Friday roundup: UK, WKU win; UofL, EKU, Murray St. lose

College Baseball

Braden Kapteyn; UK Athletics photo

Recaps and highlights from Friday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • The University of Louisville suffered its first poor outing of the season from a weekend starting pitcher in an 11-9 loss to Xavier. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch took the loss after surrendering eight runs, six of which were earned, on seven hits in three innings while striking out one batter and walking three. The Cards offense scored multiple runs in the third, sixth, seventh and ninth innings but could never pull closer than two runs of Xavier. UofL redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames was 2-5 with one double, one triple, two RBI and one run scored. Bishop Brossart alum and Xavier redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Nate Mutsch surrendered two hits in a scoreless inning of relief. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University used another strong start from sophomore ace Tanner Perkins to earn a 5-2 win over Middle Tennessee in its Sun Belt Conference opener. Perkins improved to 4-1 on the season after surrendering two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in eight innings while striking out a career-high 10 batters and walking none. Both junior shortstop Logan Robbins and junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson tallied three hits in the game, and junior center fielder Kes Carter drove in two runs. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Ross Hammonds picked up the save with a scoreless ninth inning. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky scored five unanswered runs to rally from a 3-0 deficit for a 5-3 win over Tennessee in its Southeastern Conference opener. The rally was highlighted by a two-run home run from junior designated hitter Braden Kapteyn in the 7th inning that proved to be the winning run. Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer earned the win after surrendering three runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits in seven innings while striking out seven batters and walking two. Kapteyn was 2-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored at the plate and struck out three batters in two perfect innings of relief to earn his first save of the season. Junior shortstop Taylor Black was 3-4 with two runs scored. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University surrendered multiple runs in each of the first three innings and could not climb out of its early hole in a 17-6 loss to Georgia State. Murray St. senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze took the loss after surrendering eight runs on nine hits in three innings while striking out three batters and walking one. Junior outfielder Cody Larson was 3-4 with two doubles, one triple, three RBI and three runs scored, and senior center fielder Elliot Frey was 2-3 with two RBI. (Box Score)
  • A five-run sixth inning by Indiana St. broke open what had been a scoreless tie and sent Eastern Kentucky University to a 10-3 loss in game one of a three-game series. EKU redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Matt Fyffe took the loss after surrendering seven runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits in six and two-third innings while striking out six batters and walking three. EKU senior center fielder Ryan Faidley was 2-3 with one walk and one run scored, and sophomore second baseman Matt Phipps was 2-3 with one walk. Faidley and Phipps were the only EKU batters with multiple hits in the game. The loss dropped EKU to 0-7 on the road this season. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: OF/1B Cody Larson (Murray St.)

  • Stats: 3-4, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 2Bs, 1 3B
  • Honorable Mention: Stewart Ijames (UofL), Alex Chittenden (UofL), Elliot Frey (Murray St.), Logan Robbins (WKU), Ryan Hutchinson (WKU), Braden Kapteyn (UK), Taylor Black (UK), Ryan Faidley (EKU), Matt Phipps (EKU)

Pitcher of the day: LHP Tanner Perkins (WKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Travis Tingle (UofL), Alex Meyer (UK), Braden Kapteyn (UK)

BluGrass Baseball Week Five Weekend Preview

College Baseball

Brian Edelen; BluGrass Baseball photo

It’s time for the Week Five weekend preview. Check out storylines to watch in week five games for Kentucky DI colleges and players:

Matchup of the week: University of Kentucky vs. Tennessee

UK opens Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a three-game series versus Tennessee. The Cats were projected to finish two spots ahead of Tennessee by the SEC coaches prior to the season, but the Volunteers have enjoyed a hot start to 2011. Tennessee is 15-2 on the season but has played just one game on the road and no games outside of Tennessee. The Vols are led on the mound by junior left-handed pitcher Steven Gruver, who is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA in four starts. Senior infielder Khayyan Norfok is batting .492 with two home runs, 19 RBI and 17 runs scored on the season.

Player to watch: RHP Brian Edelen (WKU)

Western Kentucky University will turn to senior right-handed pitcher Brian Edelen for its Sunday start in the Sun Belt Conference opening series versus Middle Tennessee. Edelen takes the place of sophomore right-handed pitcher Taylor Haydel, who has struggled in a weekend starting role. Edelen is 2-0 with a 4.66 ERA in eight games, including two midweek starts, this season. The Fisherville native has struck out 12 batters and walked six in 19 and one-third innings. Haydel is 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA on the season.

Stat of the week: UofL offense vs. defense

The University of Louisville‘s pitching staff has carried the Cards to a 11-5 start to the season but its offense has done it no favors. The Cards boast a 3.33 ERA on the season but are batting just .241. Despite being six games over .500, UofL has scored just 63 runs on the season while surrendering 39. Just one UofL hitter is batting over .300 on the season. The Cards’ weekend starting pitchers are 7-1 with a 1.49 ERA in 12 games.

Out of state Ky. collegians playing Ky. schools: SS Zach Osborne (UT), RHP Nate Mutsch (Xavier), RHP Blake Drake (Indiana St.), INF Jon Hedges (Indiana St.), OF Dalton Henzman (Middle Tenn.)

Five Kentucky high school alumni are playing Kentucky colleges this weekend, headlined by Tennessee junior shortstop and PRP alum Zach Osborne. The Louisville native is batting .340 with one home run, nine RBI and 14 runs scored for the Volunteers this season. UofL will face Bishop Brossart alum Nate Mutsch, who has yet to surrender a run in five relief appearances for Xavier this season. Eastern Kentucky University will face a pair of Kentucky alumni in Indiana St. right-handed pitcher Blake Drake, an Eastern High School alum, and infielder Jon Hedges, an Owensboro High School alum. Drake is 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA in four games this season, and Hedges is batting .260 with two home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored in 13 games. Finally, WKU will face Middle Tennessee outfielder Dalton Henzman, a LCA alum who is batting .214 in eight games.