouts to go with 4 walks in 21 and one-third innings on the season. The Pioneers are 6-3 to start the 2011 season.

Thomas Moore, Cumberlands and Union off to strong starts

Transy is not the only Kentucky NCAA DIII school playing well early in the 2011 season as Thomas Moore College has started the year 6-0 and is ranked No. 25 in the latest NCBWA DIII top 25 poll. In NAIA play the University of the Cumberlands and Union College are among the hottest teams in the country. Both teams have already won over 20 games to go with five losses. Union’s 21-5 record is tenth best in the NAIA, and Cumberlands follows close behind at 20-5.

If you are a representative of a Kentucky small-college team and wish your school to be included in a future Small College Roundup send any relevant information to jhale@blugrassbaseball.com.

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Wednesday Roundup: UofL, EKU, Morehead St. winless

College Baseball

Jacob Daniel; BluGrass Baseball photo

Recaps and highlights from Wednesday college baseball:

  • The University of Louisville dropped its second game in a row to Southern California with a 9-4 loss on Wednesday. Freshman right-handed pitcher Dace Kime took the loss after surrendering five runs on three hits in two innings while striking out one batter and walking four. The Cards did find some rare power with home runs from redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames and sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman. The team had just three home runs entering the game with two of those belonging to preseason All-American Ryan Wright. Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self kept the Cards in the game by surrendering one run in three innings of relief. (Box Score)
  • In game one of a double-header Eastern Kentucky University surrendered seven runs in the first two innings and could not overcome the early deficit in an 8-5 loss to West Virginia. Senior left-handed pitcher Paul Duncan took the loss after surrendering six runs on seven hits in one and one-third innings. Sophomore first baseman Matt Phipps was the only Colonel batter to record multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-3 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored. Junior designated hitter Jacob Daniel slugged his fourth home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • In game two EKU left nine men on base in an 11-2 loss to WVU. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Anthony Bazzani took the loss after surrendering nine runs, seven of which were earned on eight hits in three and one-third innings. Junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez and sophomore outfielder Austin Grisham were both 2-5, and freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman slugged his second home run of the season. Relievers Greg Terry, Matt Harris and Chris Hord each posted a scoreless inning for the Colonels. (Box Score)
  • You can see the BluGrass Baseball recap of the Morehead State University 5-3 loss to Georgetown Collegehere.

Hitter of the day: RF Tyler Fisher (Georgetown College)

  • Stats: 4-5, 2 2Bs, 3 RBI, 1 R
  • Honorable Mention: Daniel Pugh (Morehead St.), Luke Bainer (Morehead St.), Jacob Daniel (EKU), Stewart Ijames (UofL)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Travis McBride (Georgetown College)

  • Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Josh Schneider (Morehead St.), Derek Self (UofL), Alex Rexroat (EKU)

Georgetown College hands Morehead St. 15th loss of season

College Baseball

Tyler Fisher; Georgetown College photo

A dismal start to the 2011 season for Morehead State University may have reached its low point with a 5-3 loss Wednesday to Georgetown College of the NAIA. The loss dropped the Eagles to 2-15 on the season. Morehead St. redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Josh Schneider took the loss after surrendering four runs, one of which was earned, on seven hits in six innings while striking out five batters and walking none. Senior left fielder Daniel Pugh paced the Eagles’ offense with a 3-3 performance and two runs scored. Junior right fielder Luke Bainer was 3-4 with two RBI.

Georgetown junior right-handed pitcher Travis McBride earned the win after surrendering two runs, one of which was earned, on nine hits in seven innings while striking out three batters and walking none. Senior right fielder Tyler Fisher, who was the 2011 NYCBL MVP, was 4-5 with two doubles, three RBI and one run scored. Junior center fielder Chris Wood scored three runs for Georgetown. Tigers sophomore right-handed pitcher Chad Richie surrendered one hit in the ninth inning to earn the save. (Box Score)

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

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.

Top 25 Ky. Collegians Recap

College Baseball

Check back later for some breakdown of the omissions from the top 25 list, but for now here is the list in one post:

  1. Ryan Wright
  2. Matt Rice
  3. Tony Zych
  4. Stewart Ijames
  5. Rye Davis
  6. Alex Meyer
  7. Kes Carter
  8. Richie Rodriguez
  9. Taylor Black
  10. Jordan Cooper
  11. Matt Koch
  12. Jared Andreoli
  13. Braden Kapteyn
  14. Justin Amlung
  15. Chad Wright
  16. Derek Self
  17. Taylor Davis
  18. Casey Lucchese
  19. Dave Middendorf
  20. Rich Witten
  21. Justin Riddell
  22. Brian Edelen
  23. Jason Crisper
  24. Brandon Elliott
  25. Tyler Fisher

Lexington Hustlers unveil 2011 roster

College Baseball

Earlier this week we posted the list of Kentucky college baseball players who would participate in the 2011 Cape Cod League, but now we have some summer college baseball news from a little closer to home. The Lexington Hustlers of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League have unveiled its 2011 roster will a plethora of Kentucky natives making the cut. You can see the roster on the Hustler’s website here and check out the list with position, college and hometown below.

Pitchers

  • RHP Conner Asay — Fr. — Vicennes — Lexington, Ky. (Lafayette HS)
  • RHP Brandon Boling — S0. — Gardner-Webb — Lexington, Ky. (Bryan Station HS)
  • RHP Wade Bush — So. — Indiana St. — Terre Haute, Ind.
  • RHP Brent Cobb — Fr. — Eastern Kentucky University — Lexington, Ky. (Lafayette HS)
  • RHP Chase Greene — So. — EKU — Nicholasville, Ky. (West Jessamine HS)
  • RHP Matt Harris — Jr. — EKU — Lexington, Ky. (Henry Clay HS)
  • RHP Chad Martin — Jr. — Indiana — Lexington, Ky. (Paul Laurence Dunbar HS)
  • RHP Jason McGinnis — Jr. — Georgetown College — Barboursville, W. V.
  • RHP/OF Sam Kidd — So. — University of Kentucky — Hartford, Ky. (Ohio Co. HS)
  • LHP Nolan Fernandez — Fr. — Wabash Valley JC — Lexington, Ky.
  • LHP Tanner Perkins — So. — Western Kentucky University — Brodhead, Ky. (Rockcastle Co. HS)
  • LHP Noah Smallwood — Fr. — Morehead State University — Nicholasville, Ky. (West Jessamine HS)
  • LHP Phil Trowbridge — St. Joe’s (Ind.) — Mokena, Il..
  • LHP Josh Jillson — SO. — St. Catherine’s College — Wales Maine

Catchers

  • C Shane Crain — So. — Wabash Valley JC (UofL signee) — Lexington, Ky.
  • C Kyle Gibson — Fr. — University of Louisville — Henderson, Ky. (Henderson Co. HS)
  • C/OF Brandon Brian — So. — WKU — Louisville, Ky. (Trinity HS)

Infielders

  • SS Quintin Alexander — Fr. — St. Joe’s (Ind.) — Chicago, Ill.
  • SS Bud Morton — Fr. — Morehead St. — Nicholasville, Ky. (West Jessamine HS)
  • INF Colt Cattani — Jr. — Northern Kentucky University — West Chester, Ohio
  • INF Jonathan Craycraft — Jr. — Lipscomb — Lexington, Ky. (Henry Clay HS)
  • INF Luke Hawkins — So. — Campbellsville University — Lawrenceburg, Ky. (Anderson Co. HS)
  • INF Robert Lawrence — So. — Middle Tenn. — Madison, Tenn.
  • INF/RHP J. T. Riddle — Fr. — UK — Frankfort, Ky. (Western Hills HS)

Outfield

  • OF Ronald Cotton — Fr. — Cincinnati — Florence, Ky. (Boone Co. HS)
  • OF Dalton Henzman — So. — Middle Tenn. — Lexington, Ky. (LCA)
  • OF/INF Jordan Rorex — So. — Middle Tenn. — Clinton, Tenn.
  • OF Taylor Russell — Jr. — NKU — Loveland, Ohio
  • OF Tanner Smith — Fr. — WKU — London, Ky. (North Laurel HS)

Outfielder Ronald Cotton and infielder/right-handed pitcher J. T. Riddle were both 2010 draft picks.

Top 2011 Ky Collegians: No. 25 Tyler Fisher

College Baseball

Tyler Fisher; Georgetown College photo

Beginning today BluGrass Baseball will begin counting down the top 25 returning Kentucky college baseball players. The list will not include freshmen or junior college transfers. We’ll begin the list at No. 25 and reveal a new player each day finishing just before the start of the 2011 college baseball season. The rankings are based on a combination of college performance and professional promise. We’ll start with a little small-college love with our No. 25 player:

No. 25 — OF Tyler Fisher — Georgetown College

Fisher, a senior outfielder, was named the New York Collegiate Baseball League most valuable player this summer after batting .366 with five home runs, 25 RBI and 30 runs scored in 26 games for the Allegany County Nitros. Fisher finished the NYCBL season with a .577 slugging percentage and .436 on-base percentage. As a junior at Georgetown Fisher batted .350 with 10 home runs, 43 RBI, 58 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. Fisher boasted a .570 slugging percentage and .422 on-base percentage in 2010. If Fisher carries his promising summer into the 2011 season, he might be able to follow former Bellarmine infielder and 2010 Seattle Mariners draftee Patrick Brady as Kentucky small-college players selected in the MLB draft.

Former No. 1 attempts comeback with Phillies; Friedrich, Kipnis among top prospects; At least 6 2010 Cats transfer

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Christian Friedrich; Photo by Matt McGee via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com profiles Louisville native and St. X alum Matt Anderson‘s attempted return to MLB with the Philadelphia Phillies. Anderson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft, and is 15-7 with a 5.19 ERA in 257 career games. A shoulder injury derailed his career in 2003.
  • Tracy Ringolsby of Baseball America ranks former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich the No. 4 prospect in the Colorado Rockies system.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis the No. 4 second base prospect in MiLB.
  • On Tuesday we linked comments from Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, who said he would not trade former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton before Opening Day. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports the Phillies have decided Blanton’s role as rotation depth is worth more than his trade value.
  • Derek Poore of the Courier-Journal reports Blue Jays farmhand Trystan Magnuson, former major league pitcher Paul Byrd, UofL head coach Dan McDonnell, former Astro Chris Burke and others will speak at the BaseballCon held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville on Jan. 28-29.
  • Yesterday we listed the newcomers on the newly released University of Kentucky roster, but also of interest were the 2010 players no longer on the roster. BluGrass Baseball has confirmed third baseman Andy Burns transferred to Arizona, outfielder Cory Farris transferred to Cumberland University, right-handed pitcher Joe Devine transferred to Georgetown College, outfielder Navarro Hall transferred to Columbus State University, right-handed pitcher Chase Greene transferred to Eastern Kentucky University and right-handed pitcher Sean Bouthilette transferred to Campbellsville University. Right-handed pitcher Kyle Jackson and left-handed pitcher Jon Carlson are also no longer on the roster.

2011 Schedule Breakdown: Morehead State University

College Baseball

Morehead State University is the latest Kentucky school to release its 2011 baseball schedule. Check out a breakdown of important game and in-state rivalry matchups below:

  • Feb. 18-20 — @ Western Carolina University — Season opener
  • Feb. 22 — vs. University of Kentucky — Home Opener
  • Feb. 25-27 — vs. Purdue University
  • March 1 — @ University of Louisville
  • March 4-6 — vs. Indiana, Bradley, Tennessee — University of Tennessee Tournament
  • March 15 — vs. Georgetown College
  • March 23 — vs. Pikeville College
  • April 16-17 — @ Eastern Kentucky University
  • April 27 — vs. Kentucky Wesleyan College
  • May 14-15 — vs. Murray State University
  • May 25-29 — Ohio Valley Conference Tournament

You can see the full schedule here.