EKU sweeps doubleheader from Murray State

College Baseball

Eastern Kentucky University swept a doubleheader from Murray State University Saturday with a 5-3 win in game one and a 9-4 win in game two. EKU senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler earned the win in game one after surrendering three runs on five hits in nine innings while striking out three batters and walking three. No EKU batter tallied multiple hits in the game, but junior left fielder Jacob Daniel and junior infielder Dustin Dunlop each homered. Murray St. junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers took the loss after surrendering five runs on six hits in eight innings.

In game two, EKU sophomore right-handed pitcher Alex Rexroat earned his first win after recording the final out of the sixth inning. The Colonels scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to rally for the 9-4 win. EKU junior first baseman A. J. Jamison was 3-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. EKU junior right fielder Michael Garcia was 2-4 with one RBI and one run scored, and Dunlop was 2-3 with one walk, one RBI and one run scored. Murray St. senior right-handed pitcher Jake Donze took the loss after surrendering eight runs on eight hits in five and two-third innings.

In game one, Murray St. junior first baseman Cody Larson 2-2 with one walk and one run scored, and junior second baseman Travis Isaak slugged a home run. In game two, Murray St. junior catcher Jacob Rhodes was 2-3 with one run scored, and sophomore third baseman Paul Ritzheimer was 2-3 with one walk, one RBI and one run scored. (Box Score, GM 1) (Box Score, Gm 2)

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NCAA roundup: WKU clinches series win; UofL finishes sweep; Murray St., EKU avoid sweeps; Morehead St. swept

College Baseball

Ryan Wright; BluGrass Baseball photo

Recaps and highlights from Sunday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • Western Kentucky University rallied for three runs over the final two innings to earn a 7-5 win over Louisiana-Monroe to clinch the series victory. Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Brian Edelen earned the win after surrendering one run on two hits in five and two-third innings of relief while striking out four batters and walking three. Junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 2-3 with one walk, two RBI and two runs scored, and sophomore first baseman Ryan Huck slugged his fifth home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville used a six-run seventh inning to earn a 9-4 win over Georgetown that finished the three-game sweep of the Hoyas. Freshman right-handed pitcher Andy Flett earned the win after pitching two and one-third perfect innings. Redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames was 2-5 with one home run, two RBI and one run scored, and freshman left fielder Kyle Grieshaber was 2-3 with one walk, three RBI and two runs scored. Junior shortstop Ryan Wright was 2-4 with two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University used a six-run fourth inning to earn a 6-2 win in a rain-shortened game versus Southeast Missouri. Junior left-handed pitcher Luke Shuemaker earned the win after surrendering two runs on four hits in four innings while striking out two batters and walking none. Sophomore third baseman Paul Ritzheimer was 2-2 with one RBI and one run scored, and senior center fielder Elliot Frey was 1-2 with two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University avoided a series sweep by Tennessee Tech with a 7-3 win in the series finale Sunday. Senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler improved to 5-4 on the season after surrendering three runs on seven hits in seven innings while striking out five batters and walking one. Freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman continued his hot hitting with a 3-5, two RBI, one run scored performance. Junior second baseman Dustin Dunlop tallied three RBI in the game. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University surrendered over 20 runs for the fourth time this season and over 15 runs for the ninth time this season in a 24-5 loss to Austin Peay. Freshman left-handed pitcher Noah Smallwood took the loss after surrendering 10 runs on eight hits in three and one-third innings. Junior catcher Taylor Davis was 3-5 with two RBI, and junior third baseman Andrew Deeds was 2-2 with two walks. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: LF Kyle Grieshaber (UofL)
  • Stats: 2-3, 1 BB, 3 RBI, 2 R
  • Honorable Mention: Ivan Hartle (WKU), Ryan Wright (UofL), Stewart Ijames (UofL), Paul Ritzheimer (Murray St.), Bryan Soloman (EKU), Taylor Davis (Morehead St.), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Stephen Hefler (EKU)
  • Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Brian Edelen (WKU), RHP Chad Green (UofL), Luke Shuemaker (Murray St.)

NCAA roundup: UK, Morehead St. win; WKU, UofL lose; Murray St. splits double-header; EKU swept in double-header

College Baseball

UK baseball players slide on tarp during rain delay; Photo by UKBaseball via twitter

Recaps and highlights from Saturday Kentucky baseball action:

  • Sun Belt Conference-leader Troy clinched a series victory over Western Kentucky University by sending the Hilltoppers to an 11-3 loss. Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman took the loss after surrendering eight runs on eight hits in five innings while striking out five batters and walking one. Junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson was 2-3 with two RBI, and sophomore first baseman Ryan Huck was 2-4 with one RBI. Senior catcher Matt Rice scored two runs. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville could not finish a series sweep of South Florida after a 10-5 loss Sunday. Junior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw took the loss after surrendering two runs on two hits in one-third of an inning. Freshman first baseman Ryan Seiz was 3-5 with two RBI, and redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames was 2-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Senior catcher J. J. Ethel was 2-4 with one double, one RBI, two runs scored and one walk. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky used a complete-game start from junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer to snap a 12-game Southeastern Conference losing streak with a 3-2 win over Arkansas in game one of a double-header. Meyer earned the win after surrendering two runs on three hits in nine innings while striking out 10 batters and walking four. UK earned the win in walk-off fashion with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Junior left fielder Chad Wright drove home freshman infielder Matt Reida to tie the game before junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy walked with the bases loaded to give the Cats the win. Game two of UK’s double-header was suspended in the third inning due to rain. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University scored four runs in the fifth inning to earn a 4-1 win over Eastern Illinois in game one of a double-header. Senior right-handed pitcher Jake Donze earned the win after surrendering one run on four hits in seven innings while striking out two batters and walking two. Sophomore third baseman Paul Ritzheimer was 3-3 with one run scored, and junior catcher Jacob Rhodes slugged his third home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University could not finish the double-header sweep in game two, which it lost 5-3 to Eastern Illinois. Junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers took the loss after surrendering four runs on two hits in two and one-third innings. Rhodes was 3-4 with two RBI, and redshirt freshman designated hitter Brandon Eggenschwiler had two hits in both games of the double-header. (Box Score)
  • In the continuation of a game suspended on Friday due to rain Eastern Kentucky University dropped a 5-3 decision to UT Martin. Freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath took the loss after surrendering five runs on five hits in four and one-third innings. Junior left fielder Jacob Daniel was 2-4, and freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman was 2-3 with one run scored. (Box Score)
  • In game two of a double-header EKU could not avoid the series sweep by UT Martin after a 4-2 loss. The two teams ended the scheduled seven-inning game tied at two, but UT Martin scored two runs in the top of the eighth to earn the win. Senior right-handed pitcher Ryne Purcell took the loss after surrendering two runs on five hits in one and two-third innings. Soloman was 3-4 with one RBI, and junior first baseman A. J. Jamison was 2-4 with one home run, one RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University earned its first Ohio Valley Conference series victory with an 11-4 win in the series finale versus Tennessee Tech. Freshman left-handed pitcher Noah Smallwood earned the win after surrendering three runs on seven hits in five innings while striking out four batters and walking two. Junior third baseman Andrew Deeds was 2-4 with one triple, one home run, six RBI and one run scored. Redshirt sophomore designated hitter Kellen Begeman was 2-3 with two home runs, two RBI and two runs scored. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: 3B Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)
  • Stats: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 R
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Hutchinson (WKU), Ryan Seiz (UofL), J. J. Ethel (UofL), Michael Williams (UK), Jacob Rhodes (Murray St.), Paul Ritzheimer (Murray St.),  Bryan Soloman (EKU), A. J. Jamison (EKU), Kellen Begeman (Morehead St.)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Alex Meyer (UK)
  • Stats: 1-0, 9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Jake Donze (Murray St.), Stephen Hefler (EKU), Noah Smallwood (Morehead St.)

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

College Baseball

Paul Ritzheimer bats vs. UK; BluGrass Baseball photo

Highlights and recaps from Tuesday Kentucky college baseball:

  • The University of Louisville scored three unanswered runs from the sixth inning on but could not overcome an early 4-0 deficit in a 4-3 loss to Southern California. Senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw, making his first start of the season, took the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits in three innings while striking out one batter and walking two. Sophomore third baseman Cade Stallings was 2-3 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored. Freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson struck out four batters and walked one in four scoreless innings of relief. (Box Score)
  • You can see the BluGrass Baseball recap of the University of Kentucky 7-6 win over Murray State University here.
  • Western Kentucky University scored five runs in the first inning then held on for an 11-6 win over Belmont. Eight WKU batters recorded multiple hits in the game, including three batters who recorded three hits. Junior shortstop Logan Robbins was 3-5 with a home run, one RBI and two runs scored, junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 3-5 with two runs scored and junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson was 3-6 with two RBI and two runs scored. Freshman right-handed pitcher G. J. Strauss earned his first collegiate win after surrendering two runs in two innings. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: 3B Paul Ritzheimer (Murray St.)

  • Stats: 3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R
  • Honorable Mention: SS Logan Robbins (WKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU), Ryan Hutchinson (WKU), Jared Andreoli (WKU), J. T. Riddle (UK), Brian Adams (UK), Cade Stallings (UofL)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Jeff Thompson (UofL)

  • Stats: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Phil Wetherell (WKU), Walter Wijas (UK), Tyler Saltsman (Murray St.)

Freshmen lead UK rally in a 7-6 win over Murray State

College Baseball

Dallen_Reber bats vs. Murray St.; BluGrass Baseball photo

The University of Kentucky rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to post a 7-6 win over Murray State University. The Cats tied the game with two outs in the sixth inning on a two-run single from freshman right fielder J. T. Riddle and then took the lead on a RBI single from freshman designated hitter Dallen Reber. UK sophomore right-handed pitcher Walter Wijas earned the win after striking out two batters in a scoreless inning. Senior left-handed pitcher Mike Kaczmarek earned his third save of the season after coming on to pitch in the ninth inning with one out and two men on base and inducing a double-play to end the game. Riddle, Reber, sophomore center fielder Brian Adams and sophomore catcher Luke Maile each tallied two hits in the game for UK. Riddle entered the game as a defensive replacement for freshman outfielder Lucas Witt, who left with an apparent leg injury.

Murray St. junior left-handed pitcher Mark Roberts took the loss after surrendering three runs in on four hits in one inning of work. At the plate sophomore third baseman Paul Ritzheimer was 3-4 with one home run, three RBI and one run scored. Sophomore shortstop Brandon Elliott was 3-5 with one RBI and one run scored, and junior catcher Jacob Rhodes was 2-4 with one double and one run scored. Freshman right-handed pitcher Tyler Saltsman started the game for Murray St. and surrendered one hit in two scoreless innings. (Box Score)

BluGrass Baseball player of the game: RF J. T. Riddle — 2-2, 1 BB, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB

BluGrass Baseball Hitting Leaderboard: March 14

College Baseball

The college statistical leaderboard is pretty useless this early in the season, but it at least offers a glimpse at what players are off to a hot start to the 2011 season. With that in mind check out the fourth 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 for the batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage catergories. Stats are current through Sunday’s games.

Batting Average

  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — .444 (24-54)
  • Brandon Elliott — Murray St. — .435 (20-46)
  • Justin Riddell — Cincinnati (Lexington Catholic) — .404 (19-47)
  • Matt Rice — WKU — .397 (25-63)
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — .391 (25-64)

Home Runs

  • Michael Williams — UK — 3
  • Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — 3
  • Andrew Deeds — Morehead St. — 3
  • Jacob Daniel — EKU — 3
  • Braden Kapteyn — UK — 2
  • Zach Noonan — Murray St. — 2
  • Chad Wright — UK — 2

RBI

  • Matt Rice — WKU — 19
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 17
  • Jacob Daniel — EKU — 17
  • Justin Riddell — Cincinnati (Lexington Catholic) — 17
  • Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — 16

Runs

  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 17
  • Brandon Elliott — Murray St. — 16
  • Travis Redmon — Morehead St. — 15
  • Andrew Deeds — Morhead St. — 15
  • Three players tied with 14 runs

Stolen Bases

  • Chad Wright — UK — 9/10
  • Logan Robbins — WKU — 7/8
  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — 6/6
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 5/5
  • Five players tied with 4 stolen bases.

On-Base Percentage

  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — .516
  • Brandon Elliott — Murray St. — .509
  • Paul Ritzheimer — Murray St. — .500
  • Chad Wright — UK — .472
  • J. T. Riddle — UK — .459

Slugging Percentage

  • Andrew Deeds — Morehead St. — .705
  • Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — .633
  • Jacob Daniel — EKU — .592
  • Zach Noonan — Murray St. — .582
  • Justin Riddell — Cincinnati (Lexington Catholic) — .574

BluGrass Baseball Hitting Leaderboard: March 8

College Baseball

The college statistical leaderboard is pretty useless this early in the season, but it at least offers a glimpse at what players are off to a hot start to the 2011 season. With that in mind check out the third 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. Stats are current through Sunday’s games.

Batting Average

  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — .514 (19-37)
  • Matt Rice — WKU — .408 (20-49)
  • Elliot Frey — Murray St. — .393 (11-28)
  • Zach Osborne — Tennessee (PRP) — .393 (11-28)
  • Ryan Huck — WKU — .379 (11-29)

Home Runs

  • Michael Williams — UK — 2
  • Braden Kapteyn — UK — 2
  • Jacob Daniel — EKU — 2
  • Andrew Deeds — Morehead St. — 2
  • Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — 2
  • Zach Noonan — Murray St. — 2

RBI

  • Matt Rice — WKU — 14
  • Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — 12
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 12
  • Jacob Daniel — EKU — 11
  • Zach Noonan — Murray St. — 11

Runs

  • Braden Kapteyn — UK — 12
  • Travis Redmon — Morehead St. — 12
  • Kes Carter — WKU — 12
  • Taylor Black — UK — 11
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 11
  • Rich Witten — Coastal Carolina (Danville HS) — 11

Stolen Bases

  • Chad Wright — UK — 5/5
  • Logan Robbins — WKU — 5/6
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 3/3
  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — 3/3
  • Kes Carter — WKU — 3/3

On-Base Percentage

  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — .581
  • Elliot Frey — Murray St. — .538
  • Braden Kapteyn — UK — .520
  • Paul Ritzheimer — Murray St. — .500
  • Zach Osborne — Tennessee (PRP) — .485

Slugging Percentage

  • Richie Rodriguez — EKU — .676
  • Zach Noonan — Murray St. — .650
  • Braden Kapteyn — UK — .622
  • Andrew Deeds — Morehead St. — .600
  • Ryan Huck — WKU — .586

Sunday roundup: UofL, UK win; Murray State sweeps DH; EKU, Morehead State drop tournament finales in Tenn.

College Baseball

Jordan Cooper; UK Athletics photo

Recaps and highlights from Sunday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • University of Louisville redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold earned his first win since 2009 in leading the Cards to a 1-0 victory over Kent State to finish off the three-game series sweep. Nastold surrendered just four hits in five shutout innings while striking out three batters and walking one. Junior right-handed pitcher Travis Tingle recorded the final out after entering the game with two men on base to earn his first save. UofL scored the only run of the game in the fourth inning when sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman singled home sophomore designated hitter Kyle Grieshaber with two outs. Wasserman, sophomore third baseman Cade Stallings and freshman center fielder Cole Sturgeon tallied UofL’s three hits in the game. (Box Score)
  • Behind sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper the University of Kentucky ensured it would not leave the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park without a win after a 2-1 win over Utah on Sunday. Cooper, who turned in arguably his best start of his collegiate career, earned his first win of the season after surrendering one run on three hits in seven innings while striking out a career-high nine batters and walking three. Freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott struck out four batters over the final two innings to earn his first collegiate save. The Cats scored the eventual winning run in the top of the eight inning after junior designated hitter Braden Kapteyn tripled with one out and later scored on a RBI-single from junior catcher Michael Williams with two outs. (Box Score)
  • Junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers earned his first win of the season as Murray State University scored six runs in the sixth inning in a 12-7 win over North Dakota St. Beers surrendered three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits in six and one-third innings while striking out two batters and walking two. Sophomore third baseman Paul Ritzheimer was 4-5 with three RBI and one run scored, and junior catcher Jacob Rhodes was 3-5 with one RBI and two runs scored. Senior center fielder Elliot Frey was 2-2 with two walks, one double, one RBI and two runs scored. (Box score)
  • In game two of its double-header Murray St. scored two runs in the third inning, which proved to be enough for a 2-1 win over North Dakota St. in a seven-inning game. Senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze earned the win after surrendering one unearned run on five hits in seven innings while striking out six batters and walking one. At the plate Rhodes led the Breds with a 3-3, one run scored performance. Ritzheimer and redshirt freshman designated hitter Brandon Eggenschwiler tallied the two RBI for Murray St. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University finish its two games in the Memphis College Classic winless with a 3-1 loss to Oral Roberts on Sunday. The Colonels wasted another strong start from senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler, who surrendered three unearned runs on four hits in six and two-third innings while striking out four batters and walking two. At the plate sophomore second baseman Matt Phipps was the only Colonel with multiple hits and finished the game 2-4. Junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez scored EKU’s only run in the game. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University finished the University of Tennessee tournament without a win with a 10-8 loss to the host school on Sunday. Freshman left-handed pitcher Noah Smallwood took the loss after surrendering nine runs on nine hits in four and two-third innings. At the plate junior third baseman Andrew Deeds was 3-4 with one home run, two RBI and one run scored to lead the Eagles.  PRP alum and Tennessee junior shortstop Zach Osborne was 2-4 with one RBI and two runs scored versus the Eagles. Morehead St. trailed 10-3 entering the ninth inning but scored five runs in the frame and put the tying run on base before junior right fielder Luke Bainer struck out to end the game. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: 3B Paul Ritzheimer (Murray St.)

  • Stats: 5-6, 4 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
  • Honorable Mention: Jacob Rhodes (Murray St.), Elliot Frey (Murray St.), Braden Kapteyn (UK), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Jordan Cooper (UK)

  • Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Mike Nastold (UofL), Chad Green (UofL), Stephen Hefler (EKU), Trevor Gott (UK), Jake Donze (Murray St.), Tyler Beers (Murray St.), Cameron Finch (Murray St.)

Sunday Roundup: UofL, WKU finish sweeps; UK, EKU, Morehead St., Murray St. finish opening weekend winless

College Baseball

Roundup of the first Sunday of Kentucky college baseball in 2011:

  • The University of Louisville finished off a perfect weekend at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge with a 3-0 win over Minnesota. UofL redshirt sophomore starting pitcher Mike Nastold surrendered just one hit in three shutout innings in his first appearance since 2009. Freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Green earned the win in his collegiate debut after surrendering one hit in three shutout innings and striking out one. After usual closer Tony Zych saved each of the Cards first two wins of the weekend, senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season. Freshman designated hitter Ty Young tallied two RBI in the game. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University finished off an opening series sweep of Bowling Green St. with a 12-3 blowout win on Sunday. Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman earned the win in his collegiate debut after surrendering three runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits in five innings. Hageman struck out three batters and walked three. Sophomore designated hitter Matt Borgschulte was 4-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Junior center fielder Kes Carter and senior catcher Matt Rice each tallied three hits in the game, and Carter scored three runs. Every WKU starter tallied at least one hit in the game. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky finished an abysmal weekend in Charleston, S. C., with a 3-1 loss to Miami of Ohio despite a career-high 13 strikeouts from junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer. Meyer surrendered two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits in seven innings and walked three while striking out 13. The Cats mustered just five hits on offense with two going to sophomore first baseman Luke Maile. UK had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Maile was thrown out at home trying to scored on a ball that was misplayed by the Miami right fielder. Junior shortstop Taylor Black tripled and scored the only UK run on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. (Box Score)
  • UNC Asheville finished a three-game sweep of Murray State University with a 7-6 win Sunday. The Breds were done in by four errors, which contributed to five unearned runs for UNC Asheville. Murray St. senior right-handed pitcher Jake Donze surrendered four runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in five and one-third innings while striking out two and walking two. Freshman right-handed pitcher Cameron Finch took the loss in his collegiate debut after surrendering three runs, one of which was earned, in two and two-third innings. At the plate Breds junior second baseman Travis Isaak was 2-5 with two RBI, and sophomore shortstop Paul Ritzheimer was 2-4 with a run scored. UNC Asheville scored five runs in the sixth inning despite recorded just one hit in the frame. (Box Score)
  • In the completion of a game suspended in the ninth inning Saturday, Eastern Kentucky University senior closer Ryne Purcell blew a save against Pepperdine, which rallied to win the game 9-8 in the bottom of the 11th inning. EKU redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Matt Fyffe took the lost in his first appearance since 2009. (Box Score)
  • EKU senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler surrendered just one hit in six innings, but his effort wasn’t enough to propel the Colonels to victory in a 3-1 loss to Pepperdine. Hefler surrendered one unearned run while striking out five and walking one. EKU took tied the game at one with a single run in the top of the eight inning but immediately surrendered two runs in the bottom of the inning. EKU junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 3-4 with two stolen bases in the game. Senior right-handed pitcher Jim Clancy was credited with the loss after surrendering two runs in one and one-third innings. (Box Sc0re)
  • Morehead State University appeared on its way to its first win of the season but blew a 6-3 lead in the eighth inning of a 9-6 loss to Western Carolina in the series finale. Morehead St. sophomore left-handed pitcher Garrick Whittle surrendered three runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in five and two-third innings. Whittle struck out seven batters and walked five. Western Carolina scored six unearned runs in the eighth inning off junior right-handed pitcher Matt Robertson, who was done in by five Morehead St. errors in the inning. The Eagles tallied eight errors in the game. Junior catcher Taylor Davis was 3-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored for the Eagles. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: C Taylor Davis (Morehead St.)

  • Stats: 3-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Borgschulte (WKU), Kes Carter (WKU), Matt Rice (WKU), Richie Rodriguez (EKU)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Alex Meyer (UK)

  • Stats: 0-1, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 13 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Stephen (EKU), Chad Green (UofL), Mike Nastold (UofL), Justin Hageman (WKU), Garrick Whittle (Morehead St.)

BluGrass Baseball preseason all-newcomer team

Uncategorized

Over the past few weeks BluGrass Baseball has been counting down the top 2011 returning Kentucky collegians. Freshmen and junior-college transfers were excluded from that list, but don’t worry the newcomers are about to get their due. Check out the preseason all-newcomer team below. The team is focused on players who are projected to receive major playing time for their respective schools.

CatcherSean HagenEastern Kentucky University

Hagen is projected to start at catcher for the Colonels. After Hagen signed with EKU out of high school, Colonels head coach Jason Stein said, “Sean will fill an immediate need at catcher following the graduation of 2010. He is a complete catcher who can catch, throw and block. But he is also a very offensive-minded player, as well.”

Honorable mention: Murray St. junior-college transfer Jacob Rhodes figures to be a mainstay in the Breds’ lineup at either catcher or designated hitter.

First Base — Tyler Beers — Murray State University

There is no clear first base candidate among the 2011 Kentucky newcomers, Beers may start for the Breds so he takes this spot almost by default. Beers batted .300 with five home runs and 25 RBI as a sophomore at Mineral Area College.

Honorable mention: UK head coach Gary Henderson said freshman infielder J. T. Riddle could see time at first base if carries his strong spring offensive performance over to the season.

Second Base — Matt Reida — University of Kentucky

Henderson hasn’t officially named a starter at second base for the Cats, but all signs point to Reida as the likely winner of that position battle. Reida may struggle with the bat early on, but as a plus defender he figures to get plenty of playing time at the position.

Honorable mention: Murray St. junior-college transfer Travis Isaak batted .420 with eight home runs and 19 doubles as a sophomore at Lincoln Trail Community College.

Shortstop — Alex Chittenden — University of Louisville

On Monday UofL head coach Dan McDonnell announced Chittenden would start at shortstop for the Cards. Chittenden batted .588 with eight home runs and 19 stolen bases as a senior in high school.

Honorable mention: Morehead St. freshman infielder Bud Morton may not start for the Eagles to begin the season, but he adds an excitement factor to the lineup the Eagles could use.

Third base — Thomas McCarthy — University of Kentucky

McCarthy comes to UK after batting over .400 for two seasons in junior-college baseball. UK head coach Gary Henderson doesn’t predict that for his third baseman this season, but Henderson said “he’s going to be able to get a hit.”

Honorable mention: EKU freshman infielder Bryan Soloman, who head coach Jason Stein called “a complete third baseman,” is projected to start for the Colonels.

Outfield — Ryan Hutchinson — Western Kentucky University

Baseball America recently ranked Hutchinson, who was an all-American at 2010 NJCAA World Series champion Iowa Western Community College, the No. 3 newcomer in the Sun Belt Conference. WKU head coach Chris Finwood expects Hutchinson to provide a middle-of-the-order power presence for the Hilltoppers this season.

Outfield — Lucas Witt — University of Kentucky

In an interview with College Baseball Daily, UK head coach Gary Henderson singled Witt out as a the freshmen outfielder who was making the best case to start in right field. Witt may not be the full-time starter to begin the season, but he figures to see plenty of playing time in 2010.

Outfield — Paul Ritzheimer — Murray State University

Ritzheimer batted .405 with three home runs and 20 RBI as a freshman at Kaskaskia College in 2010, and he should push for playing time in the Murray State outfield this season.

Honorable Mention — UK freshman infielder and outfielder Dallen Reber probably has the most power on the UK roster and will likely push for playing time in right field for the Cats.

Designated hitter — Ivan Hartle — Western Kentucky Unviersity

Junior-college trasnfer Ivan Hartle will start at second base for WKU this season and only is included at DH here to get him into the starting lineup. Hartle was named the NJCAA Division I defensive player of the year in 2010 while playing for the NJCAA World Series champion, Iowa Western Community College.

Honorable mention — UofL freshmen infielder Adam Engel will start for the Cards at designated hitter to begin the season.

Starting pitcher — Corey Littrell — University of Kentucky

Freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell will be UK’s primary midweek starting pitcher to begin the season and stands to be the first option on the weekend in the event of injury or poor performance by one of UK’s top three starters. Littrell was all-state as a senior at Trinity High School and was the 43rd-round pick of the Nationals in 2010.

Starting pitcher — Justin Hageman — Western Kentucky University

WKU head coach Chris Finwood says freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman, the 2010 32nd round pick of the Royals, has as much talent as any pitcher he saw on a Friday night during his time in the Southeastern Conference, but it remains to be seen what Hageman’s role will be with the Hilltoppers. He figures to begin the season as a midweek starting pitcher, but will move to the weekend rotation if he proves himself in that role.

Starting pitcher — Kyle McGrath — Eastern Kentucky University

Freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath figures to begin the season as a midweek starting pitcher for the Colonels, but you have to figure he will be given every shot to carve out a more substantial role with the team considering the Colonels’ poor pitching performance in 2010. McGrath was all-state at Butler High School.

Honorable mention — Due to the overall depth of UofL’s pitching staff, freshman right-handed pitcher Dace Kime may not start for the Cards this season but as the highest-drafted player attending a Kentucky college this season he figures to push for playing time in some role.