EKU Announces All-Century Baseball Team

RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University Department of Athletics unveiled its All-Century Baseball Team in a special ceremony at the annual Diamond Legacy Dinner on Saturday night in the Keen Johnson Ballroom. Twenty-one of the 29 players and coaches on the team were able to attend the event, while two others were represented by family.

The All-Century Baseball Team is made up of the following positions: infielders (nine), outfielders (seven), pitchers (six), catchers (three), utility players (two) and coaches (two).

Eastern Kentucky University is celebrating ‘100 Years of EKU Baseball’ during the 2011 season. The storied program, which first fielded a team during the 2011 season, has won 19 Ohio Valley Conference Championships (regular season and tournament), advanced to four NCAA Regionals and produced 21 All-Americans, nine OVC Players of the Year and 97 All-OVC players.

Below is a list of the All-Century Baseball Team members:

Infielders

*** Frank Borgia (1966-68)

Borgia started at shortstop for Eastern for three seasons and was selected first-team All-OVC twice. He batted .475 in 1968 which still stands as the modern record at Eastern for highest single season batting average. He finished sixth in the nation in batting in 1968 and stole 18 bases in 19 attempts as a freshman in 1966.

*** Jimmy Cain (1967-69)

Cain was a two-year All-OVC third baseman for the Colonels who batted .395 and .400 in those two seasons. His junior year, he finished second in the nation in home runs and runs batted in per game while being named the team’s Most Valuable Player. He was also a member of the 1967 OVC championship squad.

*** Lee Chapman (1997-2000)

Chapman started four years for the Colonels at first base and received All-OVC recognition his junior and senior seasons. Still the holder of five Eastern school records, he hit 52 career home runs and knocked in 210 runs at EKU, while stealing 47 bases and collecting a .329 batting average.

*** Clay Elswick (1983-86)

Elswick was a four-year letterman and three-year starter for the Colonels at first base from 1983-86. His senior year, he posted totals of 20 home runs, 82 RBI, a .426 batting average and was selected OVC Player of the Year in leading the Colonels to a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

*** Frank Kremblas (1986-89)

Kremblas was a two-time All-OVC performer that played both second base and catcher during his days at Eastern. He batted .381 as a junior with seven home runs, 43 RBI and 21 stolen bases, and he was a 23rd round draft choice of the Cincinnati Reds.

*** Jayson Langfels (2008-10)

Langfels started at third base all three years he played for Eastern and was a first team All-OVC choice the past two years. EKU’s all-time leader in triples with 18, he turned in a fantastic 2009 season when he hit .441 with six triples, 12 home runs and 72 RBI. He finished his EKU career with 203 hits, 32 home runs, 161 runs batted in and a .364 batting average. He was drafted this past June in the 16th round by the Colorado Rockies.

*** Arnold Nyulassy (1965-68)

Nyulassy was a three-time All-OVC first baseman who hit .378 as a junior in 1967 and was part of an Eastern infield that turned 38 double plays in 29 games.

*** Neil Sellers (2001-04)

Sellers was a three-time All-OVC third baseman and is listed in the EKU record books for RBI, hits, at bats, doubles and home runs. His career totals at Eastern include 41 home runs, 62 doubles, 279 hits and 214 runs batted in while compiling a four-year batting average of .353. Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 32nd round of the 2004 draft, he is now a member of the Florida Marlins’ organization after playing the previous three years in the Philadelphia Phillies’ organization.

*** Jason Sharp (1997-2000)

Sharp was a four-year starter for EKU and received all-conference notice from the OVC in 1998 and 1999. He played both shortstop and third base in his career for the Colonels and had career totals of 32 home runs, 145 runs batted in and a .337 batting average.

Outfielders

*** Josh Anderson (2001-03)

Anderson was the OVC Player of the Year in 2003 and Eastern’s first-ever, first-team Louisville Slugger All-American choice after leading the nation in stolen bases with 57 and batting a national third-best .447 his junior year. He was a fourth round draft selection of the Houston Astros and has played for four major league teams. Anderson was also a three-time all-conference selection and is an EKU Athletics Hall of Fame member.

*** Joe Banko (1989-90)

Banko was a two-time All-OVC player for the Colonels and was a member of the 1989 OVC champion and NCAA Tournament Eastern squad that won 39 games. An All-South Region performer, his two-year career statistics showed him with a .341 batting average, 17 home runs and 89 runs batted in while stealing 64 bases.

*** Brandon Berger (1994-96)

Berger was drafted after his junior season at Eastern in the 14th round by the Kansas City Royals. He received all-conference recognition his last two seasons at Eastern and batted .301 with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in his final year as a Colonel.

*** Earle Combs (1920)

Combs is the most decorated of anyone selected to the team as he was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970. The highlight of his Eastern experience came in 1920 when he batted .596 and hit at least one home run in all 12 games the Maroons played. He later had a fabulous 12-year career with the New York Yankees where he finished with a .325 career batting average. He batted leadoff and played centerfield for what is considered the best baseball team of all-time, the 1927 Murderer’s Row Yankees’ team.

*** Robert Moore (1985-87)

A three-time first team All-OVC selection, Moore posted career numbers of 54 doubles, 11 triples, a .386 batting average and 67 stolen bases. As a junior in 1987, he had 12 consecutive hits, one short of the NCAA record and was named OVC Player of the Year. He was a 16th round draft choice of the Kansas City Royals.

*** Sean Murray (1998-99)

Murray was a two-year All-OVC pick. In his two seasons with the Colonels, he had career totals of 29 home runs, 109 runs batted in and a .377 batting average after hitting a team-leading .402 as a junior and making the All-OVC Tournament team.

*** Ron Pinsenchaum (1964-67)

A three-time All-OVC player in the Eastern outfield, Pinsenchaum was inducted into the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame posthumously last October. He was a member of two OVC championship teams and as a sophomore in 1965 reached base an amazing 68 times in 99 plate appearances.

Pitchers

*** Jeff Cruse (1984-87)

A two-year All-OVC pitcher who was also a member of three NCAA Tournament teams at Eastern, Cruse still holds Eastern’s career record for most victories with 30 against just six losses and recorded 208 strikeouts in 278 innings. He also owns EKU’s career mark for complete games with 20 and collected a fantastic 10-1 record as a junior. The right-hander was signed by the Kansas City Royals following his senior year.

*** Steve Engel (1981-83)

A two-time all-conference pitcher for the Colonels, Engel finished fifth in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings with his 11.1 strikeouts average per game as a sophomore. The third highest major league draft choice in Colonel baseball history, the left-hander was drafted following his junior season in the fifth round by the Chicago Cubs, pitching for the National League team at Wrigley Field in 1985.

*** Don Feltner (1952-55)

Feltner pitched four seasons for EKU and compiled a 21-3 record on the mound. He was a member of Eastern’s 1954 OVC championship team and his career included four shutouts and a 1.92 earned run average. The right-hander also threw one of six no-hitters in Colonel baseball history and was recently inducted into the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame.

*** Christian Friedrich (2006-08)

Friedrich was OVC Rookie of the Year in 2006 and OVC Pitcher of the Year in 2008 while being selected first team all-conference for three seasons. The first team All-American posted gaudy national attention three-year career stats of a 1.84 ERA, 327 strikeouts, an opponents’ batting average of .174 and 20 victories. A first round draft choice of the Colorado Rockies, the southpaw was recently chosen as one of major league baseball’s top 50 prospects for the 2011 season.

*** Dave Quick (1960-63)

Quick was a two-time All-OVC pitcher for Eastern and was the OVC Player of the Year in 1963 when he posted a 1.38 ERA. A member of two OVC championship teams, one of the lefty’s top outings in 1963 was a 12-inning, 2-0 masterpiece over Morehead State where he struck out 19 batters.

*** Randy White (1986-89)

White was a two-time All-OVC player and the OVC Player of the Year in 1989 when he posted a 10-3 record with a 3.01 earned run average. In his four years at Eastern, the right-hander won 27 games, lost only 11, posted a 3.59 ERA and was a member of three OVC championship squads.

Catchers

*** Blake Barthol (1992-95)

Barthol was a four-year starter for the Colonels and received All-OVC recognition his junior and senior years. Chosen in the 21st round of the 1995 Major League Draft by the Colorado Rockies, he batted .330 his senior year with six home runs and 46 runs batted in.

*** Brad Brian (1982-86)

Brian was a three-year starter at catcher for the Colonels where he hit .356 with nine home runs and 42 runs batted in as a senior when he was named first-team all-conference. A career .337 hitter at EKU, he was drafted following his senior year in the 30th round by the Montreal Expos.

*** Roger Roberts (1969-72)

Roberts was a two-time All-OVC performer and three-year starter at catcher who led the Colonels with 33 runs batted in in 1972.

Utility Players

*** Brett Bolger (2003-06)

Bolger started four years for the Colonels and received all-conference notice three of those seasons. The pre-season OVC Player of the Year in 2006 by Collegiate Baseball magazine, he posted career totals at Eastern of 262 hits, 160 runs scored, 59 stolen bases and a batting average of .359, highlighted by his junior year when he led the conference in hitting with a .398 average.

*** Ron Pezzoni (1987-89)

Pezzoni was a three-year all-conference performer for the Colonels and was one of the hitting stars for the 1989 NCAA Regional playoff team. He posted three-year career numbers of a .398 batting average and 91 stolen bases, which still stand as the second highest number of steals in school history.

Coaches

*** Charles “Turkey” Hughes (1941-71)

Hughes served as head coach of the Eastern baseball program for 31 years. During that time span, he led EKU to 10 OVC championships and was voted OVC Coach of the Year in 1967. Considered as one of the Founding Fathers of the Ohio Valley Conference who formed the league in 1948, he is a member of the EKU, the OVC and the Kentucky Athletic Halls of Fame and coached five different sports at Eastern in his 43-year tenure with the EKU Athletics Department. The field the Colonels play on today is named in his honor.

*** Jim Ward (1980-2001)

Ward served as head coach at Eastern from 1980-2001 and won 628 games for the Colonels, five regular season OVC titles and sent four Eastern teams to the NCAA Tournament. A member of the OVC and EKU Halls of Fame, he was five-time OVC Coach of the Year, coached five OVC Players of the Year and 64 ALL-OVC players. Including his 11 seasons at Stetson University, he finished his collegiate coaching career with 939 victories.


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