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Renovations Begin For EKU Baseball & Softball Stadiums

Renovations Begin For EKU Baseball & Softball Stadiums

Posted on 29 June 2016 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – Construction and renovation on the Eastern Kentucky University baseball and softball facilities has begun.

The baseball and softball projects are expected to be completed in March. Athletic facility renovations and expansions are funded through agency bonds sold in 2015.

As part of a widespread improvement to athletic facilities across the Eastern Kentucky campus, the designs are intended to blend with the original campus architecture, while creating modern sports facilities, which will add to both the student-athlete and fan experience.

These newly renovated facilities will also serve the local and regional communities. Modern facilities like these will attract events such as high school tournaments, club tournaments and camps, bringing many prospective students to EKU’s campus each year.

The transforming renovations will include new team locker rooms, indoor hitting facilities and office space for coaches. In addition, new team dugouts and climate controlled press boxes, which will accommodate enhanced radio and video broadcasts, will be added. Both facilities will feature banners celebrating the accomplishment of former and current Colonel student-athletes.

The indoor hitting facilities will provide the teams with an area to practice during any weather conditions.

The baseball facility will add a new grandstand featuring a brick façade and more than 900 seats, including 429 chair back seats, along with handicap-accessible seating and a new concession area equipped with restrooms. Also being added is an entry plaza for pregame gatherings. A canopy will provide coverage for fans in the stands, and improve the pitcher’s view of home plate.

“We are thrilled with the upgrade of our baseball facilities,” EKU Head Baseball Coach Edwin Thompson said. “This is going to benefit the student-athlete experience for our current and future players. The development of players and the fan experience will be greatly impacted as well. We are grateful for the leadership from President Michael Benson and Director of Athletics Stephen Lochmueller to help enhance the vision of our baseball program.”

Meanwhile, the EKU softball facility will feature improved field drainage at the dugouts and enhanced outfield decks ideal for informal gatherings. The newly renovated grandstand will also feature a brick façade and accommodate more than 400 spectators.

“Our new facility is going to be a game changer,” EKU Softball Head Coach Jane Worthington said. “Not only will it positively impact our recruiting process, but it will also allow us to have more efficient and effective practices. We are fortunate to have the support from President Benson, Director of Athletics Stephen Lochmueller, as well as other administrators. I am excited to watch the building proceed and eventually see the final project.”

The projects were designed by Murphy, Graves, Trimble, PLLC (Lexington, Kentucky) and Rosser International, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia). The Codell Construction Company of Winchester will oversee the project.

The new baseball stadium will be named in honor of Hall of Famer Earle Combs. While a student at Eastern Kentucky, through persuasion of his friends and the students who saw him hit two home runs against the faculty in a practice game, he decided to go out for the Eastern team. He immediately became a member of the team and a hero to the students, slamming at least one home run in every game he played and compiling a .596 batting average that first year.

Combs played for the New York Yankees from 1924-35, compiling a lifetime batting average of .325. He was the leadoff hitter for the great “Murderer’s Row” Yankee teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York, July 26, 1970.

Combs also served as Chairman of EKU’s Board of Regents.

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Belmont Ralles Past EKU

Belmont Ralles Past EKU

Posted on 19 March 2016 by Bret Shroats

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NASHVILLE, Tenn – Two big homeruns from Daniel McFarland wasn’t enough for the Eastern Kentucky Colonels as the Belmont Bruins win 6-5.

The three run shot in the second inning was McFarland first career homerun.

Kyle Nowlin would add a run in the fourth with a RBI on a fielders choice to make it 4-0.

Belmont (10-8, 1-1 OVC) would start their rally in the fourth with a 3 run shot to cut the EKU (10-9, 1-4 OVC) lead to 4-3.

Belmont would take a 5-4 lead in the fifth.

Daniel McFarland would hit another homerun to tie it up 5-5.

Belmont would drive in the game winning run in the sixth.

EKU and Belmont will play in the rubber match at 2 pm tomorrow.

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Colonels Pick Up First OVC Win at Belmont in a Pitchers Dual

Colonels Pick Up First OVC Win at Belmont in a Pitchers Dual

Posted on 19 March 2016 by Bret Shroats

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NASHVILLE, Tenn – Eastern Kentucky baseball team kept their winning ways going Friday in Nashville beating the Belmont Bruins 2-1.

All of the scoring for both teams would occur in the third and fourth innings. Daniel McFarland stole home to give the Colonels (10-8, 1-3 OVC) a 1-0 lead. A Doug Teagarden Single would score Luke Starnes giving EKU a 2-0 lead.

Belmont (9-8, 0-1) would score a run in the fourth to cut the lead to 2-1.

Pitching would be key in this game for both teams but lead EKU to the victory. Eric Nerl allowed just one run in eight innings of work while striking out 5 Bruins.

Caleb Johnson came in to close it out in the ninth and picked up his second save of the season.

EKU and Belmont will play game 2 Saturday at 2 pm.

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Eastern Kentucky Rallies Past Alabama A&M

Eastern Kentucky Rallies Past Alabama A&M

Posted on 17 March 2016 by Bret Shroats

EKU Baseball Doug Teegarden

HUNTSVILLE, Ala – After starting off a little sluggish from beating #13 Mississippi State about 14 and a half hours earlier in Mississippi the Eastern Kentucky Colonels would finally awake for a big 5th inning and get back above .500 on the season with a win over Alambama A&M 11-6.

Alabama A&M (4-14) would capitalize on the slow start early by EKU scoring a run in each of the first three innings.

Eastern (9-8) would finally get on the board in the fifth inning and they would do it in a big way. Shea Sullivan would start the inning off with a RBI single. Matt Olive would follow suit with a 2 run single to give the Colonels a lead at 4-3 and Kyle Nowlin would add a RBI a groundout. Mandy Alvarez, who began the inning with a single, would clear the bases with a 3 run bomb to give the Colonels a 8-3 lead.

An Alabama A&M error in the 6th would allow Matt Olive to score to extend the Colonels lead to 9-3.

Alabama A&M would add a run in the 6th to cut their deficit to 9-4.

Alex Holderbach would score two runs to bring it to 11-4 in the 8th. However, Alabama A&M would add two runs themselves to give us a final of 11-6.

Brandon Smither would come in to pitch in the 5th with 1 out and pick up his first win of the season. Smither would go 2.2 innings giving up just 1 run and 1 strikeout.

Doug Teegarden would go 0-1 with 5 walks on the game. Only 2 other players in the nation have been walked 5 times in a single game. Nick Senzel of Tennessee and Nick Solak of Louisville are the other players.

Eastern Kentucky will now travel to Nashville, Tenn for a 3 game series vs Belmont starting on Friday at 5 pm.

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Eastern Kentucky UPSETS #13 Mississippi State 16-12

Eastern Kentucky UPSETS #13 Mississippi State 16-12

Posted on 16 March 2016 by Bret Shroats

EKU Baseball Kenny Hostrander

STARKVILLE, Ms – Eastern Kentucky would enter the 8th inning down to #13 Mississippi State Bulldogs 12-6 on the road in Starkeville, MS but a 8th inning rally would tie and the Colonels would finish the upset bid in the 10th inning beating the Bulldogs 16-12.

Mississippi State (12-4-1) would start the game off as expected giving themselves a 3-0 lead in the first. Mississippi State would add a run in the third to take a 4-0 lead.

Eastern Kentucky (8-8) would finally get on the board in the 4th inning with a Matt Olive RBI single.

However, the Bulldogs would add a run in the fourth to give themselves a 5-1 lead going into the 5th inning. MSU would also add a two runs in the 5th giving them a 7-1 lead.

EKU would slowly awake in the 6th inning. After back to back singles to open the inning, Shea Sullivan gets hit by a pitch. Cole Warrenfeltz gets draws a walk to make it 7-2. Matt Olive would get a RBI groundout and Warrenfeltz would score on a wild pitch to get the Colonels within 3 runs.

Unforunately, Mississippi State would get some of those runs back taking a 9-4 lead into the 7th.

Once again, the Colonels would cut into the lead in the 7th. Matt Alvarez would homer to bring the score to 9-6 Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs would have a big 7th inning to give them a 12-6 lead going into the 8th inning.

Eastern Kentucky would take over the game from here on out.

Warrenfeltz and Olive would single to begin the inning. Coach Thompson would bring in Hostrander to run for Olive. A Doug Teegarden sacrifice fly would bring in Warrenfeltz. Kyle Nowlin would then homer to clear the bases and make it 12-10. Shea Sulivan would double later in the inning scoring Ben Fisher and Matt Alvarez to tie it all up at 12-12 in the 8th.

Caleb Johnson would come in to pitch and absolutely shut down the Bulldogs pitching 3 innings give up 1 hit, no runs, and strike out 4 Bulldogs to pick up the win on the mound.

EKU would take the lead in the 10th after Shea Sullivan singled to bring in Teegarden. Warrenfeltz would follow suit with a RBI singk to give the Colonels a 14-12 lead. A wild pitch would score Sullivan. Then Hostrander would drive in Warrenfeltz to give the Colonels a 16-12 win.

Kyle Nowlin would go 2-5 with a HR and 3 RBI and 2 Runs scored. Shea Sullivan would also go 2-4, with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored.

EKU will play at Alabama A&M tomorrow at 4:00 pm.

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SEMO Sweeps EKU Over the Weekend

SEMO Sweeps EKU Over the Weekend

Posted on 12 March 2016 by Bret Shroats

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RICHMOND, KY – The OVC pre-season favorite, SEMO Redhawks, swept the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels over the weekend.

In game 1, it was all about the pitching as SEMO would win 2-1 with the winning run coming off a wild pitch.

In game 2, SEMO showed why they are the OVC favorites this year by jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first.

SEMO would continue to stretch out their lead through 4.5 innings having a 7-0 lead.

That’s when Luke Wurzelbacher would put the Colonels on the board finally with a RBI single. Shea Sullivan would get into a pickle but that would allow Ben Fisher to cut the score to 7-2.

EKU would start a rally in the 8th getting the bases loaded with 2 out but they could only get one run across and would lose game two of the series 7-3.

In game three of the series the Colonels would look to avoid getting swept. Much like game one on Friday night, it would be a pitchers dual.

No runs would be scored until the 9th inning when SEMO took a 1-0 lead.

Eastern would rally with a RBI from Matt Alvarez and send the game into extra innings.

The game would go 12 innings and SEMO would win 4-1.

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EKU Rally Falls Short at Lipscomb in Game 2

EKU Rally Falls Short at Lipscomb in Game 2

Posted on 20 February 2016 by Bret Shroats

NASHVILLE, Tn – Lipscomb Bison edge Eastern Kentucky Colonels in a defensive battle 4-2.

Shea Sullivan would put the Colonels (1-1) up first 1-0 in the second.

Lipscomb (1-1) used an EKU error and small ball to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

Lipscomb added a run in the sixth and seventh making it 4-1.

EKU would begin their rally in the 8th with a Matt Olive single cutting the Lipscomb lead to 4-2. The Colonels would stand runners at first and second with Kyle Nowlin on deck.

Unfortunately, that’s where the rally ended for EKU.

The rubber match will be Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

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EKU Baseball Begins the Edwin Thompson Era off with a W

EKU Baseball Begins the Edwin Thompson Era off with a W

Posted on 20 February 2016 by Bret Shroats

NASHVILLE, Tn – On July 2, 2015  Edwin Thompson was named the head coach of the Eastern Kentucky University baseball team. On February 19, 2016 he picked up his first win as a head coach beating Lipscomb University 13-7 in front of 676 people.

The win didn’t come easy though. Eastern Kentucky (1-0) travelled to Lipscomb University (0-1) for a 3 game weekend series. Last season Lipscomb was the Atlantic Sun champions going 39-20.

Eastern Kentucky jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first with 2 outs thanks to a Ben Fisher RBI single and a Shea Sullivan 2 run blast. Kyle Nowlin added a run on a ground out play.

The Bison of Lipscomb would battle back for the first time. The Bison tied the game with three in the fourth and one in the fifth.

Shea Sullivan would give the Colonels the lead back in the 7th inning but after stretching out the Bison tied it up again.

That’s when the fireworks started in Nashville. Kyle Nowlin put the Colonels in front 6-5 in the eighth with a sacrifice fly.  Two batters later, and with two outs, Mandy Alvarez drove in two runs with a single to left center. 

Lipscomb rallied again to bring it to within one in the bottom of the eighth.

Eastern pulled away in the ninth with a Kyle Nowlin grand slam, his first of the year. He led the nation in home runs last season. The grand slam would seal the win for EKU.

On the mound to start for Lipscomb was a transfer from LSU. Eric Nerl started for EKU going 4 innings with 1 strike out and 3 earned runs.

Caleb Johnson would get the win for EKU going 1.2 innings striking out 4 batters and giving up 1 earned run.

Brian Mroz would get the save.

Eastern and Lipscomb play game 2 tomorrow at 3:00.

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Edwin Thompson To Lead EKU Baseball Program

Edwin Thompson To Lead EKU Baseball Program

Posted on 02 July 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – Edwin Thompson, who in the last five seasons has recruited and coached 11 All-Americans and 24 players who went on to play professional baseball, has been chosen as the new head baseball coach at Eastern Kentucky University.

Thompson spent the last three seasons at Georgia State University. He served as the pitching coach for the Panthers in 2013 and 2014 before being promoted to Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Coordinator before the 2015 season. His 2015 recruiting class is ranked by Perfect Game as one of the top-100 recruiting classes in the country.

“I am extremely excited to welcome Coach Thompson to Eastern Kentucky University and the Colonel Nation,” Director of Athletics Steve Lochmueller said. “Edwin brings great energy, character and a set of skills that will elevate our vision for EKU baseball while maintaining the NCAA model for the student-athlete experience.”

Thompson helped Georgia State to a pair of 30-win seasons in his three years on the staff. The 2013 squad won 35 games, the third most in program history. This past season, the Panthers qualified for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in just their second season in the league. GSU beat Georgia Southern in the first round.

“I want to thank Director of Athletics Steve Lochmueller and the entire search committee for this amazing opportunity to join the Eastern Kentucky University family and the Richmond community,” Thompson said. “EKU has a great standard of academic and athletic excellence along with a strong baseball tradition and I am honored to lead the baseball program. I truly respect President Benson’s vision for EKU and the athletic department’s commitment to fostering success; my goals for the baseball program will support both. I am looking forward to meeting our current baseball players, alumni, and supporters and sharing my excitement about the program.”

In addition, under Thompson’s guidance the 2015 team ranked in the top-25 in the nation in double plays and improved its fielding percentage by .011 percent to .965. He mentored three first team all-conference selections this past season.

In the classroom, the Panthers posted a team grade-point-average of 3.0 or above each of the last three years with Thompson serving as the program’s academic liaison. The team’s 3.18 GPA this spring semester was the highest in the last eight years. He also implemented and directed the annual Martin Luther King Jr. free baseball clinic.

In addition to coaching at Georgia State, Thompson has spent the last two years working with USA Baseball. His roles have included evaluating players for the USA 18U National Team and coaching the 17U National Development Program.

“Edwin Thompson is one the top young recruiters in the nation,” said Shaun Cole, Director of the USA Baseball 18U National Team Program. “His ability to work with hitters and pitchers makes him a well-rounded head coach. Coach Thompson has a high level of integrity and passion for college baseball. Edwin is a great hire.”

Before joining the Georgia State program, Thompson spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons at Duke University as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Following the 2012 campaign, Thompson served as the interim head coach for one month. While working with the Blue Devils, his 2012 recruiting class was recognized by Baseball America as one of the top recruiting classes in the South and rated among the top-35 in the nation by Perfect Game. The group included four future Major League Baseball draft picks.

Thompson worked with a total of 12 players at Duke that would go on to play professional baseball, including current Toronto Blue Jay Marcus Stroman. Stroman, the 22nd pick in the 2012 MLB draft, was the first-ever Duke player chosen in the first round.

Thompson compiled a 37-33 record in two seasons (2009 & 2010) as the head coach at NCAA Division III Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He led the program to a school record 25 wins. Thompson’s coaching career began at the University of Maine at Farmington where he served four seasons (2005-08) as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

The Jay, Maine native played collegiately at Howard University and the University of Maryland before concluding his career at Webber University in Babson Park, Florida where he helped the team to a school record 37 wins and its first-ever regional appearance. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in general business at Webber in 2003.

Thompson played one year for the Bangor Lumberjacks in the independent Northeast League before starting his coaching career. Thompson is married to the former Cameron Warren.

What Others Are Saying About Edwin Thompson
“I am so happy for coach Edwin Thompson to be named Head Coach at Eastern Kentucky University. EKU has hit a grand slam with this hiring. Coach Thompson is ready in every way to be a great head coach. He is professional, hard working, loyal and a great role model for student-athletes. He will be missed at Georgia State baseball, but I am extremely proud to see him move up the coaching ranks.”
Greg Frady, Head Coach, Georgia State University

“Eastern Kentucky has made a tremendous addition to its athletic department and campus as a whole with the hiring of Edwin Thompson as the new head baseball coach. First and foremost, he is a principled, honest man who has a special capacity to teach and lead in an easy going, authentic manner. He will connect with the players, bring in a top flight staff, and work tirelessly to elevate the program on and off the field. His deep national recruiting connections will be essential in helping Eastern Kentucky baseball take a big step forward. Simply put, the program is in the hands of a dedicated and caring individual who will pour his heart and soul into his players and the community. Great hire!”
Sean McNally, Former Head Coach, Duke University, Currently Pittsburgh Pirates Pro Scout

“Eastern Kentucky made a ‘world class’ hire relative to Edwin Thompson. Edwin will be a great citizen of the university, an outstanding teacher/mentor/coach, a stellar recruiter, and a strong and determined leader that will operate with impeccable integrity. Just a great hire for EKU, for college baseball, and for college athletics generally.”
Kevin White, Director of Athletics, Duke University

“I think Eastern Kentucky made a great decision in selecting Edwin Thompson as their next head coach. His passionate, charismatic work ethic and his attention to detail will be something his players will feed off of for their future success. I won’t be surprised to see him take Eastern Kentucky to another level very quickly.”
Dave Serrano, Head Coach, University of Tennessee

“Eastern Kentucky just hired one of the young bright minds with a high ceiling to run its program. Edwin is a guy of high character and tireless worker that relates well to players, families, professional scouts and anyone he comes in contact with. His open mind to learn and stay humble in the process will continue to be a strong asset as he takes this next step into being a head coach. I have watched his progression since he entered into college coaching as an assistant and feel strongly that overall his future is bright. I wish him and the family at Eastern Kentucky nothing but the best moving forward with its baseball program.”
Danny Montgomery, Special Assistant to the GM, Colorado Rockies

“I’m really excited for Edwin to have this opportunity at Eastern Kentucky. I’ve known him for a long time as a coach and a friend. He is a hard worker, highly motivated and passionate. He will parlay that into something very special at EKU. Edwin really has a knack for recruiting. He’s a great people person and has a lot of contacts.”
Jack Leggett, American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer and Former Head Coach, Clemson University

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Kyle Nowlin Drafted By The Philadelphia Phillies

Kyle Nowlin Drafted By The Philadelphia Phillies

Posted on 10 June 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky junior Kyle Nowlin was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 30th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday. Nowlin was the ninth pick in the 30th round and the 894th selection overall.

Nowlin batted .326 with 19 home runs, 45 RBIs and 49 runs scored this past season. He also had a .690 slugging percentage, a .438 on-base percentage and 18 stolen bases.

The Harrison, Ohio native is currently tied for first in the nation in home runs, is alone in first with an average of 0.38 home runs per game and ranks sixth in slugging.

Nowlin finished his junior campaign among the top-10 in the OVC in slugging (1st), home runs (1st) and stolen bases (t-4th). In OVC games only, the 6-foot-1 outfielder was among the top-10 in the conference in nine categories – home runs (1st), slugging (1st), total base (t-1st), walks (4th), stolen bases (t-4th), on-base percentage (5th), RBIs (6th), batting average (7th) and runs scored (7th).

Nowlin is the 11th Colonel drafted by Major League Baseball in the last 13 years and the first since Anthony Bazzani and Richie Rodriguez were drafted in 2012.

Nowlin tied the EKU record with three home runs in a game, twice this season. He went 3-for-4 with three home runs, three runs scored and four RBIs at Morehead State on March 28. At home against Jacksonville State, Nowlin was 3-for-6 with three home runs, three runs scored and seven driven in.

From Feb. 25 to April 15, Nowlin reached base safely in 26 straight games.

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