Saturday roundup: UofL, UK shutout opponents; Murray St., EKU sweep double-headers; WKU, Morehead St. lose

College Baseball

Alex Meyer; UK Athletics photo

Highlights and recaps from Saturday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • University of Louisville redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung surrendered three hits over eight shutout innings to lead the Cards to a 8-0 win over Peppperdine. Amlung struck out three batters and walked two and improved his record to 3-0 on the season. At the plate UofL redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames was 2-4 with a home run, two RBI and one run scored, and freshman shortstop Alex Chittenden was 2-4 with three RBI and one run scored. Freshman first baseman Ryan Seiz scored two runs. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University scored three runs in the ninth inning but its rally fell short in a 9-5 loss to Illinois. Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman fell to 2-2 on the season after surrendering four runs, three of which were earned, on five hits in five and two-third innings. WKU junior center fielder Jared Andreoli drove in three runs, and senior designated hitter Matt Bracken was 2-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Senior catcher Matt Rice also tallied two hits in four at-bats. (Box Score)
  • University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer posted a complete-game shutout performance to lead the Cats to a 4-0 win over Niagara. Meyer surrendered five hits in nine inning and struck out 13 batters while waking two in the game. At the plate junior left fielder Chad Wright was 3-4 with a home run, two RBI and one run scored, and junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy was 2-3 with a home run, one RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore catcher Luke Maile and freshman right fielder J. T. Riddle each reached base three times with a hit and two walks. (Box Score)
  • In game one of a double-header versus IPFW Murray State University rode a quality start from junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers to a 5-3 win. Beers surrendered three runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out five batters and walking two to improve to 2-1 on the season. At the plate sophomore shortstop Brandon Elliott was 3-4 with two runs scored, and redshirt freshman designated hitter Brandon Eggenschwiler was 3-3 with two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • In game two of the double-header Murray St. senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze and two relievers combined on a 9-0, seven-inning shutout. Donze surrendered just one hit in five shutout innings while striking out five batters and walking none to improve his record to 2-0 on the season. Elliott was 2-3 with two runs scored in game two, and senior right fielder Zach Noonan was 2-4 with two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • In game one of a double-header versus UNC Asheville, Eastern Kentucky University erupted for 15 hits in a 10-3 win. Senior right-handed pitcher Chris Hord earned the win after surrendering two hits in four and two-third innings in a relief appearance. Hord struck out nine batters and walked none. At the plate senior left fielder Jacob Daniel was 4-5 with one double, one RBI and one run scored, and sophomore first baseman Matt Phipps was 2-3 with three runs scored.¬†Six different EKU batters recorded multiple hits in the game. (Box Score)
  • In game two the Colonels reached double-digit runs again, this time in a 10-6 win over UNC Asheville. Freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath earned the win after surrendering four runs on eight hits in five innings while striking out eight batters and walking three. Daniel was 2-4 with his third home run of the season, three RBI and two runs scored. Senior outfielder Bryce Labhart was 2-2 with one walk, one RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore right fielder Austin Grisham slugged his first home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University failed to win back-to-back games for the first time this season with a 13-9 loss to La Salle. The Eagles led 8-7 entering the eighth inning, but La Salle scored six runs over the final two innings to send Morehead St. to its 13th loss of the season. Redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Matt Cartwright took the loss after surrendering three runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Junior designate hitter Taylor Davis, junior third baseman Andrew Deeds and senior first baseman Michael Fear each homered for Morehead St. Davis drove in two runs and scored twice, Deeds drove in one run and scored three times and Fear drove in three runs and scored once. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: LF Jacob Daniel (EKU)

  • Stats: 6-9, 1 HR, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 3 R
  • Honorable Mention: Stewart Ijames (UofL), Alex Chittenden (UofL), Thomas McCarthy (UK), Chad Wright (UK), Matt Bracken (WKU), Brandon Elliott (Murray St.), Brandon Eggenschwiler (Murray St.), Austin Grisham (EKU), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Alex Meyer (UK)

  • Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 13 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Justin Amlung (UofL), Tyler Beers (Murray St.), Jake Donze (Murray St.), Chris Hord (EKU), Matt Fyffe (EKU)

BluGrass Baseball Hitting Leaderboard: February 21

College Baseball

The college statistical leaderboard is pretty useless this early in the season, but it at least offers a glimpse at what players had the best opening weekends. With that in mind check out the first in-season edition of the 2011 leaderboard. We’ll look at batting statistics today, remembering that players must have 2.5 at-bats per team game to be eligible.

Batting Average

  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — .692 (9-13)
  • Matt Rice — WKU — .538 (7-13)
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — .500 (7-14)
  • Drew Haynes — UofL — .500 (4-8)
  • Ryan Hutchinson — WKU — .417 (5-12)

Home Runs

  • Braden Kapteyn — UK — 1
  • Jacob Daniel — EKU — 1
  • Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — 1
  • Zach Noonan — Murray St. — 1

RBI

  • Matt Rice — WKU — 7
  • Jacob Daniel — EKU — 6
  • Ryan Hutchinson — WKU — 5
  • Logan Robbins — WKU — 5
  • Travis Isaak — Murray St. — 5

Runs

  • Ryan Hutchinson — WKU — 5
  • Kes Carter — WKU — 5
  • Braden Kapteyn — UK — 4
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 4
  • Logan Robbins — WKU — 4

Stolen Bases

  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 2/2
  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — 2/2
  • Chad Wright — UK — 2/2
  • Logan Robbins — WKU — 1/1
  • Matt Bracken — WKU — 1/1
  • Ty Young — UofL — 1/1
  • Thomas McCarthy — UK — 1/1
  • Neiko Johnson — UK — 1/1

On-Base Percentage

  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — .714
  • Drew Haynes — UofL — .600
  • Matt Rice — WKU — .563
  • Zach Noonan — Murray St. — .545
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — .529

Slugging Percentage

  • Ryan Hutchinson — WKU — .750
  • Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — .667
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — .643
  • Ryan Huck — WKU — .625
  • Drew Haynes — UofL — .625

Draft Preview: Western Kentucky University

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

Matt Rice bats for WKU: BluGrass Baseball photo

The draft is already underway, but we’ll continue our previews for schools with some players projected to go in later rounds. You can follow the Kentucky-related draft news all day from BluGrass Baseball via Twitter. Check out prospects from Western Kentucky University below:

The Headliners

  • One would think a catcher that has hit as well as Matt Rice has would be a top draft prospect, but a variety of factors have diminished his prospect status. First, he’s a little oversized for the position and doesn’t look pretty at times on defense. But perhaps even more relevant to his draft hopes is his status as a candidate to become WKU’s first Rhodes Scholar. Baseball America projected the potential honor would move Rice down teams boards as they are leery of the prospects of trying to sign him away from Rhodes. Still Rice should go off the board on day two.
  • Senior right-handed pitcher Matt Ridings, the Sun Belt pitcher of the year, was projected to be drafted in the first ten rounds before Tommy John surgery ended his season just before the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Still when asked by BluGrass Baseball, Jim Callis of Baseball America said of Ridings: “Area scouts love him. Someone will take a flier.” Ridings doesn’t have great stuff or eye-popping size, but he’s demonstrated an excellent feel for pitching through his WKU career.
  • Redshirt sophomore closer Rye Davis missed 2009 with an eye injury, but was unhittable during his return this season. Davis saved nine games and struck out 63 in 49.2 innings. Opponents batted just .249 against Davis, who even made a start during the Sun Belt tournament. As a draft-eligible sophomore Davis figures to go late in the draft to a team who hopes it can sign him away from returning to WKU for his junior season.

Senior hoping for chance

  • Senior second baseman Matt Payton batted .354 in 2010 with seven home runs and 55 RBI. Payton figures to be a late senior sign in the draft and will hope to impress a team enough to stick around during short-season ball.
  • Left-handed pitcher Bart Carter was ranked among the top 25 draft prospects in the state by Baseball America after experiencing mixed success in the WKU bullpen in 2010. Carter finished the year 3-1 with a 5.61 ERA, but could get a chance late in the draft as a lefty specialist.

Other eligible juniors

  • OF Matt Bracken
  • OF Chris Bullard
  • OF Monte Ketchum
  • RHP Scott Pederson
  • OF Kory Petri
  • RHP Brian Edelen
  • LHP Garrie Krueger

Other eligible seniors

  • RHP Shane Cameron
  • 1B Jake Wells

High school signees

  • RHP Justin Hageman of Hopkinsville High School was listed by Baseball America as one of the state’s top 25 draft prospects and could be the best candidate of Kentucky high schoolers to sign.