It looks like Anthony Bazzani is starting to get the hang of pitching at the college level.
After an up-and-down regular season, the Eastern Kentucky freshman and former Heritage ace pitched a gem in the Colonels' 4-3 victory over Murray State on Thursday in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
Bazzani tossed eight innings of six-hit ball, allowing three earned runs and striking out 10 in a 112-pitch effort. The strikeout total was one short of the OVC tournament record and gave Bazzani two consecutive strong starts.
In a doubleheader sweep of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville during the final series of the regular season, Bazzani pitched five innings of four-hit ball in a 4-1 win. Though Bazzani's overall season numbers aren't pretty -- 44 earned runs in 691/3 innings, 5.71 ERA -- heading into the conference tournament, the last two outings have been encouraging.
"Our freshmen are not freshmen anymore," Eastern Kentucky coach Jason Stein told the school's website after the Murray State win. "Anthony Bazzani pitched like a senior today."
The No. 6-seed Colonels, who haven't won a conference tournament title since 1989, played top-seed Tennessee Tech in the quarterfinals late Thursday.
Phillips finishes strong freshman season
Former Heritage standout Whitney Phillips finished her freshman season at Georgia State with impressive numbers, helping the Panthers to a 37-win season and within one victory of the Colonial Athletic Association championship.
Though Phillips only played in one of four conference tournament games -- she went 0-for-2 with a walk against James Madison in the opener -- her first year in Atlanta was a successful one. Phillips hit .379 (22-for-58), drove in 13 runs, had a .455 on-base percentage. Her five triples tied her with several others for sixth nationally through Sunday.
Phillips also played well in conference games. In 14 games against CAA opponents, the infielder/outfielder hit .357 (15-for-42), hit three home runs and has a .426 on-base percentage.
Phillips also excelled in the classroom as well, becoming one of 15 Panthers to receive academic honors, and one of 11 on the athletic director's honor roll.