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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Offseason position battle: EKU catcher

College Baseball

In the third Eastern Kentucky University post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant catching position.

The departed — Two-year starter Joey Stevens, a 2010 senior, started 42 games for the Colonels in 2010. On the season he batted .276 with two home runs, 24 RBI and 19 runs scored. Stevens recorded a .335 on-base percentage and .368 slugging percentage. Opposing runners were successful in 35 of 43 stolen base attempts (86 percent) against Stevens on the season. Stevens was charged with six passed balls and two errors in 2010.

Returning candidates — Junior A. J. Jamison served as Stevens’ primary backup in 2010, starting seven games and appearing in 19 games total. Jamison batted .208 with one home run, six RBI and four runs scored on the season. Opposing runners were successful in all eight stolen base attempts against Jamison last season…Junior Brian Shrimpton also saw some time behind the plate for EKU in 2010, especially early in the season. Shrimpton started six games and appeared in 11 total. On the season he was 1-22 (.045), and opposing runners were successful in 19 of 21 stolen base attempts (91.3 percent) against him.

Newcomers to watch — EKU added two catchers to the 2011 roster in the form of freshmen Sean Hagen and Steve Ferraro. In a news release announcing Hagen’s signing EKU head coach Jason Stein described him as a “complete catcher who can catch, throw and block,” adding he was a very offensive-minded player, as well.” As a junior at Reading High School in Pennsylvania, Hagen batted .469 with six home runs and 29 RBI. Stein said Hagen would fill an immediate need at catcher with Stevens’ graduation.

Wildcard — With four catchers on the Colonels’ roster any wildcard in this race would have to come from nowhere. EKU has nine infielders on the roster so if an unlikely position change were to occur that would likely be the first place to look.