BluGrass Baseball Week Two Weekend Preview

College Baseball

It’s time for the weekend preview for Kentucky week two college baseball action. Check out some storylines to watch out for below:

Matchup of the weekendWestern Kentucky University vs. Coastal Carolina

The Hilltoppers head to South Carolina for the “Baseball at the Beach Tournament” hosted by Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers are ranked in sever of the college baseball polls, including at No. 17 in the NCBWA top 30, and will present the toughest test for the Hilltoppers so far in the young season. The two teams matchup on Saturday with WKU freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman getting the start. Hageman earned the win in his collegiate debut on Sunday after surrendering two earned runs in five innings. Coastal Carolina is 3-1 on the season.

Player to watchStewart Ijames (UofL)

After being suspended for the University of Louisville‘s opening weekend series for a violation of team rules, redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames will presumably make his season debut this weekend versus Toledo. Ijames, who returned to UofL after turning down the New York Yankees as the team’s 29th round pick in the 2010 draft, batted .324 with 14 home runs, 63 RBI and 47 runs scored last season. Ijames was selected to the 2011 preseason All-Big East Conference team. The Cards did not miss Ijames during the opening weekend, but he may try to make a statement after failing to show up for his absence in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge.

Ky. teams open home schedules

After all but one Kentucky school opened the season on the road the second weekend’s slate of games is full of home action. The University of Kentucky and Morehead State University made their home debuts during the week and play at home this weekend. The University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University and Murray State University each make their home debuts this weekend in series versus Toledo, Penn State and Bowling Green St. respectively. Kentucky teams are 4-1 at home on the young season.

Tournament Watch — WKU (Baseball at the Beach Tournament)

We already outlined WKU’s matchup with host Coastal Carolina in the “Baseball at the Beach Tournament,” but the Hilltoppers also face Kansas St. and Pacific this weekend. The Hilltoppers turn to sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins in game one versus Kansas St. Friday. Kansas St. is 3-0 on the season. WKU hasn’t announced a starting pitcher for Sunday’s game versus Pacific, which is 0-3 on the season. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Taylor Haydel started for the Hilltoppers during the opening weekend but also pitched in relief in WKU’s midweek game.

Out-of-state Ky. collegians playing Ky. collegesRich Witten (Coastal Carolina), Patrick Maronde (Coastal Carolina), John Fidanza (Coastal Carolina)

WKU will face a trio of Kentucky high school alumni in its Saturday matchup versus Coastal Carolina. Danville High School alum Rich Witten is the everyday first baseman for Coastal Carolina and is 2-16 with three RBI and two runs scored in four games this season.  Lexington Catholic alum Patrick Maronde is a freshman right-handed reliever for the Chanticleers but hasn’t appeared in a game yet this season. Patrick is the younger brother of University of Florida junior right-handed pitcher Nick Maronde. Freshman catcher John Fidanza has started two of Coastal Carolina’s four games during the team’s opening series.

This post originally neglected to include John Fidanza among the Kentucky out-of-state collegians playing Kentucky schools this weekend.

KHSBCA All-State Teams

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Check out the first and second Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association All-State teams:

First Team

  • Brock Downey — Murray High School
  • Justin Hageman — Hopkinsville High School
  • Kyle Gibson — Henderson County High School
  • Cole Isom — Christian County High School
  • Cole Sturgeon — Owensboro Catholic High School
  • Ty Downing – Greenwood High School
  • Shane Waldrop — Warren Central High School
  • Brandon Alphin — Bullitt East High School
  • Corey Littrell – Trinity High School
  • John Fidanza – Ballard High School
  • Kyle Cornett – Eastern High School
  • Brian Doering – Manual High School
  • Jared Martin — Harrison County High School
  • Trevor Gott — Tates Creek High School
  • J.T. Riddle — Western Hills High School
  • Lucas Witt — Lexington Christian Academy
  • Louie Helmburg — West Jessamine High School
  • Duran Elmore — Danville High School

Second Team

  • Tyler Saltsman — Grayson County High School
  • Mikey Scott — Grayson County High School
  • Matt Bowles — Bullitt East High School
  • Taylor Banks — Pleasure Ridge Park
  • Ryan Messex — Louisville Male High School
  • Matt Spalding — St. X
  • Spencer Drake — Eastern High School
  • Corey Bays — Henry Clay High School
  • Eric Standafer — Shelby County High School
  • Austin Pugh — Conner High School
  • Brice Smallwood — Dixie Heights High School
  • Logan Dailey — Harrison County High School
  • Taylor Martin — Lexington Catholic High School
  • Evan Stephens — Lexington Christian Academy
  • Aaron Watts — McCreary Central High School
  • Noah Smallwood — West Jessamine High School
  • Chandler Shepherd — Lawrence County High School
  • Gavin Miller — Pikeville High School

You can see the honorable mention team with player’s from each region here.

Ky seniors named Rawlings All-Americans

High School Baseball

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

KHSBCA releases 2010 preseason top 50 players

High School Baseball
The Kentucky High School Baseball Coach’s Association has released its 2010 preseason top 50 players list. The honorees are listed below by first name alphabetical order with college commitments when known:
  • Aaron Schwobel (Campbellsville)
  • Andrew Bowling (Trinity)
  • Austin Clay (Daviess Co.)
  • Austin Pugh (Conner)
  • Austin Lyons (Paintsville)
  • Beau Bouthilette (Elizabethtown)
  • Brandon Alphin (Bullit East) — University of Louisville
  • Brian Hockman (Pleasure Ridge Park)
  • Brian Doering (Manual) — Western Kentucky University
  • Brock Downey (Murray) — Murray State University
  • Bud Mortin (West Jessamine) — Morehead State University
  • Chris Beymer (PLD) — Purdue University
  • Cole Isom (Christian Co.)
  • Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro Catholic) — UofL
  • Corey Littrell (Trinity) — University of Kentucky
  • Corey Sloan (Hazard)
  • Dakota Ritchie (Breathitt Co.)
  • Dalton West (Apollo)
  • Derek Stapleton (East Carter)
  • Duran Elmore (Danville) — Morehead St.
  • Eric Standafer (Shelby Co.)
  • Gus Wise (Lee Co.)
  • J. T. Riddle (Western Hills) — UK
  • Jacob Russell (Anderson Co.)
  • Jared Martin (Harrison Co.)
  • Jeff Gardner (Whitefield Academy)
  • Jimmy Conway (Eastern)
  • John Fidanza (Ballard) — Coastal Carolina
  • Jordan Cessna (Henderson Co.) — WKU
  • Justin Hageman (Hopkinsville) — WKU
  • Kyle Gibson (Henderson Co.)
  • Kyle Cornett (Eastern) — Murray St.
  • Logan Dailey (Harrison Co.)
  • Logan McQueary (George Rogers Clark)
  • Loui Helmburg (West Jessamine) — Marshall University
  • Lucas Whitt (LCA) — UK
  • Malcom Thomas (Harrison Co.)
  • Matt Bowles (Bullitt East)
  • Noah Smallwood (West Jessamine) — Morehead St.
  • Ryan Hayden (Graves Co.)
  • Sean Thompson (Franklin Co.)
  • Shane Pack (Lawrence Co.)
  • Spencer Pettet (Monroe Co.) — Belmont University
  • Spencer Drake (Eastern)
  • Tanner Smith (North Laurel) — WKU
  • Tanner Richerson (Murray)
  • Taylor Banks (PRP)
  • Trevor Gott (Tates Creek) — UK
  • Ty Downing (Greenwood) — Indiana University
  • Tyler Saltsman (Grayson Co.) — Murray St.

Webb throws; Local products sign LOIs

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brandon webb

Brandon Webb; Photo by SD Dirk via Flickr

News continues to trickle in about signees for the state colleges, but they were overshadowed by one of the most high-profile Kentucky major leaguers working back from injury. Check out those stories and more in some Friday links, and keep checking back for more signing news later:

  • Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports Ashland-native Brandon Webb has a pain-free first throwing session since having shoulder surgery in August.
  • Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier-Journal reports that UofL signed Bullitt East pitcher/infielder Brandon Alphin. He also writes that Trinity pitcher Corey Littrell signed with UK.
  • Granite City (Ill.) standout Jake DePew also signed with the Cards.
  • Dick Kaegel of MLB.com reports rumors of a Albert Callaspo trade from the Royals to the Dodgers for PLD-alum A. J. Ellis appear unfounded.
  • Michael Johnson of Examiner.com reports Ballard catcher John Fidanza signed with Coastal Carolina.
  • Jason Stella of Examiner.com writes about 2009 Bats Wes Bankston‘s and Adam RosalesWinter League performances.
  • The Courier-Journal has further breakdown of the Curt Flood memorabilia auction at the Louisville Slugger Museum this weekend.
  • Stan McNeal and Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News look at what were learned from the 2009 baseball season and conclude that Louisville-native Aaron Cook‘s success at home means pitchers really can pitch well at Coors Field.