NCAA roundup: UofL, WKU win; UK blows late lead in loss

College Baseball

Braden Kapteyn; Photo: UK Athletics

Recaps and highlights from Friday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • The University of Louisville rode a quality start from sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch to a 7-4 win over Cincinnati in game one of a three-game series. Koch surrendered three runs on eight hits in seven innings while striking out seven batters and walking one. Freshman outfielder Cole Sturgeon was 2-4 with three runs scored in the leadoff hole, and freshman third baseman Ty Young drove in three runs. Junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his eighth save of the season. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University recorded a 5-1 win over Louisiana-Lafayette behind a complete-game effort from freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman. Senior catcher Matt Rice and junior center fielder Kes Carter were both 2-4 with one home run, one RBI and two runs scored. Hageman surrendered one run on eight hits in nine innings while striking out 10 batters and walking one. Junior second baseman Ivan Hartle scored the Hilltoppers other run, and junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson, junior shortstop Logan Robbins and senior designated hitter Chris Bullard each tallied RBI. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky lost its seventh consecutive Southeastern Conference game with a 12-9 loss to Auburn. Auburn entered the eighth inning down one run but scored six runs in the frame to blow the game open. Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Nick Kennedy took the loss after the only batter he faced reached base on a single and later scored the go-ahead run. Junior designated hitter Braden Kapteyn was 3-4 with one home run, four RBI and three runs scored. Freshman second baseman J. T. Riddle and sophomore catcher Luke Maile also slugged home runs in the game. Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer surrendered six runs on 11 hits in six innings in a no decision. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: DH Braden Kapteyn (UK)

  • Stats: 3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Rice (WKU), Kes Carter (WKU), Cole Sturgeon (UofL), J. T. Riddle (UK), Luke Maile (UK)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Justin Hageman (WKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Koch (UofL)
Advertisements

BluGrass Baseball Pitching Leaderboard: February 22

College Baseball

In the second weekly leaderboard post we’ll look at the top pitching statistics from the first weekend of the season. To be eligible for the ERA and batting average against categories, pitchers must have at least one inning per team game.

ERA

  • Justin Amlung — UofL — 0.00 (7.2 IP)
  • Tanner Perkins — WKU — 0.00 (6 IP)
  • Stephen Hefler — EKU — 0.00 (6 IP)
  • Brian Edelen — WKU — 0.00 (3 IP)
  • Chad Green — UofL — 0.00 (3 IP)
  • Derek Self — UofL — 0.00 (3 IP)
  • Mike Nastold — UofL — 0.00 (3 IP)

Wins

  • Justin Amlung — UofL — 1
  • Chad Green — UofL — 1
  • Matt Koch — UofL — 1
  • Tanner Perkins — WKU — 1
  • Justin Hageman — WKU — 1
  • Rye Davis — WKU — 1

Strikeouts

  • Alex Meyer — UK — 13
  • Matt Koch — UofL — 8
  • Garrick Whittle — Morehead St. — 7
  • Taylor Rogers — UK — 7
  • 4 players tied at 5

Innings Pitched

  • Justin Amlung — UofL — 7.2
  • Alex Meyer — UK — 7
  • Tanner Perkins — WKU — 6
  • Stephen Hefler — EKU — 6
  • Taylor Rogers — UK — 6
  • Trey Smith — Morehead St. — 6

Saves

  • Tony Zych — UofL — 2
  • Gabriel Shaw — UofL — 1

Batting Average Against

  • Stephen Hefler — EKU — .056
  • Chad Green — UofL — .083
  • Tanner Perkins — WKU — .111
  • Derek Self — UofL — .111
  • Mike Nastold — UofL — .111

Appearances

  • Tony Zych — UofL — 2
  • Gabriel Shaw — UofL — 2
  • Lincoln Wagner — EKU — 2
  • Tyler Hieneman — Morehead St. — 2
  • Nick Kennedy — UK — 2

Offseason position battle: UK closer

College Baseball

Braden Kapteyn; Photo: UK Athletics

In the next-to-last post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant University of Kentucky closer position.

The departed — Right-handed pitcher Matt Little posted a strong season as UK’s closer in 2010 during his only season with the Cats. Little, who was a junior-college transfer, was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 31st round of the 2010 draft. The Virginia native was 2-2 with a 4.93 ERA and seven saves in 2010. Little struck out 52 batters and walked 24 in 42 innings. He led the Cats with 24 appearances in 2010…Left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell, a 2010 junior and Minnesota Twins draftee, was UK’s primary closer in 2009 but served as a starter for most of the 2010 season. After returning to the bullpen late in conference play last season, Darnell saved one game in three relief appearances.

Returning candidates — The 2011 closer job is likely junior right-handed pitcher and first baseman Braden Kapteyn‘s job to lose after serving as one of UK’s top relievers last season. Kapteyn was 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA and 22 strikeouts to go with 15 walks in 22 innings last season. He saved two games last season. The slugger will also likely serve as UK’s primary designated hitter, giving him the flexibility to warm up in the bullpen during the late innings. During the summer 2010 Kapteyn was 3-1 with a 0.69 ERA in 15 relief appearances for the Harwich Mariners en route to being named a Cape Cod League all-star…Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Nick Kennedy has struggled to stay healthy during his UK career but offers the Cats a deceptive submarine look out of the pen. In his UK career Kennedy is 4-1 with a 4.21 ERA and two saves. He has struck out 42 and walked just 15 in 40 career innings.

Newcomers to watch — Freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell, freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott and freshman infielder and right-handed pitcher J. T. Riddle were all named first-team all-state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association as seniors in high school and could serve as valuable relievers for UK in 2011…Freshman right-handed pitcher Jonathan Paquet was the 22nd round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010 and was highlighted by Gary Henderson in a recent interview with College Baseball Daily as a freshman who could be an earlier contributor for the Cats…Junior left-handed pitcher Alex Phillips struck out 83 and walked just seven batters in 71 innings for Lower Columbia College in 2010.

Wildcard — Returning middle relievers Walter Wijas and Mike Kaczmarek were both valuable weapons out of the UK bullpen in 2010. Wijas, a sophomore right-handed pitcher, was 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 14 games, including one start, last season. Kaczmarek, a senior left-handed pitcher, was 1-0 with a 5.32 ERA last season. Kaczmarek will likely see some time in the outfield for UK in 2011, but will be a left-handed specialist out of the pen. Either Wijas or Kaczmarek could work their way into a more pressurized role in 2011.

Draft Preview: University of Kentucky

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

UK Athletics Wallpaper

While the Cats missed out on the NCAA tournament they will compete with the University of Louisville for most players selected in the MLB draft over the next three days. Even without senior left-handed pitcher James Paxton, the University of Kentucky should enjoy another impressive draft. Check out some of the UK players with the most hope of hearing their names called below:

The sure thing

  • Junior second baseman Chris Bisson is ranked No. 149 on Baseball America‘s top 200 draft prospects list and represents the best prospect among current Kentucky collegians. BA writes that Bisson is likely the best second baseman in the draft that is likely to stay at that position as a professional. After being hit by a pitch in the face early in the 2010 season, Bisson missed only a week but struggled for several weeks following the injury at the plate. Bisson’s intangibles are off the charts and he demonstrated plus speed leading the Southeastern Conference in 2010 and Cape Cod League in summer 2009 in stolen bases. Bisson profiles as a leadoff hitter as a professional and should go in the first five rounds.

Other prospects of note:

  • Junior left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell struggled as a weekend starting pitcher for UK in 2010, but a late-season move to the pen will likely foreshadow his professional role. Darnell enjoyed mixed success as a reliever in 2009, so he has shown he can perform admirably in the role. A mid-season bout with shoulder tendonitis has to scare teams a little, but Baseball America projects Darnell will likely be drafted in the first ten rounds.
  • Junior closer Matt Little burst onto the scene in 2010 after sitting out 2009 following his transfer from Louisberg Junior College and was nearly unhittable for much of the year. Little struggled late in the conference schedule, but still stands a good chance of being selected in the mid-rounds of the draft after striking out 52 batters in 42 innings. Little pitched in the prestigious Cape Cod League during summer 2009.
  • Junior outfielder Lance Ray was among the SEC’s best hitters in the second half of 2010, slugging .720 in just 118 at-bats. He’ll need to find a full-time position to succeed in professional ball, but Ray could very well have slugged his way into a draft selection. He could boost his status even more by returning for his senior season and performing well for an entire year.
  • Junior shortstop Taylor Black was the team’s best defender and even slugged 10 home runs. Black will likely return to UK for his senior year, but could be a valuable late-round pick for a professional team.
  • Redshirt senior utility man Gunner Glad likely has a future as a professional after playing all over the diamond and leading the team with 12 home runs. Glad’s versatility will help him as a professional as he played first, second, third and outfield in 2010. Look for Gunner to come off the board after round 20.
  • Redshirt senior catcher Marcus Nidiffer and redshirt senior outfielder Keenan Wiley have both experience mixed success at UK and should be late-round selections this week.

Other Eligible Juniors

  • RHP Kyle Jackson
  • INF Neiko Johnson
  • LHP Mike Kaczmarek
  • RHP Nick Kennedy

High School Signees

  • Trinity LHP Corey Littrell is the best high school player in the state, but Baseball America reports he’s unlikely to forgo his commitment to UK.
  • BA also ranks Tates Creek RHP Trevor Gott and LCA OF Lucas Witt among the top 25 Kentucky draft prospects.
  • BA ranked Danville native RHP Blake Perry, who attends a prep school in Florida, as the No. 71 prospect in the Sunshine state. Perry has been rising up team’s draft boards with an impressive senior campaign where he hit 92 mph with his fastball and boasted a 76 mph curveball at a recent showcase.

BluGrass Baseball Saturday Review: Week 14

College Baseball

Recaps and awards from the final Kentucky college regular season slate of baseball:

  • For the full recap of No. 11 University of Louisville‘s Big East regular season championship-clinching double-header sweep of Notre Dame click here.
  • The University of Kentucky avoided a series-sweep to last-place Georgia, but likely ended its season with a 14-11 victory Sunday. Redshirt Senior first baseman Gunner Glad launched a three-run, ninth inning home run in what was likely his last collegiate at-bat to give UK the win. Freshman outfielder Brian Adams finished the season on a hot streak with a 4-5 performance with his first collegiate home run, six RBI and three runs scored in the finale. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Nick Kennedy earned the win after allowing one run in two innings. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University gained some much-needed momentum heading into the Sun Belt Conference tournament with a 15-5 win over Middle Tennessee Saturday. The win gave WKU its first series since April 25. The game was called after six and one-half innings due to the 10-run rule for the final game of a Sun Belt series. Freshman designated hitter Ryan Huck was 2-3 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Redshirt sophomore right-handed reliever Ross Hammonds earned the victory with three scoreless innings. WKU will face top-seeded Florida Atlantic in game one of the Sun Belt tournament Wednesday. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University ended its season on a sour note with an 11-1 blowout loss to Tennessee Tech. The Breds will enter the OVC tournament as the three seed and will face EKU in game one Wednesday. Murray St. tallied just three hits in the game, and senior right-handed pitcher Alex Love surrendered six runs in three innings to take the loss. (Box Score)
  • Junior Jayson Langfels launched two home runs to send Eastern Kentucky University to a 8-7 win on senior night and a series sweep of SIU Edwardsville. Langfels was 2-5 with two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored. Junior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler earned the victory after allowing five runs in seven innings. EKU will enter the OVC tournament as the six seed and faces Murray St. in game one Wednesday. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University ended its season with a 21-10 loss to Jacksonville State on senior night. The loss was the final collegiate game for seniors Drew LeeJ.D. AshbrookMichael BottomsMichael FahsQuentin Morgan and Hunter Hewitt. Ashbrook ended his collegiate career with a 4-6 performance with two RBI and one run scored. Sophomore third baseman Andrew Deeds was 3-5 with a home run, six RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: LF Brian Adams (UK)

  • Stats: 4-5, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 1 3B
  • Honorable Mention: Adam Duvall (UofL), Ryan Huck (WKU), Jayson Langfels (EKU), J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead St.), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Justin Amlung (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Koch (UofL), Ross Hamonds (WKU), Stephen Hefler (EKU)

BluGrass Baseball Sunday Review Week 13

Uncategorized


Sunday saw huge postseason implications for several Kentucky schools both good and bad. Check out the UK Athletics’ video of Marcus Nidiffer’s game-winning grand slam above and recaps and awards from Sunday’s games, which included a tie between two Kentucky teams:

  • Redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames led No. 9 University of Louisville to an 8-4 win over St. Johns with two home runs. Ijames ended the game with three hits, three runs scored and six RBI. Redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung earned the win after allowing three runs in five and two-third innings. He struck out two and walked three. Junior right-handed closer Neil Holland allowed one run over the final two and two-third innings to record his 13th save of the season. (Box Score)
  • In the final home at-bat of his University of Kentucky career, senior catcher Marcus Nidiffer launched an eighth-inning grand slam to give the Cats the lead and send them to a 6-4 win and series sweep of LSU. The win moved UK into a tie for seventh place in the Southeastern Conference, and the Cats now control their own destiny for a conference tournament bid. The game saw UK walk 12 LSU batters and hit two but also strand 16 Tigers on base. Junior left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell earned the win in his first relief appearance of the season after missing two weeks with shoulder tendonitis. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University likely saw its at-large hopes for an NCAA tournament bid vanish Sunday with a 4-3 loss at Louisiana-Lafayette. The loss ensured WKU would lose its third consecutive conference series. Senior first baseman Jake Wells and senior second baseman Matt Payton each tallied two hits in the game, but Louisiana-Lafayette scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie the game and won on a walk-off double in the bottom of the tenth inning. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Phil Wetherell took the loss. (Box Score)
  • In a game that was actually played Saturday but not considered official until Sunday, Murray State University and Morehead State University ended their rain-shortened series with a 4-4 tie. The game was suspended in the eighth inning Saturday, but more rain Sunday prevented the teams from finishing the contest or playing the scheduled game three. Morehead senior shortstop Drew Lee and junior first baseman Michael Fear each tallied two hits for the Eagles. Murray St. senior left fielder Bryan Propst and junior catcher Drew Pixley also recorded two hits. Both starting pitchers, sophomore Matthew Robertson for the Eagles and redshirt junior Jake Donze for the Breds, allowed four runs in seven innings, though all four of Robertson’s runs were unearned. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University dropped the rubber match of its series with Jacksonville State in an 11-3 blowout Sunday. The Colonels are currently sixth in the Ohio Valley Conference, but will have to wait for other teams to finish their conference schedule next week to see if they earn one of the six OVC tournament bids. Junior third baseman Jayson Langfels, junior left fielder Ryan Faidley and sophomore second baseman Dustin Dunlop each tallied two hits in the game for EKU Sunday. Junior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler took the loss. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: OF Stewart Ijames (UofL)

  • Stats: 3-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 1 2B
  • Honorable Mention: Marcus Nidiffer (UK), Jake Wells (WKU), Bryan Propst (Murray St.), Drew Lee (Morehead St.), Jayson Langfels (EKU)

Pitcher of the day: Matthew Robertson (Morehead St.)

  • Stats: ND, 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Justin Amlung (UofL), Nick Kennedy (UK), Logan Darnell (UK), Tanner Perkins (WKU), Jake Donze (Murray St.)

BluGrass Baseball Week Seven Awards

College Baseball

Player of the Week: 1B Andrew Clark (UofL)

  • Stats: 10-18 (.556), 4 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R
  • Honorable Mention: Gunner Glad (UK), Travis Redmon (Morehead State), Drew Lee (Morehead), J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead), Wes Cunningham (Murray State), Daniel Hill (Murray St.), Adam Duvall (UofL), Zack Cox (Arkansas, PRP), Matt Payton (WKU)

Pitcher of the Week: LHP Dean Kiekhefer (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Jeff Arnold (Morehead St.), Nick Kennedy (UK), Sean Bouthilette (UK), Thomas Royse (UofL), Matt Ridings (WKU), Alex Love (Murray St.), Chris Craycraft (Murray St.)

Freshman of the Week: 3B Colton Moore (Murray St.)

  • Stats: 7-18, 2 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB
  • Honorable Mention: Brandon Elliott (Murray St.), Blake Crabtree (WKU), Walter Wijas (UK)

UK wins tenth of season with 7-1 defeat of Evansville

College Baseball

The University of Kentucky became the second Kentucky school to win at least 10 games Tuesday after a 7-1 victory over Evansville. Sophomore third baseman Andy Burns was 2-5 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored. Senior first baseman Gunner Glad, senior center fielder Keenan Wiley, sophomore designated hitter Braden Kapteyn and sophomore catcher Michael Williams each had two hits in the game. Freshman right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper was credited with his first career victory after allowing one run in four innings.

Redshirt junior right-handed reliever Nick Kennedy earned the save after pitching three scoreless innings in his season debut. The appearance marked Kennedy’s return from injury. Junior shortstop Taylor Black drove in two runs for the Cats, and junior right-handed reliever Kyle Jackson pitched two scoreless innings out of the pen. UK improved to 10-1 on the season. (Box Score)

BluGrass Baseball POG: Nick Kennedy — While Andy Burns delievered the big blow of the game with his home run, the return of Kennedy to the mound gives UK another viable weapon in the pen. When grouped with Matt Little and Kapteyn, the submarine rigthy Kennedy gives UK much needed bullpen depth. His scoreless three inning performance should be a shot in the arm for the Cats, who lost All-American Chris Bisson to injury last weekend.

Despite distractions, Cats just keep winning

College Baseball

Chris Bisson; Photo: UK Athletics

One could forgive the University of Kentucky baseball team if it had felt a little sorry for itself recently.

James Paxton; Photo: UK Athletics

It’s ace pitcher went from a sure-fire bet to sign a professional contract in June to a surprising senior returnee in August. But that high didn’t last long as senior left-handed pitcher James Paxton decided to sue UK in an effort to avoid a meeting with NCAA investigators concerned with the role super agent Scott Boras played in his negotiations with the Toronto Blue Jays.

As the season started the only thing anyone wanted to talk about regarding UK baseball was whether Paxton would be back this season. A 3-0 start to the year in South Carolina didn’t stop the talk. Despite the three impressive wins no national rankings followed. The standard justification was UK without Paxton wasn’t good enough for the honor.

“It would be fun to have him [Paxton], no one is gonna lie about that,” junior second baseman Chris Bisson said Sunday. “It would be fun to have James but we’ve got to play a baseball game.”

And play the Cats have. Even after learning this week Paxton would be leaving the team for good, the Cats swept preseason Mid-American Conference favorite Bowling Green State University.

Two weeks into the 2010 season UK is 6-0 without Paxton. Three of the six wins have gone to starting pitchers who might not have been in the rotation if Paxton were eligible to play. Freshman left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers has two wins, and junior right-handed pitcher Logan Darnell has one.

Newly anointed ace sophomore right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer is 2-0 with 14 strikeouts in 10 and two-third innings. Meyer may be the new ace, but the weight Paxton’s would have carried will have to be spread among the three weekend starters according to UK head coach Gary Henderson.

Gary Henderson; Photo: UK Athletics

“Somebody’s going to have to [step up],” Henderson said Friday. “Maybe it’s Logan [Darnell] maybe it’s Alex [Meyer] maybe it’s Taylor Rogers. It clearly changes our bullpen. Somebody is going to start that would have been in the bullpen if James was here.”

Two weeks into the season UK’s bullpen is still a work in progress, but the unit appears to be a significant upgrade from the 2009 version.

“We’re going to have better options in the bullpen than we had last year,” Henderson said. “If we get Nick Kennedy healthy and [Braden] Kapteyn throws strikes then all the sudden we’ve got three guys that are going to be exciting for our fans and good for our club.”

The offense, led by Bisson, has been a strength in the early season with the Cats averaging over seven runs a game. In the weekend series against BGSU, UK came from behind in each game to win.

“That just goes for our nine guys,” Bisson said. “We have a strong personality as a team. We mesh really well together so everybody picked each other up.”

The Cats could have let Paxton’s legal troubles distract them in preseason practice. They could have let the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling against Paxton’s lawsuit distract them in South Carolina. They certainly could have let his announcement that he was leaving the team distract them  during the home opener.

“We’ve had our share [of distractions],” Henderson said. “That’s with every team at some point and time. You’re going to have about three situations that are totally unexpected throughout the season. It’s pretty standard. You don’t know when, you don’t know how much and you don’t know where. I’m pleased we’re able to find wins even when we’re not playing well and even when we have some visible distractions.”

The Cats haven’t let any distractions get to them thus far this season.

All this team has done is win.

Gidel: Mid-Afternoon UK Baseball Fix

College Baseball

UK Athletics Wallpaper

Mid-Afternoon Baseball Fix

1)      Disappointed that the Wildcats were not included in the first batch of rankings released after the weekend, despite sweeping all three games. From what I understand, some in the media are still not sold on the Wildcats pitching depth without senior James Paxton and junior Nick Kennedy. The good news is that Kennedy appears to be on course to return, at worst case, by conference play. According to SID Brent Ingram, while blogging during Sunday’s weekend finale, Kennedy threw from flat ground for the first time in pregame on Sunday and the hope is that Kennedy will be back by midseason.

2)      So what did we learn from the first weekend of the season? UK can survive without Paxton for now. No doubt that Taylor Rogers was going to be a special pitcher, but after his starting performance against West Virginia on Saturday, it will be tough to send him back to the bullpen.  Rogers retired the first 13 batters he faced, but most impressively he threw first pitch strikes to 25 of 29 batters. That is an incredible number. Everyone had commented on Rogers’ poise and he certainly did not disappoint throughout, limiting one of the nation’s best hitting teams from 2009 to just six hits in the shutout win. Not bad for a true freshman. As for the bullpen without Rogers, UK managed just fine. Freshman Jordan Cooper and transfer Matt Little were as impressive as most expected they’d be. If UK can continue to get some great stop-gap work out of its bullpen, the naysayers will be few and far between by the time conference play rolls around. Make no mistake about it, though, this team can make it to Omaha with Paxton and needs him to talk to the NCAA and get back on the mound.

3)      With all the talk focused around the super sophomores, utility man Neiko Johnson continues to find ways to get on-base, drawing two walks, garnering three hits and getting plunked by three pitches for an on-base percentage of .62% over the weekend. He was 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts and scored 2 runs. If Neiko continues to find ways to get on, he’ll be a valuable weapon throughout the season. With his speed, UK really has a valuable weapon on the base paths and they’ll need him often if they have any hopes of manufacturing runs when the bats go cold at some point this summer.

4)      Former Madison Central star Keenan Wiley continues to mash, adding one of the two home-runs hit in the 15-6 spanking of Virginia Tech on Friday. The redshirt senior came on late last year in SEC play and is hoping to keep his bat hot in the early going of 2010. With so much talent on the squad, sometimes Wiley gets lost in the shuffle, but he brings valuable leadership to the batting order and will continue to see some good pitches, as teams will look to pitch around Gunner Glad and Andy Burns, who hit ahead of him.

5)      Disappointingly the Wildcats didn’t face off against a righty all weekend, so the lineup didn’t offer up the chance to see Cory Farris or Lance Ray, yet. Farris really came on at the end of last year and is another sophomore from the heralded 2009 class that will have an opportunity to do big things this year. Ray was a junior college addition out of Las Vegas. Both should see some AB’s this week.

Rob Gidel is a University of Kentucky football and baseball analyst for The Cat’s Pause.