Former UK baseball player Patrick Patterson throws out the first pitch at the Houston College Classic; UK Athletics photo by Aaron M. Sprecher
Highlights and recaps from Friday Kentucky collegiate baseball action:
- The University of Louisville appeared to be on its way to its third loss in four games but scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings before senior catcher J. J. Ethel drove home the winning run with a RBI-double in the 11th inning. Freshman infielder Ty Young singled with one out in the ninth inning then moved to second base when Ethel was hit by a pitch. Freshman pinch hitter Ryan Seiz drove home the first run of the inning on a single, and senior left fielder Drew Haynes drove home the tying run with a ground out. In the 11th inning Ethel doubled home Young to give UofL the win. Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self earned the win after surrendering one run in three innings, and sophomore starting pitcher Matt Koch took a no decision despite surrendering just one run on five hits in eight innings. (Box Score)
- Western Kentucky University dropped its fourth straight game after starting the season 5-0 with a 7-5 loss to College of Charleston in the first game of the school’s invitational tournament. WKU sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins suffered his first loss of the season after surrendering seven runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits in four and one-third innings while striking out three batters and walking none. Five different Hilltoppers’ batters tallied two hits in the game with sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins leading the offensive attack. Robbins was 2-3 with one run scored, one RBI, one walk and one stolen base. (Box Score)
- A late rally from the University of Kentucky fell just short in an 8-7 loss to No. 21 Rice in the opening game of the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. The Cats trailed by three runs entering the eighth inning but scored twice in the frame on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher Luke Maile. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers took the loss after surrendering six runs on 10 hits in five and two-third innings while striking out three batters and walking one. At the plate junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy led UK with a 3-5 performance. Junior first baseman Braden Kapteyn slugged his second home run of the season and drove in two runs. (Box Score)
- Eastern Kentucky University‘s opening game in the Memphis Baseball Classic was rained out.
- Highlighted by a six-hit, seven-RBI game from senior left fielder Zach Noonan, the Murray State University offense exploded for a 17-7 blowout win over North Dakota State. Noonan finished the game 6-6 with one home run, seven RBI and four runs scored. Junior left-handed pitcher Luke Shuemaker was credited with the win after surrendering six runs on 12 hits in six innings. Shuemaker struck out seven batters and walked one. Junior second baseman Travis Isaak homered and both redshirt freshman designated hitter Ty Stetson and senior center fielder Elliot Frey each drove in three runs. Stetson finished the game 3-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. (Box Score)
- Behind Lexington native Chad Martin Indiana sent Morehead State University to a 6-5 loss in 13 innings. Martin, a PLD alum, took a no decision but surrendered just three unearned runs on five hits in six innings while striking out six batters and walking three. Morehead St. redshirt junior starting pitcher Josh Schneider also pitched well in a no decision, surrendering three runs, one of which was earned, on four hits in seven innings while striking out four batters and walking one. At the plate junior center fielder Andrew Deeds was 2-4 with one double, one triple and one run scored to lead the Eagles. Morehead St. junior right-handed pitcher Matthew Robertson took the loss after surrendering one run in two-plus innings of work. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: LF Zach Noonan (Murray St.)
- Stats: 6-6, 1 HR, 3 2Bs, 7 RBI, 4 R
- Honorable Mention: Ty Stetson (Murray St.), Travis Isaak (Murray St.), Elliot Frey (Murray St.), Andrew Deeds (Morehead St.), Ty Young (UofL), Thomas McCarthy (UK), Braden Kapteyn (UK)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Matt Koch (UofL)
- Stats: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
- Honorable Mention: Chad Martin (Indiana, PLD), Derek Self (UofL), Josh Schneider (Morehead St.), Ross Hammonds (WKU)
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)
Zach Noonan; BluGrass Baseball photo
In the fourth Murray State University post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant outfield position.
The departed — Outfielder Daniel Hill, a 2010 senior, started 33 games in right field and six as the designated hitter for the Breds in 2010. On the season he batted .284 with five home runs, 37 RBI and 33 runs scored. As a junior Hill batted .344 with a then school-record 16 home runs…Utility man Bryan Propst started 26 games in left field, five games in right field, five games at first base and 15 as the Breds’ designated hitter in 2010. Propst was second on the team in batting (.366), home runs (14), runs scored (57), hits (75), RBI (56) and total bases (140). He tied for the team lead with 19 doubles.
Returning candidates — The Breds return their every day center fielder in senior Elliot Frey, who started 51 games in the outfield in 2010, and corner outfielder senior Zach Noonan, who started 50 games in the outfield last season… The race for the third outfield spot is wide open as Murray state returns just one player who started a game in the outfield in 2010, and that player, senior catcher Drew Pixley, started just one game…Freshman outfielder Brandon Eggenschwiler and Ty Stetson both redshirted during the 2010 season.
Newcomers to watch — Murray St. head coach Rob McDonald added two junior college transfers to the outfield mix for the 2011 Breds. Redshirt sophomore Paul Ritzheimer comes to Murray from Kaskaskia Community College where he batted .405 with three home runs and 20 RBI as a freshman…Junior outfielder Cody Larson batted .263 with three home runs, 16 RBI and 16 runs scored as a sophomore at Skyline Junior College…Freshman left-handed pitcher and outfielder Brock Downey was named first-team all state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association as a senior at Murray High School. Downey batted .550 with 52 stolen bases as a senior.
Wildcard — The wildcard in the Murray State outfield race may be the only returning reserve who started a game in the outfield in 2010: senior catcher Drew Pixley. The Breds boast five catchers on the roster with Pixley and junior college transfer Jacob Rhodes leading the race for playing time. If McDonnell wants to get both players in the lineup, he could try Pixley in the outfield once again.