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Tompkins Selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 MBL Draft

Tompkins Selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 MBL Draft

Posted on 08 June 2014 by Allen

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WKU Baseball junior left-handed pitcher Ian Tompkins was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 14th round with the 423rd overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft on Saturday.

Tompkins is the eighth Hilltopper pitcher taken since 2009 and the highest selected since Phil Wetherell was taken in the eighth round by the New York Yankees in the 2011 MLB Draft. Tompkins will become the 103rd player in WKU history to sign a professional baseball contract and the 20th player to sign professionally since 2008.

The Louisville, Ky., native and St. Xavier High School alum is the eighth WKU player to join the Royals organization, joining Rob Tomberlin (1985), Gerald Ingram (1988), Doug Piatt (1988), Colby Beach (2008), Matt Ridings (2010), Brian Edelen (2011) and Andrew Edwards (2013).

Taking on the role as WKU’s primary closer as a junior in 2014, Tompkins led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked among the nation’s leaders with 14 saves. The southpaw struck out 46 batters in 26 innings for a career high strikeouts per nine innings clip of 15.92. He finished his career with 161 strikeouts in 117 innings, which ranks him third among active NCAA pitchers with a career strikeouts per nine innings mark of 12.38.

Tompkins was selected as the lone relief pitcher on the All-Sun Belt Conference First-Team, was named to the Midseason NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list and set WKU’s single-season saves record with 14 during his junior campaign. He also excelled in the classroom with a cumulative GPA of 3.78 as an accounting major, which led to him being named to the Capital One Academic All-America® Third-Team on May 30.

He finishes his WKU career as the program’s single-season saves record holder (14) and ranks second all-time with 18 career saves. Tompkins was a spot starter for the Hilltoppers as a freshman in 2012, making nine starts on the mound while striking out 56 batters in 55.2 innings. He moved to the back end of the bullpen as a sophomore and combined to strike out 105 batters in 61.1 innings of work while racking up 18 saves.

Tompkins will join former WKU players Andrew Edwards, Ryan Huck, Phil Wetherell, Kes Carter, Terrence Dayleg and Wade Gaynor as active Hilltoppers in the professional ranks.

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Fant Named All-Sun Belt Conference; Harrison-Docks Freshman of the Year

Fant Named All-Sun Belt Conference; Harrison-Docks Freshman of the Year

Posted on 11 March 2014 by Jimmy

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WKU juniors T.J. Price and George Fant were named All-Sun Belt Conference and redshirt-freshman Chris Harrison-Docks was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, the league announced Tuesday.

Price and Fant were second-team and third-team selections, respectively, in 2013-14, which matches their placements after their sophomore seasons of 2012-13. Price was a preseason first-team pick heading into this season, and Fant was selected to the second team at the start of the season. Price and Fant are also the last two Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Players, with Fant winning after WKU’s 2012 title and Price after the Hilltopper win last season.

Harrison-Docks becomes the fourth Hilltopper to be named Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, joining Derek Robinson (1998-99), Anthony Winchester (2002-03) and Courtney Lee (2004-05).

Price has put together an outstanding junior season at WKU, as he leads in the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game and is shooting 36.5 percent from three-point range. He ranks 10th in the conference in scoring and 13th in three-point shooting, and he sits fifth in the league with an average of 2.5 made triples per contest. Price has led WKU in scoring in a game 12 times, and the Slidell, La., native has eight 20-point games and 24 double-digit scoring outings this season. Price is also converting at a 77.1 percent clip from the free throw line.

Fant has been a force for WKU as a junior in 2013-14 despite routinely facing double-teams from the opposition. He is second on the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game and leads the squad in rebounding with 6.8 boards per contest, and he is shooting 53.5 percent from the field. His scoring total is good for 18th in the conference, and his rebounding figure places him seventh. In conference games Fant is averaging 6.9 rebounds per game, which ranks fourth in league play. The Bowling Green, Ky., native has led WKU in scoring 10 times in 2013-14 and in rebounding 15 times, and he has four double-doubles on the season.

Despite only playing half of the season due to NCAA transfer requirements, Harrison-Docks has been a steadying force for WKU at the point guard position during his rookie season. He is averaging 10.0 points and 2.2 assists per game, and he is shooting 86.7 percent from free throw range (52-for-60). He is third on the team with 12 double-figure scoring games in 2013-14, and his assist total ranks 14th in the conference in just 23 games played. The Okemos, Mich., native sits third in the nation amongst freshman in free throw shooting.

WKU begins its quest for a third-straight Sun Belt Conference Tournament championships Saturday at 4:30 PM (CT) in the semifinals. Should WKU advance, the championship game will be on Selection Sunday at noon (CT) on ESPN2.

Tickets for the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Tournament are now on sale through the WKU Ticket Office. Each ticket book contains eight tickets. There are a total of eight sessions, with sessions 1-6 including two games each. Session seven features the women’s championship game, and session eight is the men’s championship game. Ticket books cost $99.00, and seats are general admission. To purchase tickets please contact the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or 745-5222 locally, or order online at WKUSports.com.

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Western Kentucky upsets No. 4 Vanderbilt 3-2

Western Kentucky upsets No. 4 Vanderbilt 3-2

Posted on 25 February 2014 by Allen

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WKU Baseball scored three runs in the first five innings at No. 4 Vanderbilt Tuesday night and the Hilltoppers (6-2) would never relinquish their lead as they took down the Commodores 3-2 for their highest-ranked win in program history.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Josh Bartley tossed a career-high six innings and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, holding a Vanderbilt (7-1) offense averaging seven runs a game to three hits and two runs. Bartley retired 13-straight batters between the first and fifth innings and struck out a career high four batters. Bartley picked up the third win of his career, which have all come against Top 10 nationally ranked teams.

WKU has now defeated eight Top 25 teams since 2008, five of which have been ranked Top 10. No. 4 Vanderbilt represents the highest ranked team the Hilltoppers have ever defeated. Head coach Matt Myers has been at the helm for four of those wins, as WKU has knocked off No. 8 Louisville, No. 8/No. 24 Kentucky and now No. 4 Vanderbilt.

Senior second baseman Scott Wilcox and freshman Hunter Wood provided the offensive spark early, with both rapping out two hits and combining for three RBI in the first five innings. Wilcox finished the night 2-of-5 at the plate with two RBI, marking his 50th career multiple hit game and 13th career multi-RBI effort.

The Hilltoppers held Vanderbilt scoreless until the sixth inning when the Commodores plated a pair of runs via Xander Wiel’s two-run double to left field. WKU ran into a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning after four walks from the Hilltopper bullpen, but junior Brandon Allen popped Bryan Reynolds up to first baseman Ryan Church to get WKU out of the frame unscathed.

Allen retired two more batters in the eighth before junior closer Ian Tompkins came in to shut the door on the Commodores. Tompkins, a NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List member, struck out Ro Coleman to end the eighth and took the Commodores down in order during the ninth to earn his fourth save of the year. Tompkins leads the Sun Belt Conference with four saves and has not surrendered an earned run in his last 10 appearances dating back to April 28, 2013.

Sophomore Trevor Lowe continued his hot streak at the plate with another career-high tying three hits, finishing his night 3-of-4 with a run scored. Junior Philip Diedrick recorded a pair of hits as well, including his first career triple.

The Hilltoppers pounded out 10 hits versus a Vanderbilt pitching staff that entered the game holding batters to a .139 batting average. WKU did not record an error for the third- consecutive game and has now strung together four-straight games with 10 hits or more.

WKU puts its 6-2 record to the test against stiff competition this weekend at the Keith LeClair Classic, as the Hilltoppers face East Carolina Friday, Ohio State Saturday and Pittsburgh on Sunday in Greenville, N.C. For more information on WKU Baseball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUBaseball or visit WKUSports.com.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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