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Kentucky baseball - Weekly update (April 2)

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Overall Record: 27-2, 7-2 SEC
Record Last Week: 3-1, 2-1 SEC

Recent Results
Tuesday, March 27 - won vs. Western Kentucky, 7-4
Saturday, March 31 - lost at No. 18 Georgia, 6-7
Saturday, March 31 - won at No. 18 Georgia, 9-8
Sunday, April 1 - won at No. 18 Georgia, 11-2

Upcoming Schedule (times Eastern)
Wednesday, April 4 - vs. Dayton * 6:30 p.m.
Friday, April 6 - vs. No. 16 Ole Miss * 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 7 - vs. No. 16 Ole Miss * 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 8 - vs. No. 16 Ole Miss * 1 p.m.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Michael Williams

6-2 * Sr. * C/1B - Knoxville, Tenn.
Week Stats: .500 (8-for-16), 2 2B, 9 RBI, 2 BB, .625 SLG%, .556 OB%

Notes: UK senior catcher Michael Williams hit .500 (8-for-16) during a four-game week, leading the Wildcats to their first series win at No. 18 Georgia since the 2000 season ... A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Williams launched two doubles and led the club with nine RBI ... In a series-evening game at Georgia on Saturday, Williams notched a career-high four RBI, including a bases-clearing double that erased a three-run hole early in the game ... Went 2-for-4 in the Saturday win to even the series ... Collected a career-high three hits in the rubber match win, including two RBI, a walk and a double ... In the series opener at UGA, recorded one hit ... In a midweek win over Western Kentucky, Williams batted 2-for-3, tying his then career-high with three RBI, drawing a walk ... On the year, Williams has hit .310 (27-for-87) with three doubles, one homer, 22 RBI and 10 walks, despite missing five games due to a finger injury on his catching hand.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Austin Cousino
5-10 - Fr. - CF - Dublin, Ohio
Week Stats: .375 (6-for-16), 5 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 1 HBP, .938 SLG%, .474 OB%, 2 SH, 1-1 SB

Notes:
Freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino launched three homers, owned a .375 average (6-for-16) and paced the club with nine RBI to help carry Kentucky to a midweek win over Western Kentucky and its first series win at No. 18 Georgia since 2000 ... Hit three homers during the four-game week, adding five runs, two walks, one hit by pitch, two sacrifice bunts and a stolen base ... Has hit a homer in four of his last five games, including a stretch of three consecutive that was snapped in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday, hours after his three-run homer rallied UK from a six-hole deficit in the first of the twinbill ... Launched another three-run homer to kick off the week in a win over Western Kentucky, adding a single ... In the series opener at UGA, with UK trailing 6-0, launched a seventh-inning, three-run homer over the cavernous right-centerfield fence at Foley Field to spark a six-run inning to even the game ... In a pressure-laden rubber match at UGA Sunday, batted 2-for-5 with three RBI, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning ... During the series at UGA, Cousino launched two homers and had six RBI, with a steal, two sacrifice bunts and four runs scored ... Cousino ranks among the SEC leaders in nearly every category, ranking ninth in average (.358), eighth in slugging (.583), first in runs scored (31), third in hits (43), 11th in RBI (24), fourth in doubles (10), eighth in home runs (five), second in total bases (70), 10th in steals (six) and first in at bats (120) ... Cousino is also leading the club with four outfield assists ... He already ranks among the all-time UK freshmen hitting records in home runs (ninth), 22nd in RBI (24) and 22nd in hits (24), through his first 29 career games ... He has hit safely in 26 of his 27 games in 2012.
 
PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Corey Littrell
6-3 - So. - LHP - Louisville, Ky.
Week Stats: 1-0, 1.17 ERA, 1 GS, 7.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 SO

Notes: Sophomore starter Corey Littrell turned in his second consecutive winning effort in a road rubber match, leading UK to its first series win in Athens since the 2000 season on Sunday... Worked a career-high 7.2 innings in the win at No. 18 Georgia on Sunday, allowing eight hits and one run, walking two and striking out five ... Littrell ranks among the SEC leaders in several categories, including fourth in ERA (1.88), eighth in innings pitched (43.0), ninth in strikeouts (41), sixth in wins (four) and first in pickoffs.

TEAM NOTES
Off to the best start to a season in school history, No. 2 Kentucky picked up its third consecutive series win to open the league slate, claiming its first series at No. 18 Georgia since the 2000 season over the weekend at Foley Field.

Kentucky (27-2, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) went 3-1 during the week, including a midweek win over Western Kentucky. UK will return to action on Wednesday, hosting Dayton at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium, before welcoming No. 16 Ole Miss - fresh off a series win over No. 1 Florida - for a three-game set.

The Wildcats are off to the second-best start to a season in their 75-plus year history in the SEC (8-1, 1992), sweeping the two-time defending NCAA Champions, No. 2 South Carolina to open the SEC season, before claiming a series at Tennessee in a inaugural league road test. UK's series win at Georgia was its first since 2000, as UK had lost five consecutive series matchups in Athens, Ga., including being swept during a 44-win season in 2008 and winning one game during the 2006 UK SEC Championship campaign. Through its first six tilts with teams ranked in the top 25, the Wildcats own a 4-1 mark. After Sunday's games, the Wildcats now sit alone atop the SEC standings, just three weeks into the grueling 10-week slate.

UK's series win at Foley Field and 26-run output over Georgia came against a strong team that entered the series leading the SEC in ERA (2.75), with the Bulldogs facing UCLA, Tennessee and Vanderbilt over the last three weekends. After the weekend series, UGA's team ERA dropped to 3.36 from the league-leading 2.75, eighth in the league. The Wildcats belted six homers in the series and now lead the SEC in average (.325), on-base percentage (.421), runs (228), hits (323), RBI (208), doubles (60) and hit batters (57).

Leading the NCAA in wins, UK will put its school-record 19-game home winning streak on the line against Dayton in a midweek tilt Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET. UK will then host No. 18 Ole Miss in a three-game series, starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET, with game two Saturday at 2 p.m. ET and the finale at 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

UK freshmen Austin Cousino and A.J. Reed lead the Wildcats in hitting, with Reed boasting a .359 mark with seven doubles, two homers and 30 RBI. Cousino has a .358 average with 10 doubles, one triple, five homers, 24 RBI and six steals. Lucas Witt has hit .353, while outfielder Cameron Flynn leads the club with seven homers, hitting .333 with five doubles and 21 RBI. Second baseman J.T. Riddle has batted .330 with eight doubles, one triple, two homers and 21 RBI, with catcher Luke Maile hitting .321 with six doubles, six homers and 30 RBI, leading the team with 18 walks and seven steals. Catcher Michael Williams has hit .310 with 22 RBI, while outfielder Zac Zellers owns a .305 mark with six doubles, one triple, three homers and 11 RBI.

On the mound, UK's weekend rotation of Taylor Rogers (4-1, 4.65 ERA), Jerad Grundy (3-0, 3.41 ERA) and Corey Littrell (4-0, 1.88 ERA) have helped spear the record start to 2012. In the bullpen, Trevor Gott (1-0, 1.59 ERA) has six saves, while Tim Peters (2-0, 2.51 ERA) has appeared in a club best 15 games, with Alex Phillips (4-0, 2.16 ERA), Sam Mahar (1-1, 2.77 ERA) and Walter Wijas (2-0, 6.75) in over 10 games in relief.
 

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