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Kentucky baseball - Weekend update

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Overall Record: 24-1, 5-1 SEC
Record Last Week: 3-1, 2-1 SEC

Recent Results
Wednesday, March 21 - won at Cincinnati, 10-7
Friday, March 23 - lost at Tennessee, 1-4
Saturday, March 24 - won at Tennessee, 6-2
Sunday, March 25 - won at Tennessee, 6-0

Upcoming Schedule (times Eastern)
Tuesday, March 27 - vs. Western Kentucky * 6:30 p.m.
Friday, March 30 - at No. 17 Georgia * 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 31 - at No. 17 Georgia * 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 1 - at No. 17 Georgia * 2:00 p.m.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE

J.T. Riddle
6-3 - So. - 2B - Frankfort, Ky.
Week Stats: .294 (5-for-17), 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, .647 SLG%, HBP, .333 OB%

Notes: Sophomore second baseman J.T. Riddle had a clutch week in helping No. 2 Kentucky to a midweek win at Cincinnati and a series victory at Tennessee ... Riddle's clutch hitting led UK to the series win over the Vols, UK's first in Knoxville since the 2008 season and helped the Wildcats improve to a nation-leading 24-1, including a 5-1 mark in SEC play ... After the Wildcats suffered their first loss of the year in the series opener on Friday night to snap a 22-game winning streak, Riddle's bat paced UK to the series-evening win in game two, batting 3-for-4 with three RBI, a homer and a triple ... In the series finale, a seven-inning game, the two teams were locked in a scoreless pitching duel in the top of the sixth when Riddle smacked a double off the wall in leftfield to score the go-ahead and game-winning run ... In a midweek win at UC, Riddle scored a pair of runs and added an RBI single ... In addition to his contributions at the plate, Riddle has played stellar defense at second base, with his instincts, range and arm strength helping the UK defensive unit rank second in the SEC in fielding ... On the year, Riddle has hit .318 (28-for-88), with five doubles, one triple, one homer and 18 RBI, with his 23 runs scored ranking eighth in the league.  

PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE

Alex Phillips
6-4 - Sr. - LHP - Tenino, Wash.
Week Stats: 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 2 GP, 1 SV, 6.1 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 3 SO, .200 opp. avg.

Notes: Senior southpaw Alex Phillips had a pair of strong relief outings in helping the Wildcats extend their NCAA-leading 24-1 record with a series win at Tennessee and a midweek win at Cincinnati ... In game two of the series at UT, Phillips entered the game after a rain storm had halted play on Sunday, working the final 4.1 shutout innings to post a win to even that series ... In a midweek win at UC, Phillips entered when the steady UK bullpen was allowing six runs to make the contest tight ... Phillips immediately got UK out of any trouble to lock the save down with two innings and two strikeouts ... On the year, Phillips owns a 3-0 record and a 2.11 ERA in 10 relief outings, tossing 21.1 innings, allowing only 12 hits and five walks, striking out 19, with a .190 opposing batting average.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Chandler Shepherd
6-3 - Fr. - RHP - Louisa, Ky.
Week Stats: 1-0, 3.18 ERA, 1 GS, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 SO, .227 opp. avg.

Notes: Right-hander Chandler Shepherd made his first career road start at Big East foe Cincinnati on Wednesday, posting his second career win ... Shepherd worked a career-long 5.2 innings, allowing five hits and two runs, striking out two ... Shepherd worked five shutout innings and came out for the sixth inning in an effort to extend his pitch count, with the Bearcats scoring two on a triple ... On the year, Shepherd has appeared in five games with four starts, posting a 2-0 record and a 3.15 ERA, in 20 innings, walking five and striking out 11.

TEAM NOTES
The second-ranked Kentucky baseball team completed a four-game week on the road with three wins, including a series win at Tennessee. The Wildcats will return to action on Tuesday with a midweek game at Western Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. ET, before traveling to No. 17 Georgia for a three-game set.

Kentucky (24-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) is off to the best start to a season in program history with its 5-1 start to conference play its best since 1992, when UK opened 7-0. The Wildcats had their record 22-game winning streak snapped on Friday night at UT, before responding to claim the final two games to win the series for the first time in Knoxville since the 2008 campaign.

The Wildcats have been paced by a league-leading .321 team batting average, leading the conference in on-base percentage, hits, runs, and hit batters. UK has fielded .980 as a club, second-best in the SEC, posting a 3.00 ERA on the mound in 222 innings with 220 strikeouts.

Individually, UK has been led offensively by freshman A.J. Reed, who leads the club with a .372 average, adding seven doubles, two homers and 29 RBI. Freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino has hit .356 with 10 doubles, one triple, two homers and 15 RBI, while catcher Luke Maile owns a .348 average with six doubles, six homers and 30 RBI. Outfielder Zac Zellers has a .338 average with six doubles, one triple and three homers, while Cameron Flynn has a .328 mark with four doubles, six homers and 19 RBI.

On the mound, UK's weekend rotation has been solid, including junior Taylor Rogers (4-1, 3.82 ERA), junior Jerad Grundy (3-0, 2.88 ERA) and sophomore Corey Littrell (3-0, 2.04 ERA). In the bullpen, right-hander Tim Peterson (2-0, 2.45 ERA) has appeared in a staff-best 12 games, with Trevor Gott (1-0, 1.86 ERA) leading the team with five saves and 16 strikeouts in 9.2 frames. Southpaw Alex Phillips (3-0, 2.11 ERA) has saved one game in 10 relief outings, allowing only 12 hits in 21.1 innings. Reed (4-0, 2.11 ERA) has also pitched 21.1 innings, with 20 strikeouts and five walks, with freshman southpaw Sam Mahar (0-0, 1.93 ERA) appearing in nine games.

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