Stretch Drive Breakdown: UofL

College Baseball

The college baseball regular season is only two weeks from completion so I thought this would be the perfect chance to look at each of the six division one school’s postseason prospects. We’ll start with No. 9 University of Louisville. The Cards are one-half game behind Connecticut for first place in the Big East with two series left in the regular season.

UofL hosts fourth-place St. Johns this weekend before traveling to eighth-place Notre Dame next week. UCONN travels to fifth-place South Florida this week before hosting 11th-place Seton Hall in the final weekend. The Cards have wrapped up a NCAA regional host slot with the No. 5 RPI and probably would earn on of the eight national seeds if the season ended today. Wrapping up the Big East regular season title would likely cement that national seed.

(You can see the Rivals.com field of 64 projection here and the Baseball America stock report here.)

UofL holds steady in rankings; Cunningham, Craycraft, Cooper, Lee, Duvall honored

College Baseball

Your weekly Monday college baseball roundup:

  • The University of Louisville stayed at No. 9 in the latest Baseball America top 25 and dropped to No. 8 in the latest Rivals.com rankings.
  • Aaron Fitt of BA profiles Murray State University senior first baseman Wes Cunningham in his weekly Golden Spikes Award spotlight.
  • Cunningham was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the week, and Murray St. right-handed pitcher Chris Craycraft was named the league’s pitcher of the week.
  • University of Kentucky right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper was named the Southeastern Conference freshman of the week.
  • UofL senior Adam Duvall and Morehead State University senior Drew Lee were named quarterfinalists for the Brooks Wallace Award which goes to the nation’s top shortstop.

UK secures commitment from former LCA slugger; BA profiles Kentucky teams; Hustlers announce roster

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

UK Athletics Wallpaper

Links for a Wednesday afternoon:

  • Rob Gidel, sometime BluGrass Baseball contributor and Cat’s Pause analyst, reports the University of Kentucky has received a commitment from former LCA star Tyler Oliver. Oliver leads all junior college players with 25 home runs.
  • Those wanting an early glimpse of the slugger can watch him with the Lexington Hustlers college summer league team this summer, Adam Revelette of Examiner.com reports. Revelette is also the Hustlers’ general manager.
  • For the complete Hustlers’ roster check out a previous post from Revelette.
  • Aaron Fitt of Baseball America breaks down the small conference races for their automatic NCAA bid and declare Murray State University the Ohio Valley Conference favorite.
  • Matt Eddy of BA profiles the surprising pitching depth (subscription required) of the struggling Bowling Green Hot Rods.
  • Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com and Yahoo! Sports ranks PRP alum Zack Cox as the No. 6 college prospect for the 2010 draft.

Cunningham, Clark named POW; Latest top 25 rankings; Chapman, Blanton pitch

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Wes Cunningham: BluGrass Baseball photo

Links from around the Kentucky baseball world for your Tuesday morning:

  • Murray State University senior first baseman Wes Cunningham was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the week for his performance last week, including setting the new school single-season home run record.
  • University of Louisville senior first baseman Andrew Clark was named the Big East Conference player of the week.
  • Clark was also named the national player of the week by The College Baseball Blog.
  • UofL moved up to No. 9 in the latest Baseball America top 25 ranking.
  • The Cards jumped to No. 7 in the latest Rivals.com ranking.
  • Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman picked up is second win of the season for the Louisville Bats but allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings. He struck out eight and walked one in the Bats’ 20-7 blowout of Buffalo.
  • University of Kentucky alum Joe Blanton took the loss in his return from a strained left oblique for the Philadelphia Phillies but pitched well, allowing four runs in six and two-third innings.

Meyer to miss at least 3 weeks with mono; WKU administration considering hosting regional

College Baseball
Alex Meyer; BluGrass Baseball photo

Alex Meyer; BluGrass Baseball photo

A couple of afternoon notes to pass along from the Kentucky college baseball scene:

  • University of Kentucky sophomore right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer will miss 3-4 weeks with mononucleosis. I asked UK about his weekend rotation replacement and was told Sunday’s starting pitcher is TBA. Look to sophomore right-handed pitcher Sean Boutilette, freshman right-handed pitchers Jordan Cooper and Sam Kidd or junior left-handed pitcher Mike Kaczmarek as possible replacements.
  • With a weekend series against No. 7 Florida on the horizon, any candidate UK selects for the Sunday start will face a level of competition he isn’t used to in his midweek action to this point in the season. It’s also interesting to consider UK is now without each of its three projected weekend starters from the end of last season. The Cats lost Clint Tilford to the draft, James Paxton to NCAA trouble and now Meyer to illness.
  • Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com and Yahoo! Sports tweets Western Kentucky University coach Chris Finwood says the Hilltoppers’ administration is looking into hosting a NCAA regional.

Kentucky players in Rivals.com week 8 power rankings

College Baseball

Zack Cox; University of Arkansas photo

Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com and Yahoo! Sports has released his latest weekly position-by-position college baseball power rankings and, as usual, several Kentucky players were included on the lists. I have listed the Kentucky players below, but check out the entire rankings here.

Third Base

  • 1) Zack Cox — Arkansas (PRP)
  • 5) Jayson LangfelsEastern Kentucky University
  • 9) Phil WunderlichUniversity of Louisville

Middle Infield

  • 7) Ryan Wright — UofL
  • 8) Drew LeeMorehead State University

First Base

  • 9) Andrew Clark — UofL

Catcher

  • 10) Matt RiceWestern Kentucky University

Head Coach

  • 4) Dan McDonnell — UofL

Players of Week, Top 25 rankings, WKU and UK profiles

College Baseball

Zack Cox; University of Arkansas photo

Lots of college news to get you through the morning:

  • Pleasure Ridge Park alum and Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after batting .556 and stretching his hitting streak to 23 games.
  • Morehead State University sophomore outfielder Cameron Flynn was named Ohio Valley Conference player of the week, and Eastern Kentucky University sophomore right-handed reliever Matt Harris was named OVC pitcher of the week. (Both players were also honored with the BluGrass Baseball weekly honors)
  • Northern Kentucky University ace was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference pitcher of the week for the second time this season.
  • The University of Louisville moved up to No. 11 in the latest Baseball America top 25, and Western Kentucky University moved up to No. 18.
  • UofL stayed at No. 7 in the latest Rivals.com top 25 and WKU moved into the rankings at No. 24.
  • NKU moved up to No. 19 in the latest Division II poll from The College Baseball Newspaper.
  • Mike Stunson of the College Heights Herald reports on WKU’s best start in school history.
  • Stunson also profiles WKU senior second baseman Matt Payton.
  • Herald columnist Jonathan Lintner writes WKU coach Chris Finwood is building a baseball powerhouse.
  • Aaron Smith of the Kentucky Kernel profiles the University of Kentucky bullpen.

UofL profiles; Wellemeyer excels; Minor League Spring Training schedules; Roe, Friedrich cut from Rockies camp

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

I’ll be out of action for much of the afternoon after some dental work this morning, but I’ve passed along some links for your Wednesday. I’ll try to post as many Wednesday game recaps as I can get to tonight:

  • Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com interviews University of Louisville ace Thomas Royse for his weekly Yahoo! Sports Q&A.
  • The national publicity continues to roll in for UofL after its big road series victory against Ole Miss as Aaron Fitt of Baseball America profiles Cards third baseman Phil Wunderlich. (subscription required)
  • Eastern Kentucky University recaps its 5-2 win over Purdue.
  • Western Kentucky University recaps its 17-2 blowout of No. 19 Vanderbilt.
  • UofL recaps its 7-4 victory over Xavier.
  • Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle reports Louisville-native Todd Wellemeyer may have the inside track to the Giants’ fifth starter role.
  • The Louisville Bats kick off its Spring Training schedule today.
  • The Bowling Green Hot RodsSpring Training schedule starts Friday.
  • The Colorado Rockies reassigned Lafayette-alum Chaz Roe and EKU-alum Christian Friedrich to Minor League camp.

Player of Week honors for Wunderlich and Little; Webb update; Bats and Legends make headlines

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Brandon Webb; Photo by SD Dirk via Flickr

Lots of college awards to pass along to go with several Spring Training Kentucky-related updates and some minor league news:

  • University of Kentucky right-handed reliever Matt Little was named one of three national players of the week by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
  • University of Louisville infielder Phil Wunderlich was named Big East player of the week.
  • Bob McManaman of The Arizona Republic has the latest update on UK alum Brandon Webb from D’Backs camp.
  • Just a reminder for Louisville Bats fans, John Fay’s Reds blog for The Cincinnati Enquirer should be a must read to keep track of past, present and future Bats during Spring Training.
  • Lexington Legends President/COO Alan Stein got some love on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning yesterday for a new marketing decision by the Omaha Royals, Stein’s other team.
  • Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com reports UK will play in the Houston College Classic in 2011 at Minute Maid Park.

UofL, UK hold steady in latest NCAA top 25 rankings

College Baseball

The University of Louisville stayed at No. 10 and No. 8 in the Baseball America and Rivals.com rankings respectively, and the University of Kentucky moved up slightly in each poll. UK moved up to No. 22 from No. 23 in the Baseball America poll and moved to No. 19 from No. 22 in the Rivals poll. You can see each full top 25 below.