In the third season review post, we’ll finish up the Ohio Valley Conference teams with Eastern Kentucky University, which finished the 2010 season at 28-27 and was eliminated by Murray State University in the OVC tournament.
- Hitter of the year: 3B Jayson Langfels — Langfels was a named a preseason All-American by several media outlets prior to the 2010 season and did nothing to disappoint. His average stayed above .400 for much of the season before a slump toward the end of the conference schedule dropped him to .353 for the year. The junior third baseman also slugged 16 home runs, drove in 52 runs and scored 61 times. For good measure he added 12 stolen bases in 16 attempts.
- Pitcher of the year: RHP Anthony Bazzani — The freshman righty had his ups and downs during the 2010 season, which briefly saw him removed from the weekend rotation, but ended the year with a stretch of his best performances. For the season Bazzani was 5-3 with a 5.47 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 77.1 innings, but he was 3-0 in his last three starts, surrendering just five runs in 22 innings.
- Season high point: Eight strong innings from Bazzani gave EKU a 4-3 win over Murray St. in the first round of the Ohio Valley conference and briefly gave the Colonels hope of a NCAA tournament bid before dropping their next two tournament games.
- Season low point: That win over Murray St. was the only victory EKU recorded over an in-state team in 2010 as the Colonels finished 1-7 against Kentucky schools.
- Miscellaneous: Senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando would likely have made the first-team all conference team in any conference that didn’t have Wes Cunningham playing in it after batting .335 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI…Junior closer Ryne Purcell was second in the state with 12 saves but struggled to the tune of a 6.03 ERA…Sophomore shortstop Richie Rodriguez was the best hitter on the team at times this season and finished the year with a .357 batting average, 55 runs scored and 21 stolen bases.
In the second season review post we’ll look at Murray State University, which finished 28-28-1. Check out these highlights and awards for Breds’ players:
- Hitter of the year: 1B Wes Cunningham — Cunningham’s selection should come as no surprise as he was named the BluGrass Baseball state player of the year. The senior first baseman led Murray St. in every major offensive category, batting .408 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI and 77 runs scored. Cunningham had a .476 on-base percentage, slugged .824 and even stole 10 bases on the season. The Ohio Valley Conference player of the year will look to be a mid-to-late round selection in this summer’s draft.
- Pitcher of the year: RHP Matt McGaha — McGaha started only one game this season for Murray St., and that start didn’t come until the OVC tournament. Despite making 26 relief appearances, McGaha qualified for the state ERA title with 67 innings pitched. The senior left-handed pitcher finished the year at 5-3 with a 3.90 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 13 walks. McGaha also saved three games this season.
- Season high point: Senior right-handed pitcher Alex Love threw 180 pitches in two days to earn wins on back-to-back days in the OVC tournament. Love’s complete-game win in the OVC tournament ended up being his final collegiate appearance.
- Season low point: With a chance to clinch to OVC regular season title outright, Murray St. was swept in a three game series by second-place Tennessee Tech to finish the season. The Breds entered the OVC tournament at the three seed instead of the one seed after the sweep and lost its first round game to Eastern Kentucky University.
- Miscellaneous: The Breds received strong performances from freshmen Colton Moore (.328, 39 RBI, 23 R) and Brandon Elliott (.347, 25 RBI, 41 R)…Senior outfielder Bryan Propst was a consistent threat in the Breds’ lineup and slugged 14 home runs and drove in 56 runs…Senior ace Chris Craycraft had an up-and-down season with six wins but a 5.05 ERA. Craycraft pitched two complete games.
Now that the collegiate season is over for five of the six Division one schools, I’m starting season review series looking at each school’s 2010 season. I’ll work through the teams in reverse order of the season records, finishing with UofL when the Cards NCAA tournament run ends. First off we’ll look at Morehead State University‘s season highlights and awards. The Eagles finished 2010 with a 24-25-1 record.
- Hitter of the year: OF J. D. Ashbrook — The senior center fielder didn’t garner nearly as many headlines as his senior teammate Drew Lee entering the season, but Ashbrook matched Lee in performance as both were Ohio Valley Conference standouts. Ashbrook batted .432 with 18 home runs, 55 RBI and 69 runs scored in 2010. He also stole 14 of 17 bases, slugged .795 and boasted and on-base percentage of .540.
- Pitcher of the year: RHP Michael Bottoms — Pitching was far from Morehead’s strong point this season, as no pitcher with more than two innings pitched boasted an ERA below 6 or more than 40 strikeouts on the season. Bottoms was the best of a uninspiring group with a 4-4 record, 6.57 ERA and 40 strikeouts. He gets extra points for playing both ways and batting .311 with three home runs.
- Season high point: The Eagles sweep three games from Eastern Kentucky University April 17 and 18 by a 57-23 margin. The sweep marked Morehead’s only OVC series win of the season.
- Season low point: With a chance to qualify for the OVC tournament, Morehead is swept in three games by Jacksonville St. to end the season.
- Miscellaneous: While Drew Lee might have been slightly outplayed by Ashbrook, his 2010 performance was all Morehead could have hoped for and more. Lee batted .412 with 17 home runs, 66 RBI and 60 runs scored…Senior catcher Taylor Davis stood out among a strong group of Kentucky senior catchers with 11 home runs and 57 RBI…Redshirt sophomore reliever Josh Schneider won eight games despite struggling to the tune of a 8.35 ERA.
Both remaining Kentucky conference tournament teams will be hoping for two games Saturday as each will need to defeat their opponent twice to reach the conference finals. Check out the schedule and possible scenarios below:
- 1 p.m.: University of Louisville (1) vs. St. Johns (4) — Big East Conference Tournament — Live Stats*
- 3 p.m. (CT): Murray State University (3) vs. Loser of Jacksonville St. (2) and Tennessee Tech (1) — Ohio Valley Conference Tournament — Live Stats*
If UofL wins its first game:
- 5 p.m.: UofL (1) vs. St. Johns (4) — Big East Tournament — Live Stats*
If Murray St. wins its first game:
- 7 p.m. (CT): Murray St. (3) vs. Winner of Jacksonville St (2) and Tennessee Tech (1) — OVC Tournament — Live Stats*
* — Marks an elimination game for Kentucky team.
The Bluegrass lost another conference tournament team Friday with EKU’s elimination at the hands of in-state rival Murray St. However, both UofL and the Breds remain in their respective tournaments. Check out recaps and awards from Friday’s games below and post-game interviews from Murray St.’s win over EKU above:
- Murray State University scored four runs in the first inning and didn’t look back in a 10-2 win over Eastern Kentucky University in an Ohio Valley Conference tournament elimination game. The loss ended the Colonels’ season. Murray St. redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze pitched a complete game, allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out seven while walking just two. Four different Breds’ batters tallied two hits in the game. EKU junior left-fielder Bryce Labhart was 3-4 with one RBI. (Box Score)
- The Breds returned to action at 3 p.m. in a second elimination game and rode another complete game performance from senior right-handed pitcher Alex Love to a 14-4 win over Southeast Missouri. The game was delayed by rain for five hours in the ninth inning. Love had pitched five innings on Thursday as well. Senior left fielder Bryan Propst was 4-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, and senior first baseman Wes Cunningham added three hits an a home run. Love surrendered three earned runs, struck out three and walked two. (Box Score)
- No 9 University of Louisville blew a late lead but rode a two-run home run from redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames in the top of the 11th inning to a 9-7 win over South Florida in an elimination game in the Big East Conference tournament. Senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich was 4-6 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung took a no-decision, but allowed just two runs in seven innings. Junior right-handed closer Neil Holland recorded his eighth win of the season. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: 1B Wes Cunningham (Murray St.)
- Stats: 5-10, 1 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, 1 2B
- Honorable Mention: Bryan Propst (Murray St.), Phil Wunderlich (UofL), Stewart Ijames (UofL), Bryce Labhart (EKU)
Pitcher of the day: LHP Jake Donze (Murray St.)
- Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO
- Honorable Mention: Alex Love (Murray St.), Justin Amlung (UofL)
The bluegrass lost one of its conference tournament teams with Thursday’s elimination of Western Kentucky University, but UofL, Murray St. and EKU return to action today. Check out the day’s schedule below which includes the second matchup of Murray St. and EKU in the OVC tournament, which will mark the final game of the season for the loser:
- 11 a.m. (CT): Murray State University (3) vs. Eastern Kentucky University (6) — Ohio Valley Conference Tournament — Live Stats — Live Video*
- 7 p.m.: University of Louisville (1) vs. South Florida (5) — Big East Conference Tournament — Live Stats — Live Video*
* — Elimination Game
The day two conference tournament schedule gets a little confusing since Murray St. and EKU have to play two games each. WKU has been eliminated with a morning loss, and Murray St. faces elimination in its afternoon game. I’ve updated the schedule below after EKU defeated Murray State in this morning’s game:
- 9 a.m. (CT): Western Kentucky University (8) vs. FIU (4) — Sun Belt Conference Tournament — L (7-3) — Box Score
- 9 a.m. (CT): Murray State University (3) vs. Eastern Kentucky University (6) — Ohio Valley Conference Tournament — RHP Anthony Bazzani (4-3, 5.71) vs. Chris Craycraft (6-4, 5.25) — 4-3 — Box Score
- 12:30 p.m. (CT): Murray St. vs. SE Missouri — OVC Tournament — Live Stats*
- 8 p.m. (EST): No. 9 University of Louisville (1) vs. St. Johns (4) — Big East Conference Tournament — Live Stats
- 8:30 p.m. (EST): EKU (6) vs. Tennessee Tech (1) — OVC Tournament — Live Stats
* — Denotes an elimination game
While one of the Wednesday’s conference tournament games scheduled for Kentucky teams was postponed, the other two postseason eligible squads were in action. Read below for recaps and awards from those games:
- No. 9 University of Louisville, the No. 1 seed in the Big East Conference tournament, came-from-behind to defeat eight-seed West Virginia 11-4 in the Cards’ opening game of the tournament. UofL trailed four to one entering the seventh inning, but scored four times in the seventh and six times in the eighth inning to blow the game open. Sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright was 2-5 with a home run, five RBI and two runs scored. Senior shortstop Adam Duvall and senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich also tallied two hits in the game. Sophomore right-handed reliever Tony Zych earned the win with one and one-third scoreless innings out of the Cards’ bullpen. (Box Score)
- Eight-seed Western Kentucky University took the lead in extra innings, but one-seed Florida Atlantic launched a walk-off, three-run home run in the bottom of the 13th inning to hand the Hilltoppers a 9-8 loss in their opening game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins was 3-6 with a home run, four RBI and one run scored. Junior closer Rye Davis made his first start of the season and allowed five runs, two of which were earned, in four and one-third innings. Senior reliever Bart Carter took his first loss of the season. (Box Score)
- The opening-round Ohio Valley Conference tournament game between Murray State University and Eastern Kentucky University was postponed untill 9 a.m. (CT) Thursday due to a power outage that prevented the lights from being turned on. The loser of today’s game will have to immediately turn around and face Southeast Missouri at 12:30 (CT).
Hitter of the day: 2B Ryan Wright (UofL)
- Stats: 2-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, 1 2B
- Honorable Mention: Logan Robbins (WKU), Jared Andreoli (WKU), Adam Duvall (UofL)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Thomas Royse (UofL)
- Stats: ND, 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB 6 SO
- Honorable Mention: Tony Zych (UofL), Neil Holland (UofL), Phil Wetherell (WKU)
In lieu of the normal mid-week schedule item, I’ll be posting daily schedules for the conference tournament action including Kentucky teams this week. Four schools will be battling for automatic bids to the NCAA tournament in the Big East Conference, Sun Belt Conference and Ohio Valley Conference. Day one is highlighted by a matchup between two Kentucky schools in EKU and Murray St. Teams’ tournament seeds are included in parentheses below:
- 12:30 p.m. (CT): Western Kentucky University (8) vs. Florida Atlantic (1) — Sun Belt Tournament —Live Stats
- 5 p.m. : University of Louisville (1) vs. West Virginia (8) — Big East Tournament — Live Stats
- 8 p.m.: Eastern Kentucky University (6) vs. Murray State University (3) — OVC Tournament — RHP Anthony Bazzani (4-3, 5.71) vs. Chris Craycraft (6-4, 5.25) — Live Stats
Tuesday saw the naming of all-conference teams across the country and the awarding of pitcher and player of the year honors. Kentucky collegiate players received their fair share of recognition, and I’ve listed those honors below:
- University of Louisville (9) junior right-handed pitcher Thomas Royse was named the Big East Conference pitcher of the year.
- Western Kentucky University senior right-handed pitcher Matt Ridings was named the Sun Belt Conference pitcher of the year.
- Murray State University senior first baseman Wes Cunningham was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year.
- First team All-Southeastern Conference: 3B Zack Cox (Arkansas, PRP)
- Second team All-SEC: 2B Chris Bisson (University of Kentucky)
- First team All-Big East: P Neil Holland (UofL), P Thomas Royse (UofL), 1B Andrew Clark (UofL), 2B Ryan Wright (UofL)
- Second team All-Big East: C Jeff Arnold (UofL), 3B Phil Wunderlich (UofL), SS Adam Duvall (UofL), OF Stewart Ijames (UofL)
- First team All-Big Ten Conference: SS Jonathan Roof (Michigan St., Paducah)
- First team All-Sun Belt: RHP Matt Ridings (WKU), RP Rye Davis (WKU), C Matt Rice (WKU), OF Kes Carter (WKU)
- Second team All-Sun Belt: 2B Matt Payton (WKU)
- First team All-OVC: 1B Wes Cunningham (Murray St.), SS Drew Lee (Morehead State University), 3B Jayson Langfels (Eastern Kentucky University), OF J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead St.).
- Second team All-OVC: 1B Anthony Ottrando (EKU), UT Michael Bottoms (Morehead St.), SP Chris Craycraft (Murray St.), RP Matt McGaha (Murray St.)
- Freshman All-OVC: RHP Anthony Bazzani (EKU), OF Austin Grisham (EKU), SS Brandon Elliott (Murray St.), 3B/DH Colton Moore (Murray St.)
- Honorable Mention All-Missouri Valley Conference: SP Patrick Cooper (Bradley, Danville)