Ijames, Perkins, Hageman win week six awards

College Baseball

Tanner Perkins; WKU photo

It’s time for the weekly BluGrass Baseball awards. Check out the best hitting, pitching and freshman performances from the week below:

Hitter of the week: OF Stewart Ijames (UofL)

  • Stats: 7-16 (.438), 4 HR, 7 R, 11 RBI, 2 BBs, 2 2Bs, 2 SBs
  • Honorable Mention: Jared Andreoli (WKU), Ryan Wright (UofL), Chad Wright (UK), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.), Luke Bainer (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the week: LHP Tanner Perkins (WKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Justin Hageman (WKU), Justin Amlung (UofL), Matt Koch (UofL), Corey Littrell (UK), Walter Wijas (UK), Jake Donze (Murray St.), Matt Fyffe (EKU), Garrick Whittle (Morehead St.)

Freshman of the week: RHP Justin Hageman (WKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Seiz (UofL), Jeff Thompson (UofL), Chad Green (UofL), Corey Littrell (UK), Wes Warren (Murray St.), Kyle Cornett (Murray St.), Ryan Conner (Morehead St.)

Tuesday roundup: UofL, WKU, UK win; OVC teams all lose

College Baseball

Corey Littrell; BluGrass Baseball photo

Recaps and highlights from Tuesday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • The University of Louisville’s offense busted out of its early season slump to tall 15 hits in an 11-2 win over Kent State. Junior second baseman Ryan Wright was 3-3 with two RBI, three runs scored and one walk, and freshman first baseman Ryan Seiz was 3-3 with one home run, three RBI, two runs scored and one walk. Sophomore designated hitter Kyle Grieshaber and redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames also homered in the game. Freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson earned his first win after surrendering one unearned run in three innings. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University took the lead with three runs in third inning and added two insurance runs in the fourth inning to earn a 5-2 win over Austin Peay. Three WKU batters, junior shortstop Logan Robbins, senior third baseman Casey Dykes and sophomore catcher Ryan Huck, tallied two hits in the game. Dykes drove in three runs and Huck drove in two. Robbins and junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson each scored two runs. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Taylor Haydel earned the win after pitching three scoreless innings, and junior right-handed pitcher Phil Wetherell picked up asave with a scoreless ninth inning. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky scored just two runs through seven innings but added two in the eighth inning to secure a 4-2 win over Cincinnati. Freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell earned his third win of the season after surrendering one run on eight hits in six innings while striking out four batters and walking two. Freshman right fielder J. T. Riddle was 3-4 with a double and one run scored, and junior catcher Michael Williams was 3-4 with a double, one RBI and two runs scored. Junior designated hitter and right-handed pitcher Braden Kapteyn came on with men on second and third with no outs in the ninth inning but struck out the side to earn his second save. (Box Score)
  • You can see the BluGrass Baseball recap of the Mid-Continent University 5-1 win over Murray State University here.
  • Eastern Kentucky University’s losing streak reached six games with a 6-3 loss to Miami (OH). Junior right-handed pitcher Matt Harris took the loss after surrendering three runs in one inning in his first start of the season. The Colonels used the midweek game to get its bullpen some work with nine different pitchers going one inning. Sophomore left fielder Austin Grisham and junior designated hitter Jacob Daniel were both 2-5 in the game. (Box Score)
  • If last week’s loss to Georgetown College wasn’t the low point of the 2011 season, Morehead State University hit that point Tuesday with a 32-17 loss to Canisius. Three different Eagles pitchers surrendered at least six runs in the game with the loss going to sophomore right-handed pitcher Cody Gibson, who surrendered seven runs on eight hits in two and two-third innings. Canisius tallied 28 hits and scored in every inning except the first and fourth. Three different Morehead St. batters had three hits in the game, led by Luke Bainer, who was 3-5 with two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: RF Luke Bainer (Morehead St.)

  • Stats: 3-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Wright (UofL), Ryan Seiz (UofL), Travis Redmon (Morehead St.), Daniel Pugh (Morehead St.), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.), J. T. Riddle (UK), Michael Williams (UK), Casey Dykes (WKU)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Allen Hasse (Mid-Continent)

  • Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Jeff Thompson (UofL), Chad Green (UofL), Tyler Saltsman (Murray St.), Corey Littrell (UK), Taylor Haydel (WKU)

BluGrass Basbeall Week Six Midweek Schedule

College Baseball

It’s time for the week six midweek schedule with probable starters listed when available:

Tuesday

  • University of Louisville (12-7) vs. Kent State — RHP Jeff Thompson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) — 3 p.m. — Gametracker
  • Eastern Kentucky University (6-13) vs. Miami (OH) — RHP Matt Harris (0-0, 2.79 ERA) — 3 p.m. — Live Stats
  • Morehead State University (3-17) vs. Canisius — RHP Cody Gibson (1-3, 17.55) — 3 p.m. — Live Stats
  • Murray State University (8-11) vs. Mid-Continent University — LHP Kyle Cornett (0-1, 13.97 ERA) vs. LHP Allen Haase (2-1, 3.68 ERA) — 3 p.m. (CT)
  • University of Kentucky (12-8) vs. Cincinnati — LHP Corey Littrell (2-1, 6.75 ERA) — 6:30 p.m. — Gametracker
  • Western Kentucky University (13-6) vs. Austin Peay — RHP Taylor Haydel (1-1, 7.48 ERA) — 6 p.m. (CT)

Wednesday

  • Morehead St. vs. Pikeville College — TBA vs. TBA — 5 p.m.
  • EKU @ Miami (OH) — RHP Anthony Bazzani (0-4, 15.34 ERA) — 6 p.m.
  • UK vs. Canisius — RHP Jonathan Paquet (0-0, 5.14 ERA) — 6:30 p.m. — Gametracker

Jared Andreoli, Tanner Perkins, J T Riddle win week 5 awards

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Jared Andreoli bats against UK: BluGrass Baseball photo

It’s time for the weekly BluGrass Baseball awards. Check out the best of Kentucky Division one college baseball hitting, pitching and freshmen performances below:

Hitter of the week: OF Jared Andreoli (WKU)

  • Stats: 8-15 (.533), 2 HR, 7 R, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 1 SB
  • Honorable Mention: J. T. Riddle (UK), Alex Chittenden (UofL), Cody Larson (Murray St.), Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU), Logan Robbins (WKU), Daniel Pugh (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the week: LHP Tanner Perkins (WKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Alex Meyer (UK), Justin Amlung (UofL), Derek Self (UofL), Kyle McGrath (EKU), Brian Edelen (WKU)

Freshman of the week: OF J. T. Riddle (UK)

  • Stats: 7-13 (.538), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R, 2 SB
  • Honorable Mention: Alex Chittenden (UofL), Jeff Thompson (UofL), Wes Warren (Murray St.), Sean Hagen (EKU), Kyle McGrath (EKU), Justin Hageman (WKU), Ryan Conner (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.)

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.

Offseason position battle: UofL weekend starting pitcher

College Baseball

In the second University of Louisville post in the “Offseason position battle” series we will look at the two vacant weekend starting pitcher slots:

The departed: Big East pitcher of the year Thomas Royse has moved on to professional ball after going 9-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 16 starts for the Cards in 2010. Royse, who was the third-supplemental round pick of the Chicago White Sox, struck out 99 batters and walked just 26 in 104.1 innings pitched last season. Left-handed pitcher Dean Kiekhefer made 10 starts for UofL in 2010 before moving to professional ball as the 36th round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch finished the 2010 season as a weekend starter and is likely to begin 2011 in the same position. UofL returns several mid-week starters from 2010 and welcomes a plethora of talented freshman so there is no shortage of candidates for the vacant weekend starting slot.

Returning candidates: Redshirt sophomore Justin Amlung is the only returning Card who made at least 10 starts last season and is likely a favorite to slide into one of weekend starting slots. Amlung was 5-2 with a 4.27 ERA in 2010…Senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw pitched mostly out of the bullpen for UofL in 2011, but held his own in three starts. On the season Shaw was 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA but was 1-1 in three starts, highlighted by a seven-inning, one-run performance against West Virginia…Junior Derek Self was 7-0 with a 4.52 ERA in 27 games including eight starts for UofL in 2010. This summer he was named a Cape Cod League All-Star after going 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA for the Chatham Anglers…Koch, Shaw, Amlung and junior right-handed pitcher Travis Tingle each received at least one start during the fall Pizza Bowl series…After missing all of 2010 with an injury redshirt sophomore Mike Nastold made two starts during the Pizza Bowl. Nastold made six starts as a freshman in 2009.

Newcomers to watch: Freshman right-handed pitcher Dace Kime was the eighth round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010 an arrives at UofL after receiving All-American honors as a senior at Defiance High School in Ohio. As a senior Kime was 7-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 108 strikeouts…Freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Green was the 37th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2010 draft after going 9-2 with a 1.65 ERA and 107 strikeouts as a senior at Effingham High School in Illinois…Freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson pitched four and two-third scoreless innings in a Pizza Bowl start during fall practice…Freshman left-handed pitcher Cody Edge boasted a miniscule 0.97 ERA as a senior at Cherokee Washington High School in Iowa and allowed one run in three and two-third innings during the Pizza Bowl.

Wildcard: Junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych was recently rated the No. 25 college draft prospect by Baseball America. Zych has enjoyed most of his college success as a reliever but did make five starts for UofL to begin the 2010 season. That experiment was an unmitigated failure but head coach Dan McDonnell may not be able to resist trying such a talent in the rotation again. Zych was named a Cape Cod League All-Star last summer and received the league’s postseason best pro prospect and best relief pitcher awards.

Blanton still on for game four start; UofL freshman stars in scrimmage; Ijames among top NCAA players

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Joe Blanton; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post reports Phillies manager Charlie Manuel still plans to start former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton in game four, but he says the team is just taking it “day by day.”
  • One-time UK outfielder, turned second baseman Jason Kipnis blogs about his preparation for the Arizona Fall League for MLB.com.
  • University of Louisville freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson surrendered just one hit in four and two-third scoreless innings while striking out six in game three of the fall Pizza Bowl scrimmage series. Pirates eight-round pick Dace Kime surrendered five runs in four innings in his unofficial UofL debut.
  • Indiana University has released its 2011 schedule, which includes two games against UofL, one against the University of Kentucky and one against Morehead State University.
  • The College Baseball Blog is running down the top 100 players in college baseball in advance of the 2011 season and recently ranked UofL redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames at No. 97.

Draft Preview: University of Louisville

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

The Cards have more important things than the draft to worry about tonight with a elimination game against Vanderbilt in the NCAA regional, but the next three days could have huge implications for several Cards. Baseball America projects UofL to have six hitters drafted, but the Cards draft prospects are led by their weekend ace. Check out breakdowns of those players and more below:

The sure thing

  • Junior right-handed ace Thomas Royse was untouchable at times during the 2010 season en route to being named Big East Conference pitcher of the year. Baseball America ranks Royse the No. 182 prospect in the draft due to his low-to-mid 90s fastball and good control. Royse is 9-1 with a 2.91 ERA for UofL this season and struck out 94 in 99 innings while walking just 25. BA projects the Lexington native to go between the fourth and sixth rounds.

Other prospects of note:

  • Junior outfielder Josh Richmond missed much of the season with a hand injury, but his five-tool talent could land him a selection in the first 10 rounds. Richmond was projected as high as a third-rounder entering the season, but his injury history will likely hurt his stock on draft day. Richmond will need to prove he’s health in summer ball to whatever team drafts him, though he may return to UofL for another year to improve his stock.
  • Redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames missed the 2009 season with a shoulder injury, but rebounded in 2010 to bat .328 with 14 home runs. Ijames profiles only as a left-fielder as a professional and might be a difficult sign due to his two remaining years of collegiate eligibility.
  • No on has ever doubted junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich‘s power, but his lack of a true position hurts his value. The slugger will likely have to move to first as a pro and will hope to be selected in the mid rounds of the draft.
  • Senior first baseman Andrew Clark was selected by the Chicago Cubs as their 31st round pick in 2009 and likely improved his draft stock with his senior campaign despite missing time with a rib cage injury. Clark profiles as a good defender at first but some scouts question if he has enough power for the position.
  • Junior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw was projected to close for UofL entering the season but instead did a little of everything else. He experience success as a starter in limited action, perhaps boosting his stock. Shaw might improve his stock by starting for an entire season as a senior.
  • Junior closer Neil Holland was one of the NCAA’s top relievers in 2010 and will have a chance to replicate that success in professional ball as a mid-to-late round pick. Holland held opposing batters to a .151 average on the season.
  • Senior catcher Jeff Arnold and senior shortstop Adam Duvall will have a chance to stick in professional ball as mid-to-late-round senior signs.

Other Eligible Juniors

  • OF Drew Haynes
  • LHP Bob Revesz
  • INF Mark Grieshaber
  • LHP Dean Kiekhefer
  • C J. J. Ethel
  • OF Nate Holland
  • LHP Brian Feekin

Other Eligible Seniors

  • RHP Tyler Mathis
  • RHP Matt Lea
  • C Justin Haywood

High School Signees

  • Baseball America ranks Bullitt East RHP Brandon Alphin one of six Kentucky high schoolers likely to be drafted.
  • BA ranks RHP Jeff Thompson the No. 20 prospect in Indiana.
  • RHP Dace Kime and LHP Joel Bender are among the top prep talents in Ohio but are both believed to be headed to Louisville after battling minor injuries this season.
  • BA ranked C Jake Depew the No. 20 prospect in Illinois.
  • Baseball America also projects Illinois RHP Chad Green could blossom into an early-round pick if he follows through on his UofL commitment.