Offseason position battle: Murray St. starting pitchers

College Baseball

In the fifth Murray State University post of the “offseason position battle series we will look at the vacant weekend starting pitching slots.

The departed — Right-handed pitcher Chris Craycraft, a 2010 senior, served as the Murray State ace for each of the last two seasons, being named second-team all-Ohio Valley Conference following the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Craycraft was 6-4 with a 5.05 ERA in 16 games, including 15 starts, for the Breds in 2010. The Lexington native struck out 72 batters and walked 35 in 92 and two-third innings pitched…Right-handed pitcher Alex Love, a 2010 senior, was 8-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 19 games, including eight starts, for the Breds last season. Love struck out 35 batters and walked 23 in 70 and one-third innings pitched…Right-handed pitchers Marc Harmon and Dan Huff, both 2010 seniors, combined to make 13 starts for Murray St. last season but neither finished the year with an ERA below 8.35.

Returning candidates — Senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze made 16 starts for Murray St. in 2010 and finished the season at 6-6 with a 6.02 ERA. Donze struck out 71 batters and walked 56 in 83.2 innings pitched and enters 2011 as the Breds de facto ace…Sophomore right-handed pitchers Joe Major, Will Handlin, and Ben Lady each made one start for Murray St. in 2010. Major was the only returning Murray St. pitcher to finish 2010 with a sub-4.00 ERA, but he logged just 10 innings pitched on the season.

Newcomers to watch — Junior college transfer Bryan Babin pitched four shutout innings in the decisive game of the Murray St. Fall World Series. Babin, a junior left-handed pitcher, was 5-1 with a 3.46 ERA in 39 innings pitched as a sophomore at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College…Junior college transfer Luke Shuemaker, a junior left-handed pitcher, was 4-2 with a 5.15 ERA in 50 and two-third innings pitched for Rend Lake College in 2010…Junior college transfer Mark Roberts, a junior left-handed pitcher, was 5-3 with a 4.42 ERA in 55 innings pitched for Lincoln Trail College in 2010…Freshman left-handed pitchers Kyle Cornett and Brock Downey were both named first-team all-state as a seniors by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association…Freshman right-handed pitcher Cameron Finch was named first-team all state as a senior in Collierville, Tenn., and pitched eight complete games and two no-hitters in 2010.

Wildcard — The Breds have no shortage of starting pitcher candidates as head coach Rob McDonald brought in nine new pitchers to the 2011 pitching staff. Junior Tyler Beers, a junior college transfer, may be needed to man the vacant first base position for the Breds, but he also logged experience as a right-handed pitcher at Mineral Area college. Beers was 2-7 with a 6.12 ERA as a sophomore, but proved to be an innings eater after striking out 55 in 64 and two-third innings pitched.

BluGrass Baseball Tuesday Review: Week 14

College Baseball

The two non-OVC teams swept the in-state matchups Friday in the season’s last mid-week games. Check out recaps and awards from the games below:

  • No. 11 University of Louisville rode five RBI from senior catcher Jeff Arnold to a 14-3 blowout of Eastern Kentucky University Tuesday. Arnold was 2-5 with two runs scored, and five Cardinals tallied at least two hits in the game. Senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich was 3-5 with a run scored and RBI. Junior center fielder Josh Richmond, who was playing in his fourth game since missing 29 games with a broken hand, launched his first home run of the season. EKU senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando launched his 17th home run of the season. UofL senior right-handed pitcher Tyler Mathis was credited with the win after pitching two perfect innings. (Box Score)
  • Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Joe Devine earned his first University of Kentucky career victory in a 6-3 win over Murray State University. Devine allowed one run on three hits in five and one-third innings and struck out four while walking one. UK junior second baseman Chris Bisson was 2-5 in the game, and six different Cats scored a run. Murray St. senior catcher Jason Laws and senior outfielder Daniel Hill each homered in the game. UK left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell earned his first save of the season but surrendered two runs in one and two-third innings. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: C Jeff Arnold (UofL)

  • Stats: 2-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 1 2B, 1 3B
  • Honorable Mention: Andrew Clark (UofL), Phil Wunderlich (UofL), Anthony Ottrando (EKU), Chris Bisson (UK), Jason Laws (Murray St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Joe Devine (UK)

  • Stats: 1-0, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Tyler Mathis (UofL), Eric Sanders (EKU), Marc Harmon (Murray St.)

Two home runs from Cunningham not enough for Murray St.

College Baseball

Murray State University dropped its seventh game in a row Tuesday with a 17-8 blowout by Arkansas State despite two home runs from senior first baseman Wes Cunningham. The slugger drove in four runs in the game, but the Racers’ pitching staff had no success against Arkansas State. Senior right-handed pitcher Marc Harmon took the loss after surrendering nine runs in two and one-third innings.

Junior left fielder Zach Noonan, senior catcher Jason Laws and senior designated hitter Bryan Propst each had two hits in the game, and Propst drove in two runs. Murray State’s bullpen didn’t fare much better than Harmon after surrendering eight runs in six and two-third innings. The Racers fell to 4-7 on the season. (Box Score)

BluGrass Baseball POG: Wes Cunningham — The senior first baseman continued his one-man assault of college baseball Tuesday with a 2-5, two home run, four RBI, two runs scored performance. On the season, Cunningham is batting .388 with four home runs and 11 RBI.

Murray State drops game two 3-2 to Northwestern State

College Baseball

Murray State University struggled to get its bats going for the second consecutive game in a 3-2 loss to Northwestern State. Senior right-handed pitcher Marc Harmon took the loss in relief for Murray State moving from his usual spot as Sunday starter. Junior center fielder Elliot Frey led the Racers with a home run and one RBI. Murray State fell to 4-5 on the season. (Box Score)

BluGrass Baseball POG: Elliot Frey — The junior center fielder was 1-3 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored in the game. Frey also walked once and is batting .233 with one home run and four RBI on the season.

Weekend Schedule: Week Three (March 5)

College Baseball

UK alread kicked off the weekend with its loss last night, but there is still plenty of action to preview in the weekend schedule. Check out the composite schedule below with information about where you can listen or watch the game. Gametracker links will take you to the livestream of the radio broadcast. I’ve also included each teams probable starting pitcher and Baseball America ranking in parentheses when applicable. Clicking on each team’s name will take you to the university’s preview of the series.

University of Louisville (10)

  • Friday — vs. Le Moyne — 3:00 p.m. — RHP Thomas Royse — Gametracker
  • Saturday — vs. Le Moyne — 12:00 p.m. — LHP Dean Kiekhefer — Gametracker
  • Sunday — vs. Le Moyne — 1:00 p.m. — RHP Derek Self — Gametracker

University of Kentucky (23) — In San Diego

  • Thursday — @ San Diego St. — 9:oo p.m. — Box Score
  • Friday — @ San Diego — 5:00 p.m. — Gametracker — LHP Logan Darnell
  • Saturday — @ Monmouth — 2:00 p.m. — Live Blog — RHP Taylor Rogers

Western Kentucky University

  • Friday — vs. Illinois-Chicago — 3:oo p.m. (CT) — RHP Matt Ridings —Live Stats
  • Saturday — vs. Illinois-Chicago — 2:00 p.m. (CT) — LHP Tanner Perkins — Live Stats
  • Sunday — vs. Illinois-Chicago — 1:00 p.m. (CT) — RHP Shane Cameron — Live Stats

Murray State University

  • Friday — @ Northwestern St. — 6:30 p.m. (CT) — RHP Chris Craycraft
  • Saturday — @ Northwestern St. — 6:30 p.m. (CT) — LHP Jake Donze
  • Sunday — @ Northwestern St. — 1:00 p.m. (CT) — RHP Marc Harmon

Morehead State University

  • Friday — vs. Buffalo — 3:00 p.m. — Live Stats
  • Saturday — vs. Buffalo — 1:00 p.m.
  • Saturday — vs. Buffalo — DH
  • Sunday — vs. Buffalo — 12:00 p.m.

Eastern Kentucky University

  • Friday — @ Presbyterian — 2:30 p.m. — RHP Matt Harris — Live Stats
  • Saturday — @ Presbyterian — 12:00 p.m. — RHP Stephen Hefler — Live Stats
  • Sunday — @ Presbyterian — 2:00 p.m. — RHP Anthony Bazzani — Live Stats

Murray State drops series with 9-4 loss to SDSU

College Baseball

The Murray State Racers dropped their first series of the season with a 9-4 loss to South Dakota State University Sunday. SDSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second and never looked back. Senior catcher Jason Laws led the Racers with a 3-5 performance with one run scored and one RBI. Senior right-handed pitcher Marc Harmon took the loss after allowing six runs in four innings.

BluGrass Baseball POG: Jason Laws — Laws was one of the few offensive bright spots for Murray State as its biggest stars struggled to reach base in the series finale. Laws finished the afternoon 3-5 with one RBI and one run scored.

Weekend Schedule: Week 2 (Feb. 26)

College Baseball

The midweek matchups were mostly a washout with weather postponments, but week two of the college season starts in full force today. Each of the state’s division one teams is in action with Eastern Kentucky University kicking off its season today. Check out the composite weekend schedule below with information about where you can listen or watch the game. Gametracker links will take you to the livestream of the radio broadcast. I’ve also included each teams probable starting pitcher  and Baseball America ranking in parentheses when applicable. Clicking on each team’s name will take you to the university’s preview of the series

University of Louisville (13) — Big Ten/Big East Challenge

  • Friday — vs. Michigan (Fla.) — 7:30 p.m. — RHP Thomas Royse (1-0, 0.00) Gametracker
  • Saturday — vs. Michigan State (Fla.) — 4:30 p.m. — LHP Dean Keikhefer (-0-0, 0.00)
  • Sunday — vs. Minnesota (Fla.) — 10:00 a.m. — RHP Tony Zych (o-0, ***)

University of Kentucky

  • Friday — vs. Bowling Green St. — 4:00 p.m. — RHP Alex Meyer (1-0, 3.60) — Gametracker
  • Saturday — vs. Bowling Green St. — 1:00 p.m. — LHP Taylor Rogers (1-0, 0.00) — Gametracker
  • Sunday — vs. Bowling Green St. — 1:00 p.m. — LHP Logan Darnell (0-0, 3.00) — Gametracker

Western Kentucky University — QTI Baylor Classic

  • Friday — vs. Texas A&M (Tex.) — 6:00 p.m. — RHP Matt Ridings (0-0, 13.50) — Gametracker
  • Saturday — vs. Texas State (Tex.) — 5:00 p.m. — LHP Tanner Perkins (1-0, 0.00) — Gametracker
  • Sunday — @ Baylor (Tex.) — 1:00 p.m. — RHP Shane Cameron (0-0, 3.86)

Murray State University

  • Friday — vs. South Dakota St. — 2:00 p.m. — RHP Chris Craycraft (1-0, 4.50) — Live Stats
  • Saturday — vs. South Dakota St. — 1:00 p.m. — LHP Jake Donze (1-0, 1.50) — Live Stats
  • Sunday — vs. South Dakota St. — 12:00 p.m. — RHP Marc Harmon (1-0, 3.86) — Live Stats

Morhead State University — UNC-Wilmington Hughes Bros. Baseball Classic

  • Friday — vs. Liberty — 12:30 p.m. — RHP Michael Bottoms (1-0, 6.00) — Live Stats
  • Saturday — vs. UNC Wilmington — 1:30 p.m. — RHP Trey Smith (0-1, 12.46)
  • Saturday — vs. Lehigh — 5:00 p.m. — RHP Jeff Arnold (0-0, 9.00)
  • Sunday — vs. Lehigh — 10:00 a.m. — LHP Tyler Hieneman (0-0, 2.57)

Eastern Kentucky University

  • Friday — @ Western North Carolina — 4:00 p.m. — RHP Matt Harris — Gametracker
  • Saturday — @ Western North Carolina — 2:00 p.m. — RHP Stephen Hefler — Gametracker
  • Sunday — @ Western North Carolina — 2:00 p.m. — RHP Anthony Bazzani — Gametracker

Murray State beats Lipscomb 8-3 to finish sweep

College Baseball

Murray State University completed an opening series sweep of Lipscomb with an 8-3 victory Sunday. The Racers were led at the plate by senior designated hitter Bryan Propst who was 3-5 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored. Senior first baseman Wes Cunningham also added two runs scored and two RBI.

On the mound senior right-handed pitcher Marc Harmon earned the win with seven innings of three-run ball. Harmon surrendered seven hits, walked two and struck out two. Senior right-handed reliever Alex Love closed the game by allowing just two hits in two innings. (Box Sc0re)

BluGrass Baseball POG: Bryan Propst — Propst launched seven home runs as a junior for Murray State, but already has two long balls in the 2010 season with his second coming Sunday. His home run was a solo shot leading off the ninth inning, but he already had two RBI while the score was closer earlier in the game.

Weekend Schedule: College Opening Day

College Baseball

The college season officially kicks off this afternoon with four of the Division 1 Kentucky programs in action. Check out the composite weekend schedule below with information about where you can listen or watch the game. Gametracker links will take you to the livestream of the radio broadcast. I’ve also included each teams probable starting pitcher and Baseball America ranking in parentheses when applicable. Clicking on each team’s name will take you to the university’s preview of the series.

University of Louisville (13)

  • Friday — 2:00 p.m. — vs. Bowling Green — RHP Thomas Royse — Gametracker — Cards TV — Watch
  • Saturday — 1:00 p.m. — vs. Bowling Green — LHP Dean Kiekhefer — Gametracker — Cards TV — Watch
  • Sunday — 1:00 p.m. — vs. Bowling Green — RHP Tony Zych — Gametracker — Cards TV — Watch

University of Kentucky

  • Friday — 12:00 p.m. — vs. Virginia Tech (in Myrtle Beach) — RHP Alex Meyer — Gametracker — UK AA LiveBlog
  • Saturday — 12:00 p.m. — vs. West Virginia (in Myrtle Beach) — LHP Taylor Rogers — Gametracker
  • Sunday — 3:00 p.m. — vs. Coastal Carolina (12) (in Myrtle Beach) — LHP Logan Darnell — Gametracker

Western Kentucky University

  • Friday — 4:00 p.m. — vs. Kent State — RHP Matt Ridings — Live stats (available at start time)
  • Saturday — 3:00 p.m. — vs. Kent State — LHP Tanner Perkins
  • Sunday — 1:00 p.m. — vs. Kent State — RHP Shane Cameron

Murray State University

  • Friday — 5:00 p.m. — @ Lipscomb — RHP Chris Craycraft — Live Stats (available at first pitch)
  • Saturday — 3:00 p.m. — @ Lipscomb — LHP Jake Donze —
  • Sunday — 2:00 p.m.  — @ Lipscomb — RHP Marc Harmon —

Morehead State University

  • Friday — 4:00 p.m. — @ Mercer — RHP Michael Bottoms — Live Stats (Available at first pitch)
  • Saturday (1) — 1:00 p.m. – @ Mercer — RHP Jeff Arnold
  • Saturday (2) — After GM 1 — @ Mercer — RHP Trey Smith
  • Sunday — 1:00 p.m. — @ Mercer — RHP Quentin Morgan