WKU embarrasses UK 24-8 to sweep season series

College Baseball

Matt Rice bats for WKU: BluGrass Baseball photo

The University of Kentucky has had a hard time scoring runs recently, so when the Cats plated eight runs against Western Kentucky University Tuesday, one would think that was a good thing. The Hilltoppers had other plans though with a 24-8 drubbing of UK, highlighted by a 16-run second inning. WKU junior catcher Matt Rice was 5-6 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored.

Sophomores Jared Andreoli, Kes Carter and Logan Robbins also homered for the Hilltoppers, and seniors Matt Payton and Jake Wells each tallied three hits. Redshirt junior Brian Edelen recorded the win after allowing one run in five innings. Andreoli drove in five runs and scored four times in the game.

There weren’t many highlights for UK as the Cats were down 18-0 before recording an out in the second inning, but junior designated hitter Lance Ray was 3-4 with a home run, two RBI and one run scored. The game marked Ray’s second consecutive three-hit effort. Sophomore third baseman Andy Burns tallied two hits and three RBI. (Box Score)

BluGrass Baseball POG: C Matt Rice — The junior catcher was 5-6 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored. Rice had a double and a home run in the 16-run second inning. On the season, Rice is batting .392 with nine home runs and 52 RBI.

BluGrass Baseball Pitching Leaderboard: April 20

College Baseball

In the second weekly statistics leaderboard update, we’ll look at the pitching categories. To qualify for the ERA and batting average against, pitchers must have a minimum of 1.0 IP per team game, which just makes UofL closer Neil Holland and Murray St. reliever Matt McGaha eligible, but excludes new UofL weekend starting pitcher Gabriel Shaw. Stats are current through Sunday. The college leaderboard is now permanently accessible on its own page on the left sidebar here.


  • Neil Holland — UofL — 1.50
  • Thomas Royse — UofL — 2.45
  • Matt McGaha — Murray St. — 3.75
  • Matt Ridings — WKU — 3.99
  • Derek Self — UofL — 3.40


  • Matt Ridings — WKU — 7-1
  • Thomas Royse — UofL — 7-1
  • Neil Holland — UofL — 6-0
  • Josh Schneider — Morehead St. — 6-3
  • Derek Self — UofL — 5-0
  • Alex Love — Murray St. — 5-0
  • Chris Craycraft — Murray St. — 5-2
  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — 5-4


  • Matt Ridings — WKU — 57
  • Thomas Royse — UofL — 54
  • Alex Meyer — UK — 52
  • Shane Cameron — WKU — 51
  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — 50

Innings Pitched

  • Matt Ridings — WKU — 58.2
  • Thomas Royse — UofL — 58.2
  • Chris Craycraft — Murray St. — 58.0
  • Taylor Rogers — UK — 56.2
  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — 55


  • Neil Holland — UofL — 8
  • Ryne Purcell — EKU — 8
  • Rye Davis — WKU — 7
  • Matt Little — UK — 6
  • Cody Gibson — Morehead St. — 3
  • Dan Huff — Murray St. — 3
  • Matt McGaha — Murray St. — 3

Batting Average Against

  • Neil Holland — UofL — .145
  • Thomas Royse — UofL — .249
  • Matt Ridings — WKU — .251
  • Shane Cameron — WKU — .262
  • Jake Donze — Murray St. — .268


  • Rye Davis — WKU — 22
  • Matt Harris — EKU — 20
  • Ryne Purcell — EKU 19
  • Craig Stem — WKU — 18
  • Josh Schneider — Morehead St. — 18
  • Greg Terry — EKU — 18

BluGrass Baseball Week 10 Midweek Schedule

College Baseball

The week 10 midweek action is headlined by three intrastate matchups, including two for WKU against the state’s two other NCAA at-large contenders. Murray State is the only school not playing a Kentucky rival this week, though Morehead is off until the weekend. Check out the schedule below with links to gamecasts and probable pitcher when available:



  • WKU @ University of Louisville (13) — 6 p.m. — TBA vs. TBA — Gametracker
  • Murray State University @ Southern Illinois — 3 p.m. (CT) —Live Stats

BluGrass Baseball Hitting Leaderboard: April 20

College Baseball

Check out the hitting BluGrass Baseball leaderboard updated through Sunday’s games. To be eligible for the percentage categories (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) a player must have at least 2.5 at-bats per team game, which means UofL senior first baseman Andrew Clark is still not eligible in those categories after missing three weeks due to injury. The college leaderboard is now permanently accessible on its own page on the left sidebar here.

Batting Average

  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .460
  • Zack Cox — Arkansas (PRP) — .444
  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .430
  • Jayson Langfels — EKU — .408
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — .405

Home Runs

  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — 17
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 15
  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 14
  • Jayson Langfels — EKU — 12
  • Phil Wunderlich — UofL — 12
  • Cameron Flynn — Morehead St. — 12


  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 61
  • Anthony Ottrando — EKU — 50
  • Matt Rice — WKU — 49
  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 49
  • Taylor Davis — Morehead St. — 49


  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — 62
  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — 54
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 50
  • Matt Payton — WKU — 49
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 48
  • Jayson Langfels — EKU — 48

Stolen Bases

  • Neiko Johnson — UK — 17/18
  • Chris Bisson — UK — 15/19
  • Logan Robbins — WKU — 13/15
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — 12-14
  • Jared Andreoli — WKU — 12/15

On-Base Percentage

  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .561
  • Zack  Cox — Arkansas (PRP) — .538
  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .506
  • Jayson Langfels — EKU — .506
  • Matt Payton — WKU — .472

Slugging Percentage

  • Wes Cunningham — Murray St. — .846
  • Jayson Langfels — EKU — .803
  • J. D. Ashbrook — Morehead St. — .867
  • Drew Lee — Morehead St. — .762
  • Matt Payton — WKU — .718

Payton out for UK game; Lee named OVC player of week; UofL holds steady in latest rankings

College Baseball
Matt Payton bats against UK: BluGrass Baseball photo

Matt Payton bats against UK: BluGrass Baseball photo

Links from around Kentucky college baseball for your Tuesday morning:

  • Adam Revelette of Examiner.com provides an in-depth breakdown of the road to the Southeastern Conference tournament the University of Kentucky faces.
  • If you didn’t catch it on the BluGrass Baseball Twitter over the weekend, you have to see this video of Western Kentucky University‘s rain-delay entertainment during its series at Florida Atlantic.
  • Nick Baumgardner of the Bowling Green Daily News reports WKU second baseman Matt Payton is doubtful for the mid-week showdown with UK after suffering an oblique strain during batting practice Friday. Payton missed the weekend series at Florida Atlantic.
  • Aaron Fitt of Baseball America profiles PRP alum Zack Cox in the weekly Golden Spikes award spotlight.
  • Morehead State University senior shortstop Drew Lee was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the week.
  • We reported UK coach Gary Henderson‘s decision to not name a permanent Sunday starter while Alex Meyer is out with mono after Sunday’s game via Twitter, but Aaron Smith of the Kentucky Kernel delves further into the situation today.
  • The University of Louisville stayed at No. 13 in the latest Baseball America top 25, and WKU fell out of the rankings. UofL stayed at No. 11 and WKU dropped out of the latest Rivals.com and Yahoo! Sports top 25.

BluGrass Baseball Week Nine Awards

College Baseball

Awards for week nine: (Keep in mind after the weekend’s offensive onslaught from Morehead State, the Eagles probably had six or seven candidates for the offensive award more deserving than any others in the state)

Player of the Week: SS Drew Lee (Morehead St.)

  • Stats: 11-20 (.550), 5 HR, 14 RBI, 12 R, 3 2B, 2 SB
  • Honorable Mention: J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead), Cameron Flynn (Morehead), Taylor Davis (Morehead), Andrew Deeds (Morehead), Jacob Daniel (EKU), Anthony Ottrando (EKU), Wes Cunningham (Murray St.), Andy Burns (UK), Andrew Clark (UofL), Kes Carter (WKU)

Pitcher of the Week: RHP Thomas Royse (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 8 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Gabriel Shaw (UofL), Walter Wijas (UK), Taylor Rogers (UK), Matthew Robertson (Morehead), Trey Smith (Morehead)

Freshman of the Week: RHP Walter Wijas (UK)

  • Stats: 2 G, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Taylor Rogers (UK), Brandon Elliott (Murray St.), Cody Gibson (Morehead), Kyle Grieshaber (UofL), Ryan Huck (WKU)

BluGrass Baseball Saturday review: Week Nine

College Baseball
Recaps and awards from a busy Kentucky Saturday on the diamond:
  • The University of Louisville (13) swept a Saturday double header from West Virginia with an 8-1 win in game one and a 12-9, 11-inning victory in game two. Senior first baseman Andrew Clark was 4-9 with a home run, six RBI and three runs scored in= the double-header. Right-handed ace Thomas Royse earned the win in game one with eight shutout innings of work. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM2)
  • Western Kentucky University was swept in its double header Saturday against Florida Atlantic with a 5-4 loss in game one and a 9-8 loss in game two. WKU dropped all three games in the series. Sophomore outfielder Jared Andreoli and Kes Carter each recorded a three-hit game in the double header. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
  • Morehed State University earned a key double-header sweep of in-state rival Eastern Kentucky University with a 20-8 win in game one and a 16-4 win in game two. Senior shortstop Drew Lee launched three home runs in game one, and sophomore catcher Taylor Davis was 8-10 with two home runs, 12 RBI and 3 runs scored on the afternoon. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)
  • The University of Florida clinched a series victory against the University of Kentucky with a 6-3 win Saturday. UK Sophomore second baseman Andy Burns was 2-3 with a home run, and freshman left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers took the loss after allowing four runs in six and two-third innings. (Box Score)
  • Murray State University was swept in a Saturday double-header against SIU Edwardsville. The Breds wasted a three-run, six and one-third innings performance from Chris Craycraft in game one. Left fielder Elliot Frey was 3-3 in game two. (Box Score GM 1) (Box Score GM 2)

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

  • Stats: 8-10, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 3 R
  • Honorable Mention: Andrew Clark (UofL), Drew Lee (Morehead St.), Michael Fear (Morehead St.), Jayson Langfels (EKU), Bryan Propst (Murray St.), Kes Carter (WKU), Andy Burns (UK)

Pitcher of the Day: RHP Thomas Royse (UofL)

  • Stats: 1-0, 8 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
  • Honorable Mention: RHP Matthew Robertson (Morehead St.), RHP Chris Craycraft (Murray St.), Taylor Rogers (UK), Rye Davis (WKU)

BluGrass Baseball Friday Review: Week Nine

College Baseball

Friday was a winless day on the diamond for Kentucky colleges as one game was rained out and the other two scheduled affairs saw long rain delays and losses to Sunshine state teams. Check out recaps and awards from the abbreviated Friday schedule below:

  • No. 19 Western Kentucky University was blown out 10-3 by Florida Atlantic in game one of a three-game series. Florida Atlantic broke open a three-all tie with five runs in the seventh inning. Sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins was 2-3 with two RBI for the Hilltoppers. Senior right-handed ace Matt Ridings took the loss after allowing six runs in six and two-third innings. (Box Score)
  • The University of Kentucky suffered a 10-8 loss after Florida broke open a six-all tie with a three-run, seventh inning home run. Sophomore third baseman Andy Burns and senior catcher Marcus Nidiffer both homered for UK, and four Cats tallied two hits. Lexington native Nick Maronde surrendered one run in one-third of an inning for Florida in his hometown return. (Box Score)

Hitter of the Day: C Marcus Nidiffer (UK)

  • Stats: 2-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R
  • Honorable Mention: Andy Burns (UK), Logan Robbins (WKU)

Pitcher of the Day: RHP Walter Wijas (UK)

  • Stats: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Ridings (WKU), Logan Darnell (UK)

BluGrass Baseball Weekend Schedule: Week Nine

College Baseball

Several important series on the weekend schedule as UK hosts No. 7 Florida and Lexington native Nick Maronde. EKU and Morehead also face off in the season first three-game series between two Kentucky teams.

University of Louisville (13) @ West Virginia

  • Friday — 7:05 p.m. — RHP Thomas Royse (6-1, 2.84) — Gametracker
  • Saturday — 3 p.m. — LHP Dean Kiekehefer (3-2, 4.09) — Gametracker
  • Sunday  — 1 p.m. — RHP Gabriel Shaw (3-0, 2.74) — Gametracker

Western Kentucky University (19) @ Florida Atlantic

  • Friday — 5:30 p.m. (CT) — RHP Matt Rice (7-0, 3.46) — Live Stats
  • Saturday — 3 p.m. (CT) — RHP Shane Cameron (4-1, 4.44) — Live Stats
  • Sunday — 11 a.m. (CT) — LHP Tanner Perkins (3-2, 4.31) — Live Stats

University of Kentucky vs. Florida (7)

  • Friday — 7 p.m. — LHP Logan Darnell (3-2, 4.62) — Gametracker
  • Saturday — 7 p.m. — LHP Taylor Rogers (4-3, 4.86) — Gametracker
  • Sunday — 1 p.m. — TBA — Gametracker

Eastern Kentucky University @ Morehead State University

  • Saturday — 1 p.m. — RHP Stephen Hefler (3-2, 5.40) vs. RHP Michael Bottoms (3-2, 6.04) — Live Stats
  • Saturday — GM 2 (DH) — LHP Paul Duncan (3-1, 5.11) vs. RHP Matthew Robertson (0-2, 10.30)
  • Sunday — 1 p.m. — LHP Greg Terry (2-1, 5.21) vs. RHP Jeff Arnold (4-1, 7.98)

Murray State University vs. SIU Edwardsville

BluGrass Baseball Midseason Awards

College Baseball

Earlier this week I unveiled the NCAA midseason All-State team, today we look at the midseason winners for each of the major BluGrass Baseball awards. I tried to find a nominee from each team for the honorable mention category, but several didn’t have a worthy candidate for pitcher or freshman.

BluGrass Baseball Midseason Player of Year: OF J. D. Ashbrook

  • Stats: .459/.570/.830, 14 HR, 41 RBI, 56 R, 11-13 SB
  • Morehead State University outfielder J. D. Ashbrook was a member of the preseason All-State team after his strong junior campaign, but no one expected this type of performance. Ashbrook leads the state in batting average, home runs, runs scored and on-base percentage and has so-far outshined his more heralded senior teammate Drew Lee.
  • Honorable Mention: Wes Cunningham (Murray St.), Ryan Wright (UofL), Gunner Glad (UK), Jayson Langfels (EKU), Matt Rice (WKU), Matt Payton (WKU)

BluGrass Baseball Midseason Pitcher of Year: RHP Thomas Royse

  • Stats: 6-1, 2.84 ERA, 50 SO/18 BB, 50.2 IP, .250 BA against
  • Thomas Royse has stepped up to fill University of Louisville vacant ace spot vacated by draftee Justin Marks. He leads Kentucky starting pitchers in ERA and ranks second in wins, strikeouts and batting average against. The star right-handed pitcher hadn’t lost a game until last weekend’s series against Pittsburgh, but still is among the Big East leaders in most pitching categories.
  • Honorable mention: Neil Holland (UofL), Matt Ridings (WKU), Rye Davis (WKU), Matt Little (UK), Chris Craycraft (Murray St.)

BluGrass Baseball Freshman of Year: LHP Taylor Rogers (UK)

  • Stats: 4-3, 4.86 ERA, 22 SO/8 BB, 50 IP
  • Several Kentucky freshman have enjoyed standout seasons in their college debuts, but none have consistently performed against better competition than Taylor Rogers. The freshman burst onto the scene with seven and two-thirds shutout innings in his collegiate debut against West Virginia and hasn’t looked back. Only hiccups against Monmouth and Arkansas have kept Rogers from being in the running for best pitcher in the state, not just best freshman.
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Huck (WKU), Colton Moore (Murray St.), Kyle Grieshaber (UofL), Ryne Purcell (EKU)