A tip of the cap to Adam Revelette, general manager of the Lexington Hustlers, for providing a season preview. …
The Lexington Hustlers open up their third season of play in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League on Friday, and possess a roster that gives head coach Kyle Medley a multitude of options. Lexington will represent 18 different collegiate institutions, several of which include conference champions and NCAA postseason contenders.
Hustlers season tickets will be on sale through Friday, and are $25/person. Upon purchase, season ticket holders will be put on a pass list that will get them into all regular season home games. General admission tickets are $5 each.
Here is a positional breakdown of the 2012 Hustlers roster:
The 2012 Hustlers will flash some impressive leather at all infield positions. Morehead State’s Chase Greenwell had a phenomenal spring, batting .338 with a team-high 16 doubles in 2012. The Elizabethtown native also fielded an impressive .947 at shortstop for the Eagles.
Taylor Rozier will see most of his time at first base this summer, but can also play corner outfield. This past spring, Rozier batted .250 with six doubles in 29 games for Wofford College.
Corey Bays played in 20 games for Murray State as a true freshman, starting eight. Bays is an alum of Henry Clay High School, where the Hustlers will play their home games this summer.
Nick Sergakis, who redshirted this past season for Southern Conference champion Coastal Carolina, and Olney Central’s Caleb Eickhoff — who played for Medley’s Marion Bobcats last summer — will also play several infield positions over the summer. Another solid option is Matt Phipps, who played in 37 games for EKU in 2012, starting eight.
Also expected to be a solid contributor is Middle Tennessee’s Johnny Thomas, who was recently named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team. The native of Louisiana started all 59 games for the Blue Raiders this season, batting at a .277 clip with a team-leading 17 doubles and seven home runs. He made just five errors all season, turning in a sparkling .982 fielding percentage.
“We were really impressed with the success our infielders had this past spring, particularly with defense,” said Medley. “We know these guys are going to hit, but the ability to make the average play and to turn double plays is going to be very important. I also really like that most of these guys can play second, third and shortstop.”
The Hustlers will boast an extremely talented and athletic core of outfielders this summer.
“I’m really excited to watch these guys play,” added Medley. “They all can really go get it in the outfield, and are going to be all over the base paths this summer.”
Duran Elmore, who made the OVC All-Freshman Team, started 50 games as a freshman at Morehead State, clubbing three home runs and swiping 16 bases for the Eagles.
David Simmons, who started 33 games for Western Kentucky, also has lightning speed and the ability to play all three outfield positions.
Matt Honchel, who earned MAC Freshman of the Year honors and was also a First-Team All-MAC selection, won the conference batting title, turning in a .401 clip during the regular season for the Miami Redhawks. Honchel, who prepped at Mercer County High School, led all NCAA freshmen in batting average.
2011 Great Lakes League All-Star Sam Kidd, who transferred from UK to Delta State, also returns for the summer. The Statesmen, who were NCAA Division II national runner-ups in 2012, started Kidd (who hit .310 with four homers and stole 19 bases) in all 64 of their games this season.
Medley will have the luxury of rotating three catchers in 2012, including Ryan Akins, who hit a blistering .340 at Berea College as a freshman. The versatile Stephen Hoagland will see action behind the plate and in both the infield and outfield this summer. The former Lexington Christian Academy standout appeared in eight games for Kentucky, who climbed to No. 1 in national polls this past spring. Steve Ferraro played in 25 games for OVC Champion Eastern Kentucky in 2012, starting 10.
The 2012 Hustlers will feature a balanced pitching staff this summer, with seven left-handers and seven right-handed arms.
“I’m looking forward to watching these guys settle into roles this summer,” said Medley. “We’re wide open in terms of our starting rotation and who were use out of the pen.”
Lefty Austin Clay went 4-4 in his freshman campaign at Western Kentucky, and emerged as one of the Hilltoppers’ top starting pitchers in 2012.
Connor Asay returns to the Hustlers for 2012. The versatile right-hander, who redshirted at USC-Sumpter this past season, threw 34.2 innings for the Hustlers in 2011 and started three games.
Brent Cobb pitched in 25 games for EKU this past spring, holding opponents to a .239 batting average against. Fellow Colonel Austin Rexroat, who appeared in 15 games, will also bolster the bullpen for the Hustlers in 2012. RHP Clay Cinnamon, another Mercer County product, appeared in eight games for Miami University, starting two.
Southpaw Jordan Cooper maintained a 3.74 ERA for Middle Tennessee in 2012, holding opposing batters to a .220 batting average.
Left-handers Jakson Deyer and Clay Hall, who redshirted at Louisville and Georgetown (respectively) this past season, will also contribute valuable innings for Lexington.
Western Kentucky’s Ian Tompkins, who averaged better than a strikeout per inning in 21 appearances, is another southpaw that joins the squad for the summer.
RHP Trent Martin, who will be a redshirt freshman at Morehead State next fall, is a hard-throwing option out of the bullpen.
Georgetown College’s Shaun Meyer went 3-0 for the Tigers, owning a masterful 1.27 ERA. He surrendered just 18 hits in 35.1 innings, good for a .145 batting average against.
LHP Jake Hall went 5-3 with a 3.78 ERA at Lincoln Trail this past season. Logan Shaftner owned a 2-0 record for Parkland College, turning in a 4.82 ERA for the Cobras. Both will contend for starting roles.
Rounding out the staff, southpaw Matthew Miller will also see substantial innings for the Hustlers. Miller pitched in 20 games for the Atlantic 10 Champion Dayton Flyers.
“It’s going to be a blast to watch our players develop this summer,” Medley said. “Everyone in our organization is looking forward to a truly great season.”
The Hustlers host the Xenia Scouts on June 8 to open up their Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League season. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. All fans in attendance will receive a free magnetic schedule, while supplies last.