NCAA roundup: UofL wins; WKU, UK, Morehead St. lose; Murray St. sweeps double-header; EKU swept in twin bill

College Baseball

Jacob Rhodes; BluGrass Baseball photo

Recaps and highlights from Saturday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • UALR scored six runs in the seventh and eight innings to break open a 2-2 tie and send Western Kentucky University to an 8-2 loss in game two of a three-game series. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Ross Hammonds took the loss after surrendering four runs, two of which were earned, on three hits in two-third of an inning. Junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson was 2-5 with one home run, two RBI and one run scored. The Hilltoppers wasted a strong start from freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman, who surrendered two runs on nine hits in six innings while striking out seven batters and walking one. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville held West Virginia scoreless for the final eight innings of their Saturday game to earn an 8-2 win and even the series at one win each. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung earned the win after surrendering two runs on seven hits in seven innings while striking out three batters and walking none. Freshman catcher Jeff Gardner was 3-3 with one walk and two runs scored, and freshman shortstop Alex Chittenden was 2-2 with two RBI and two runs scored. (Box Score)
  • South Carolina came from behind to send the University of Kentucky to a 4-3 loss in 10 innings. The Gamecocks scored the winning run in the tenth inning on a walkoff infield single that scored Adrian Morales, who had doubled on a misplayed fly ball. Freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott took the loss after surrendering one run one four hits in two innings. The run was the first earned run Gott had surrendered this season. Freshman center fielder Lucas Witt, junior left fielder Chad Wright and senior shortstop Taylor Black each had three hits for UK. The Cats wasted a strong start from freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell, who surrendered two runs on six hits in six innings in his first Southeastern Conference start. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University used a five-run second inning to earn a 6-3 win in game one of a double-header versus UT Martin. Junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers earned the win after surrendering three runs on eight hits in seven innings while striking out three batters and walking none. Junior catcher Jacob Rhodes and redshirt freshman designated hitter Brandon Eggenschwiler were both 3-4 with one walk. Freshman right-handed pitcher Cameron Finch recorded the final six outs for his fourth save. (Box Score)
  • The Breds finished the double-header sweep of UT Martin with a 12-4 win in game two. Senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze earned the win after surrendering three runs on four hits in five innings. Rhodes was 4-4 with one double, one walk, three RBI and one run scored, and junior second baseman Travis Isaak was 4-5 with one double, one walk, three RBI and three runs scored. Redshirt freshman left fielder Ty Stetson scored four runs in the game. (Box Score)
  • Southeast Missouri scored one run in the top of the ninth inning to send Eastern Kentucky University to a 7-6 loss in game one of a double-header. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Anthony Bazzani took the loss after surrendering one run in one inning of relief. Sophomore second baseman Matt Phipps, senior center fielder Ryan Faidley and freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman each had two hits in the game. Soloman slugged his third home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • UT Martin finished the double-header sweep by sending EKU to a 13-6 loss in game two. Freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath took the loss after surrendering three runs on eight hits in two and one-third innings. Senior designated hitter Jacob Daniel and freshman catcher Steve Ferraro were both 2-2 in the game. Soloman slugged his second home run of the day and drove in four runs, and Ferraro slugged his first career home run. (Box Score)
  • SIU Edwardsville scored two runs in the eighth inning to break open a 4-4 tie and send Morehead State University to a 6-4 loss in game two of a three-game series. Junior right-handed pitcher Matthew Robertson took the loss after surrendering two runs on four hits in two and one-third innings. Senior left fielder Daniel Pugh was 2-4 with one run scored, and junior third baseman Andrew Deeds slugged his fourth home run of the season. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: C Jacob Rhodes (Murray St.)

  • Stats: 7-8, 1 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Hutchinson (WKU), Jeff Gardner (UofL), Alex Chittenden (UofL), Chad Wright (UK), Brandon Eggenschwiler (Murray St.), Travis Isaak (Murray St.), Bryan Soloman (EKU), Steve Ferraro (EKU), Daniel Pugh (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Justin Amlung (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Justin Hageman (WKU), Corey Littrell (UK), Tyler Beers (Murray St.), Jake Donze (Murray St.)
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College roundup: UofL, WKU, UK all lose; EKU swept in DH; Murray St., Morehead St. split double-headers

College Baseball

Taylor Davis; Morehead St. photo

Recaps and highlights from Sunday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • Western Kentucky University suffered its first Sun Belt Conference loss and snapped an eight-game winning streak with a 9-8 loss to FIU in 10 innings. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Rye Davis took the loss after surrendering two runs in the tenth inning while recording two outs. Junior left fielder Jared Andreoli was 3-6, and junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson was 3-6 with one home run, two RBI and one run scored. Junior second baseman Ivan Hartle and senior designated hitter Chris Bullard also homered in the game. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville suffered its first Big East Conference loss with a 4-2 loss to Rutgers in the finale of its three-game series. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold took the loss after surrendering three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits in five innings while striking out four batters and walking two. No UofL batter tallied multiple hits in the game, but redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames did slug his sixth home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • Alabama finished a three-game sweep of the University of Kentucky by sending the Cats to an 8-3 loss on Sunday. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers took the loss after surrendering six runs on nine hits in four and one-third innings. Alabama scored four runs in the first innings, putting the Cats in an early hole. Freshman second baseman J. T. Riddle was 2-4 with a home run. Freshman right fielder Lucas Witt and junior left fielder Chad Wright also had two hits in the game. (Box Score)
  • In game one of a double-header, Murray State University dropped a 5-2 decision to Austin Peay in its Ohio Valley Conference opener. Daviess County High School alum Jeremy Dobbs earned the win for Austin Peay after surrendering two runs on seven hits in five and one-third innings while striking out three batters and walking one. Murray St. junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers took the loss after surrendering five runs on five hits in three and one-third innings. Junior catcher Jacob Rhodes and senior center fielder Elliot Frey both tallied two hits for the Breds. (Box Score)
  • In game two of the double-header Murray St. earned its first OVC win with a 3-2 victory over Austin Peay. Senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze earned the win after surrendering two runs on six hits in seven innings while striking out two batters and walking one. Redshirt freshman right fielder Ty Stetson and junior second baseman Travis Isaak were both 2-3 for the Breds. Bowling Green High School alum Jack Snodgrass took the loss for Austin Peay after surrendering three runs on eight hits in three and one-third innings. (Box Score)
  • In game one of a double-header Eastern Kentucky University dropped an 8-1 decision to Eastern Illinois. Freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath took the loss after surrendering four runs on eight hits in five innings while striking out three batters and walking one. No EKU batter tallied multiple hits in the game, but senior designated hitter Bryce Labhart slugged his first home run of season. (Box Score)
  • EKU dropped a 5-4 decision in game two of the double-header to give Eastern Illinois the series win. Senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler took the loss after surrendering five runs on 11 hits in four and one-third innings. Sophomore second baseman Matt Phipps was 2-2 with one run scored, and senior center fielder Ryan Faidley tallied two RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • In game one of a double-header Morehead State University dropped its OVC opener with a 3-2 loss to Southeast Missouri. Senior right-handed pitcher Trey Smith took the loss after surrendering three runs, two of which were earned, on eight hits in five and two-third innings while striking out no batters and walking four. Junior third baseman Andrew Deeds was 2-3 with one RBI. (Box Score)
  • In game two of the double-header Morehead St. earned its first OVC win with a 14-4 victory over Southeast Missouri. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Garrick Whittle earned the win after surrendering two runs on four hits in five and one-third innings while striking out three batters and walking six. Junior catcher Taylor Davis was 3-4 with two home runs, three RBI and three runs scored, and senior second baseman Travis Redmon slugged a home run. Center fielder Nick Duff was 3-4 with three RBI and sophomore shortstop Austin Haney was 3-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. (Box Score)

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

  • Stats: 4-6, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Hutchinson (WKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU), Jared Andreoli (WKU), Ryan Huck (WKU), Stewart Ijames (UofL), J. T. Riddle (UK), Elliot Frey (Murray St.), Nick Duff (Morehead St.), Austin Haney (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the day: LHP Jake Donze (Murray St.)

  • Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB 2 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Mike Nastold (UofL), Brian Edelen (WKU), Jeremy Dobbs (Austin Peay, Daviess Co. HS), Trey Smith (Morehead St.), Garrick Whittle (Morehead St.)

College roundup: UofL, WKU clinch series wins; EKU earns first road win; UK drops second straight to Alabama

College Baseball

Ryan Wright; UofL photo

Recaps and highlights from Saturday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • Western Kentucky University remained undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play and won its eighth game in a row with a 6-4 win over FIU. Freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman earned the win after surrendering one run on seven hits in six and two-third innings while striking out eight batters and walking four. Junior shortstop Logan Robbins was 3-4 with one RBI, and junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 2-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore first baseman Ryan Huck slugged his second home run of the season. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville clinched a series victory in its first Big East Conference series with a 9-2 win over Rutgers. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung improved to 5-0 on the season after surrendering two runs, one of which was earned, on seven hits in six innings while striking out seven batters and walking three. Junior second baseman Ryan Wright finish the game a double shy of the cycle and was 4-5 with a home run, triple, five RBI and three runs scored. Redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames slugged his fifth home run of the season, and junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self held Rutgers scoreless over the final three innings for the save. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky surrendered an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 6-5 loss to Alabama, clinching a series win for the Crimson Tide. Freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott took the loss after surrendering one unearned run on two hits in two and one-third innings. Freshman center fielder Lucas Witt was 2-2 with one walk and one run scored in his return from injury. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper had his second consecutive poor start after surrendering five runs on six hits in two and two-third innings. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University‘s double-header versus Austin Peay was rained out. The two teams will play a double-header on Sunday.
  • Eastern Kentucky University earned its first road win of the season with a 9-7 victory over Eastern Illinois. Senior right-handed pitcher Ryne Purcell was credited with the win after surrendering two runs on three hits in one inning. Senior center fielder Ryan Faidley and sophomore first baseman Alex Hughes each homered in the game, and junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 2-4 with a triple, three RBI and two runs scored. Senior right-handed pitcher Chris Hord pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save, and redshirt junior right-handed starting pitcher Matt Fyffe surrendered two runs in five innings. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University‘s double-header versus Southeast Missouri was rained out. The two teams will play a double-header on Sunday.

Hitter of the day: 2B Ryan Wright (UofL)

  • Stats: 4-5, 1 HR, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 3 R
  • Honorable Mention: Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Ryan Faidley (EKU), Lucas Witt (UK), Stewart Ijames (UofL), Kyle Grieshaber (UofL), Logan Robbins (WKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Justin Hageman (WKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Justin Amlung (UofL), Derek Self (UofL), Walter Wijas (UK), Matt Fyffe (EKU)

Sunday roundup: WKU finishes sweep; UK clinches series win; UofL, Morehead St. lose; Murray St., EKU swept

College Baseball

J. T. Riddle; BluGrass Baseball photo

Recaps and highlights from Sunday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • The University of Louisville‘s offense continued to struggle in a 4-1 loss to Xavier that gave Musketeers the series win. UofL redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold took the loss after surrendering three runs on five hits in three and two-third innings while striking out three batters and walking three. Freshman center fielder Cole Sturgeon was 2-4 in the leadoff spot for the Cards, and redshirt junior right fielder Stewart Ijames was 2-5 with one RBI. Junior right-handed reliever Derek Self kept UofL in the game by surrendering just one hit in four scoreless innings and striking out five batters while walking one. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University used a five-run fifth inning and a strong pitching performance from new weekend starting pitcher Brian Edelen to earn a 5-4 win and secure a series sweep of Middle Tennessee to begin Sun Belt Conference play. Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Edelen earned the win after surrendering one unearned run in six innings while striking out three batters and walking none. Junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 3-4 with three RBI, and junior left fielder Jared Andreoli was 2-4 with one RBI, one run scored and one stolen base. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky used a four-run first inning to jump out to an early lead en route to a 7-3 win over Tennessee to clinch the team’s first Southeastern Conference series of the season. Freshman right fielder J. T. Riddle slugged a three-run home run in the first inning, and junior first baseman Braden Kapteyn finished the game 2-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers earned the win after surrendering three runs on eight hits in five innings while striking out two batters and walking none. Senior designated hitter Mike Kaczmarek was 4-4 at the plate and recorded the final four outs of the game on the mound to earn his fourth save. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University scored 10 runs and tallied 13 hits but could not avoid a 14-10 loss that secured a series sweep for Georgia State. Junior left-handed pitcher Luke Shuemaker took the loss after surrendering seven runs, five of which were earned, on six hits in five innings. Six different Murray St. batters recorded two hits in the game, led by senior right fielder Zach Noonan, who was 2-4 with two RBI and three runs scored. Junior second baseman Travis Isaak, freshman third baseman Wes Warren and senior center fielder Elliot Frey each tallied two hits and two RBI in the game. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University‘s road woes continued with a 14-5 loss to Indiana St. that dropped the Colonels to 0-9 on the road this season. Senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler took the loss after surrendering six runs, four of which were earned, on six hits in six innings. Junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez led the offense and finished the game 3-3 with two runs scored. Junior left fielder Jacob Daniel, senior center fielder Ryan Faidley and freshman catcher Sean Hagen each tallied two hits in the game. (Box Score)
  • Morehead State University sophomore left-handed pitcher Garrick Whittle made his first start since opening weekend but that wasn’t enough to prevent an 11-4 loss to Miami (OH). Whittle took the loss after surrendering seven runs on six hits in three and one-third innings. Senior first baseman Michael Fear was 2-4 with one RBI, and senior second baseman Travis Redmon was 2-5 with one run scored. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: RF J. T. Riddle (UK)

  • Stats: 1-2, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP
  • Honorable Mention: Cole Sturgeon (UofL), Braden Kapteyn (UK), Mike Kaczmarek (UK), Jared Andreoli (WKU), Ivan Hartle (WKU), Zach Noonan (Murray St.), Travis Isaak (Murray St.), Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Ryan Faidley (EKU), Michael Fear (Morehead St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Brian Edelen (WKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Derek Self (UofL), Taylor Rogers (UK), Trevor Gott (UK)

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)

EKU, Murray St. struggle to score runs in Wednesday losses

College Baseball

Recaps and highlights from Wednesday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • Eastern Kentucky University junior right-handed pitcher Matt Fyffe surrendered two runs in four innings in his first start since 2009, but his effort wasn’t enough to prevent a 5-0 loss to Western Carolina. Fyffe surrendered six hits in four innings and struck out four while walking one. At the plate the Colonels tallied just two hits, a double by junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez and a triple by senior center fielder Ryan Faidley. Senior right-handed pitchers Macon Smith and Jim Clancy each pitched two scoreless innings out of the EKU bullpen. (Box Score)
  • In his first start for Murray State University junior left-handed pitcher Bryan Babin surrendered just one unearned run in seven innings, but Arkansas St. scored four runs in the ninth inning to send the Breds to a 5-1 loss. Babin surrendered four hits in seven innings and struck out five batters while walking three. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Will Handlin took the loss after surrendering two runs in one inning of work. Redshirt freshman right fielder Brandon Eggenschwiler and senior center fielder Elliot Frey both tallied two hits in the game. Senior first baseman Drew Pixley scored Murray St.’s only run. (Read more)

Pitcher of the day: LHP Bryan Babin (Murray St.)

  • Stats: 0-0, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Jim Clancy (EKU), Matt Fyffe (EKU)

Hitter of the day: CF Elliot Frey (Murray St.)

  • Stats: 2-2, 1 2B
  • Honorable Mention: Brandon Eggenschwiler (Murray St.)

Tuesday roundup: EKU, UofL win; Morehead St., WKU lose

College Baseball

Highlights and recaps from Tuesday Kentucky college baseball action:

  • You can read BluGrass Baseball‘s recap of the University of Louisville 6-1 win over Morehead State University here.
  • Eastern Kentucky University freshman third baseman Bryan Soloman continued the Tuesday’s string of strong freshman performances with a five-hit game to lead the Colonels to a 12-8 win over Western Carolina. Soloman was 5-6 with one home run, one double, three RBI, four runs scored and one stolen base in the game. EKU junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 3-5 with three runs scored in the game. Junior left-handed pitcher Greg Terry was credited with the win after he recorded the final out in the sixth inning. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Alex Rexroat recorded the final four outs of the game for his first save. (Box Score)
  • Vanderbilt tied the game on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning before scoring the winning run on a wild pitch in a 6-5 walk-off win over Western Kentucky University. Following the bases-loaded walk from WKU redshirt junior closer Rye Davis that scored the tying run, senior catcher Matt Rice was ejected from the game for arguing the call. Sophomore infielder and catcher J. P. Jackson replaced Rice behind the plate but could not corral Davis’ wild pitch, which allowed the winning run to score. WKU junior outfielder Kes Carter was 2-4 with one run scored, and junior second baseman Ivan Hartle was 2-4 with one RBI in the game. Davis was credited with the loss and his second blown save of the season after surrendering two runs in one inning of work. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: 3B Bryan Soloman (EKU)

  • Stats: 5-6, 1 HR, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R, 1 SB
  • Honorable Mention: Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Ryan Faidley (EKU), Stewart Ijames (UofL)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Dace Kime (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Ross Hammonds (WKU), Matt Harris (EKU)

Sunday roundup: UofL, UK, EKU pick up wins in finales

College Baseball

Highlights and recaps from Sunday Kentucky collegiate baseball action:

  • Western Kentucky University closed out the Baseball at the Beach Tournament with a disappointing 4-1 loss to previously winless Pacific. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Taylor Haydel took the loss after surrendering four runs on seven hits in five and two-third innings while striking out six and walking none. At the plate junior second baseman Ivan Hartle and freshman third baseman Scott Wilcox were the only Hilltoppers with multiple hits, and both finished the game 2-4. Sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins scored the only run of the game for WKU. (Box Score)
  • The University of Louisville salvaged one win in its three-game series versus Toledo with a 4-2 victory following a late rally on Sunday. The Cards scored three runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a home run from junior second baseman Ryan Wright and a RBI double from sophomore first baseman Cade Stallings. Freshman left-handed pitcher Cody Edge earned his first collegiate victory after surrendering one run on one hit in two innings of relief. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold surrendered one run on three hits in four innings while striking out four and walking two. The Cards took the lead in the sixth inning on a RBI-groundout from senior catcher J. J. Ethel. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning and scored two runs without recording a hit to earn a 3-1 win in the rubber match of its three-game series vs. Illinois-Chicago. Freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott earned his first collegiate victory after inducing a double play when he entered the game in the sixth inning with two men on base and one out. Senior left-handed pitcher Mike Kaczmarek recorded the final four outs to earn his first career save. No UK batter recorded multiple hits in the game, but sophomore center fielder Brian Adams was 1-2 with a run scored and a hit-by-pitch. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University couldn’t finish of its series sweep of Bowling Green St. as it dropped a 4-2 decision in a rain-shortened Sunday game. Junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beers took the loss after surrendering four runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits in six innings while striking out three and walking none. Redshirt freshman outfielder Ty Stetson and junior second baseman Travis Isaak were each 2-3 in the game. Junior first baseman Jacob Rhodes was the only other Murray St. batter to record a hit, and he drove in two runs. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University earned its first series win of the season after holding off a late Purdue rally to preserve a 7-6 win in the rubber match of the series Sunday. Senior designated hitter Jacob Daniel finished the game 3-5 with one RBI. Freshman catcher Sean Hagen and senior center fielder Ryan Faidley each tallied two hits and scored two runs in the game. Senior right-handed pitcher Stephen Hefler earned the win after surrendering two runs on six hits in five and one-third innings while striking out one batter and walking four. Purdue rallied for three runs in the ninth inning off junior right-handed pitcher Lincoln Wagner, but EKU senior closer Ryne Purcell got the final out for his second save of the season. (Box Score)
  • In its Sunday double-header Morehead State University surrendered 35  runs in two games, dropping game one 18-1 and game two 17-9 to Purdue. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cody Gibson took the loss in game one after surrendering seven runs, five of which were earned on nine hits in two and two-third innings. In game two junior right-handed pitcher Matthew Robertson took the loss after surrendering 11 runs, seven of which were earned in three and one-third innings. Junior catcher Taylor Davis was 5-8 with three RBI and two runs scored in the two games, and redshirt sophomore designated hitter Kellen Begeman was 3-5 with two RBI and one run scored in game two. (Box Score, GM 1) (Box Score, GM 2)

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

  • Stats: 4-8, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R
  • Honorable Mention: Travis Isaak (Murray St.), Kellen Begeman (Morhead St.), Jacob Daniel (EKU), Ryan Faidley (EKU), Ryan Wright (UofL)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Mike Nastold (UofL)

  • Stats: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Trevor Gott (UK), Jordan Cooper (UK), Tyler Beers (Murray St.), Stephen Hefler (EKU)

BluGrass Baseball Preseason All-State Team

College Baseball

Matt Rice bats for WKU: BluGrass Baseball photo

With just two days remaining until the start of the 2011 college baseball season it’s time to unveil the 2011 preseason BluGrass Baseball All-State team. Eligible players either play for a Kentucky college or attended a Kentucky high school. Check out the team below, with short bios on the first-team players. Remember, we’ll update this team at midseason and after the regular season is over.

C — Matt Rice — Western Kentucky University

  • .369/.446/.585, 10 HR, 65 RBI, 51 R
  • Rice was the first-team catcher on the 2010 BluGrass Baseball postseason All-State Team and returns to WKU after declining to sign with the New York Yankees as the team’s 50th round draft pick this summer. Rice may have been Mr. Irrelevant in the draft after being selected with the last pick, but he’s far from irrelevant in Kentucky college baseball as he should be in the running all season for the player of the year award. Rice was named All-Sun Belt Conference following the 2010 season, and recently was named the preseason Sun Belt player of the year by Baseball America.
  • Second Team: J. J. Ethel (UofL) — .303/.384/.459, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 15 R

1B — Rich Witten — Coastal Carolina (Danville High School)

  • 2010: .312/.393/.584, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 22 R
  • After spending most of 2010 as a key reserve for the Chanticleers before moving into the starting lineup as the everyday first baseman in time for postseason play. Witten is expected to begin 2011 as the NCAA-regional hopeful’s first baseman and hopes to build on his strong postseason play. Witten was named to the Myrtle Beach All-Regional team after batting .278 with a double, home run and 6 RBI in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. As a junior at Danville High School Witten slugged 25 home runs, the second most in a single season in KHSAA history.
  • Second Team: Zak Wasserman (UofL) — .324/.405/.419, 11 RBI, 9 R

2B — Ryan Wright — University of Louisville

  • 2010: .366/.413/.638, 16 HR, 80 RBI, 61 R
  • Junior infielder Ryan Wright has already been named a preseason all-American by three different outlets, including a second-team selection by Baseball America. Wright leads returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 RBI, runs scored and home runs and ranks second in 2010 batting average and slugging percentage. The second baseman spent the summer with Team USA, where he led everyday players with a .361 batting average and 18 runs scored. UofL head coach Dan McDonnell recently called Wright a “RBI mongrel,” noting the junior has 146 RBI in two seasons at UofL.
  • Second Team: Travis Redmon (Morehead St.) — .333/.411/.497, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 42 R

3B — Andrew Deeds — Morehead State University

  • 2010: .305/.356/.603, 13 HR, 39 RBI, 43 R
  • Junior infielder Andrew Deeds leads a weak crop of Kentucky third baseman returning from the 2010 season. Deeds ranks third among returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 home runs and slugging percentage. The Trinity High School alum finished the 2010 season on a 12-game hitting streak and tallied 12 multi-hit games on the year. In the Eagles’ series against in-state rival EKU, Deeds was 7-15 with four home runs and six RBI.
  • Second Team: Colton Moore (Murray St.) — .328/.383/.429, 1 HR, 39 RBI, 23 R

SS — Richie Rodriguez — Eastern Kentucky University

  • 2010: .357/.405/.496, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 55 R, 21 SB
  • Junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez led the Colonels in batting average, stolen bases and hits in 2010. He ranks second in 2010 stolen bases and third in 2010 batting average and runs scored among returning Kentucky collegians. The Miami, Fla., native was named a Louisville Slugger freshman all-American following the 2009 season. Rodriguez started every game in 2010 at shortstop and the leadoff slot in the lineup for EKU. He tallied 24 multi-hit games in 2010 including five four-hit games.
  • Second team: Taylor Black (UK) — .270/.386/.489, 11 HR, 37 RBI, 44 R, 12 SB

OF — Stewart Ijames — University of Louisville

  • 2010: .324/.406/.570, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 47 R
  • Redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames returns to Louisville after declining to sign with the New York Yankees as the team’s 29th round pick in the 2010 draft. Ijames was named second-team All-Big East and selected to the all-Big East Tournament Team following the 2010 season. He ranks third among returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 batting average and RBI and fifth in 2010 slugging percentage. Ijames was named a Ping! Baseball and Louisville Slugger freshman all-American in 2008 and missed the 2009 season with a shoulder injury.
  • Second Team: Ryan Faidley (EKU) — .324/.420/.605, 12 HR, 46 RBI, 44 R

OF — Kes Carter — Western Kentucky University

  • 2010: .341/.418/.484, 7 HR, 53 RBI, 40 R, 14 SB
  • Junior outfielder Kes Carter was named first-team all-Sun Belt following the 2010 season and returns to WKU hoping to improve his draft status. Carter ranks fourth among returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 on-base percentage and fifth in 2010 RBI and stolen bases. The outfielder recorded a 15-game hitting streak last season between April 6 and 25 and committed just one error in 2010. Carter was selected in the 43rd round of the 2008 draft by the Florida Marlins following his senior season in high school.
  • Second Team: Chad Wright (UK) — .316/.388/.413, 2 HR, 37 RBI, 36 R, 12 SB

OF — Jared Andreoli — Western Kentucky University

  • 2010: .341/.415/.484, 5 HR, 49 RBI, 61 R, 14 SB
  • Junior outfielder Jared Andreoli led the Hilltoppers with 32 multi-hit games in 2010 and tallied a 15-game hitting streak from March 12 to April 3. Among returning Kentucky collegians Andreoli ranks first in 2010 runs scored, fifth in stolen bases and fifth in on-base percentage. Andreoli ranked eight in runs scored in the Sun Belt Conference last season and fifth in triples. The outfielder leads returning Hilltoppers in total bases and tallied six sacrifice bunts last season.
  • Second Team: Daniel Pugh — .335/.438/.447, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 45 R

DH — Taylor Davis — Morehead State University

  • 2010: .350/.412/..596, 11 HR, 57 RBI, 40 R
  • Junior catcher Taylor Davis was named preseason all-Ohio Valley Conference after his strong 2010 season. Davis ranks fourth among returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 batting average and RBI and fifth in 2010 home runs. The junior started 36 games at catcher, six at designated hitter and three at third base for the Eagles in 2010. Davis tallied a 13-game hitting streak, 19 multi-hit games and 13-multi-RBI games last season. The catcher has been selected to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League during the summer of 2011.
  • Second team — Braden Kapteyn (UK) — .297/.403/.484, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 31 R

SP — Matt Koch — University of Louisville

  • 2010: 3-0, 3.27 ERA, 31 SO/9BB, 44 IP
  • Sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch did not qualify for the ERA title in 2010, but was outstanding after moving into the Cards’ weekend rotation during conference play. Koch appeared in 11 games for UofL in 2010, including six starts. He surrendered just one run in six innings in UofL’s win over Vanderbilt in the NCAA Regional, earning a spot on the all-regional team. Koch moved into the weekend rotation on April 30 against Rutgers and remained there for the rest of the season. He was the 37th round pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 2009 draft out of high school.
  • Second Team: Anthony Bazzani (EKU) — 5-3, 5.47 ERA, 41 SO/30 BB, 77.1 IP

SP — Justin Amlung — University of Louisville

  • 2010: 5-2, 4.27 ERA, 55 SO/14 BB, 65.1 IP
  • Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung was named the 2010 freshman of the year and boasts the lowest qualifying 2010 ERA of any returning Kentucky pitcher. Amlung started 10 games for the Cards last season, beginning the year as a midweek starter before moving into the weekend rotation. He surrendered just three home runs in 65.1 innings pitched that season and begins the season as UofL’s Saturday starting pitcher.
  • Second team: Jordan Cooper (UK) — 4-5, 5.71 ERA, 35 SO/27 BB, 58.1 IP

SP — Alex Meyer — University of Kentucky

  • 2010: 5-3, 7.06 ERA, 63 SO/36 BB, 51 IP
  • Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer has struggled in two season on campus, but he begins 2011 in the same place he has the last two years as arguably the state’s most talented player. Baseball America recently ranked Meyer the No. 34 prospect in the 2011 draft and selected him to its preseason All-Southeastern Conference team. Meyer is 6-7 with a 6.34 ERA and 143 strikeouts in his UK career but should be a first-round pick in 2011 with a strong season.
  • Second Team: Jake Donze (Murray St.) 6-6, 6.02 ERA, 71 SO/56 BB, 83.2 IP

RP — Rye Davis — Western Kentucky University

  • 2010: 3-4, 2.72 ERA, 9 saves, 63 SO/20 BB, 49.2 IP
  • Relief pitcher might be the most hotly contested spot on the All-State team with redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Rye Davis and UofL top draft prospect Tony Zych. Davis was the 36th round pick of the Cleveland Indians during the summer of 2010 but returned to WKU in hopes of improving his draft status, that may have been hurt when he missed all of 2009 after being struck in the face by a line drive. Davis leads returning Kentucky collegians in 2010 appearances and ranks second in strikeouts and saves.
  • Second Team: Tony Zych — 5-2, 5.13 ERA, 1 save, 50 SO/11 BB, 61.2 IP

Top 2011 Ky. Collegians: Those who just missed the list

College Baseball

Over the past few weeks BluGrass Baseball has been counting down the top 25 Kentucky collegians in advance of the 2011 college baseball season. As with any list of this kind there are plenty of arguments to be made about players who you think were too high, too low, incorrectly left off the list or incorrectly included on it. I’m sure you have plenty of arguments of your own but I’ve included some of the arguments I think could be made below:

Nick Maronde; Florida photo

Most glaring omissionLexington Catholic High School alum Nick Maronde is undoubtedly one of the top 2011 draft prospects among Kentucky collegians, but his undefined role on the University of Florida pitching staff and mixed performance during his first two seasons on campus kept him off the list. Maronde, a left-handed pitcher, is 5-1 with a 4.93 ERA in his collegiate career but will likely pitch in middle relief for the No. 1 Gators this season. If Maronde pitched on any of other team he might be an important weekend starting pitcher or closer, but as a middle reliever I didn’t find room for him on the list.

Biggest stretch — If we were hosting a fantasy draft of Kentucky collegians Georgetown College outfielder Tyler Fisher most likely goes nowhere near the top 25, but his summer league performance led me to included him as the last player in the top 25 if for no other reason than to give some notoriety to a small-college player.

Players most likely to jump onto the list following the season — In addition to Maronde, one could easily envision University of Louisville senior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw, UofL sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman, University of Kentucky sophomore left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers, UK outfielder Brian Adams, Western Kentucky University sophomore catcher and first baseman Ryan Huck, Morehead State University second baseman Travis Redmon and Eastern Kentucky University senior outfielder Ryan Faidley as having 2011 seasons that might propel them into consideration for this list following the season.

Performance versus talent — This list tended to value college performance over talent, but in a few cases I did give a players MLB draft prospect status added weight. The two most obvious cases of this dilemma came with UK junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer and UofL junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych. Neither player’s 2010 statistics warrant inclusion in the top six players, but Meyer and Zych rank as the top two draft prospects in the state. If either player lives up to his potential in 2011, the duo could climb to the top of this list.