PRP alum named first-team All-American; UK infielder selected as third-team AA

College Baseball

Zack Cox; University of Arkansas photo

Pleasure Ridge Park alum and University of Arkansas infielder Zack Cox was named a first-team NCAA All-American by Baseball America Friday. The team was voted on by MLB scouting directors. Cox graduated from PRP in 2008 before starring for the Razorbacks as a freshman in 2009.  BA selected Cox as the designated hitter on the first team after he batted .271 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI last year.

“We really like his bat,” a National League scouting director told Jim Callis of BA. “We liked it in high school, too. He should hit for average and power. He backspins the ball pretty well. And he should be OK at third base, too, once he gets some more time there.” (Read more, subscription required)

University of Kentucky second baseman Chris Bisson was named to the third-team squad after batting .360 with two home runs and 52 RBI in 2009. (BA All Americans)

UK and UofL rank in the top 40 in total attendance

College Baseball

The NCAA has released the college baseball attendance figures for the 2009 season, and two Kentucky universities ranked in the top 40. The University of Kentucky ranked 34th with a season attendance of 53,646 and the University of Louisville ranked 38th with a season attendance of 50,989. UK averaged 1,850 fans were each of its 29 home games, and UofL averaged 1,545 per game in 33 home dates.

UK ranked in the top 35 for the fourth consecutive season and ranked 11th in the Southeastern Conference. UofL led the Big East in attendance. Louisiana State University led the country with 394,068 total fans through the turnstiles.

You can see a UK news release about the ranking here and check out the entire list via The College Baseball Blog here.

NYT: Paxton suing University of Kentucky

College Baseball

James Paxton; Photo: UK Athletics

Katie Thomas of The New York Times is reporting that UK ace James Paxton filed suit against the university in state court Wednesday. Paxton is alleging the university threatened to bar him from competition unless he met with NCAA investigators, even though he was not informed what rules he was accused of violating. DeWaynee Peevy, UK’s associate athletic director of media relations, declined to comment to The Times but did say the university was aware of the lawsuit.

Paxton was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first supplemental round in 2009 and surprised most by returning to UK for his senior season. According to The Times report, Paxton says the university told him to meet with an NCAA investigator in October but instructed him not to tell his parents or lawyer about the meeting. Paxton alleges that UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart told him he couldn’t play until he submitted to the interview.

Paxton’s lawyer, Richard Johnson, previously filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Oliver regarding the NCAA’s ban on using lawyers in negotiations with professional teams. (Read more)

Aaron Fitt of Baseball America previously reported that Paxton was limited in fall practice after having his knee scoped and a bought with mononucleosis.