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Kentucky baseball: Weekend update (Feb. 18)

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Overall Record: 3-0
Record Last Week: 3-0

Recent Results
Friday, Feb. 15 - defeated UNC Asheville, 9-2
Sunday, Feb. 17 - defeated Niagara, 20-3
Monday, Feb. 19 - defeated USC Upstate, 11-10

Upcoming Schedule (times eastern)
Friday, Feb. 22 - vs. Elon - 12 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23 - at No. 35 Coastal Carolina - 3 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 24 - vs. Kansas State - 11 a.m.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
J.T. Riddle
6-3 - Jr. * 2B - Frankfort, Ky. (Western Hills)
Week Stats: .786 (11-for-14), 3 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, 19 TB, 1.357 SLG%, .824 OB%

Notes: Junior J.T. Riddle had one of the most prolific weekends in Kentucky baseball history, batting .786 (11-for-14) to open the year, with three doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI ... Riddle collected 19 total bases, charted a 1.357 slugging and a .824 on-base percentage ... In a win on Sunday, Riddle set a new program record with a 6-for-6, three runs, three RBI game at the plate, including ripping a triple off the centerfield fence, finishing a homer shy of hitting for the cycle  ... In the season opener, he pelted doubles off the left and rightfield walls in a 3-for-5 game ... In the finale of the weekend, Riddle went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs ... He had a walk and two hit  by pitches, belting his first homer of the year as a no-doubt blast to spark a dramatic UK comeback win on Monday at USC Upstate.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Jerad Grundy

6-1 * Sr. * LHP * Johnsburg, Ill. (Heartland/Miami, Fla.)
Week Stats: 1-0, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO

Notes:
Senior southpaw Jerad Grundy had a great season debut, pitching UK to a win over Niagara on Sunday ... Grundy worked six innings without allowing an earned run, walking one and tying his career high with nine strikeouts ... Grundy allowed only four hits and held NU to a .167 batting average ... In the middle innings, Grundy struck out five consecutive hitters, not allowing a hit the second time through the order ... Grundy retired In his two-year UK career, Grundy has started 17 games with a 7-3 record and a 3.53 ERA.

TEAM NOTES

Eighth-ranked Kentucky completed a three-game weekend trip to Spartanburg, S.C., on Monday with a dramatic comeback win at USC Upstate, 11-10, also picking up wins over UNC Asheville and Niagara on opening weekend. UK returns to action on Friday, traveling to Coastal Carolina to take on Elon, Kansas State and the Chanticleers.

Kentucky (3-0) opened up the year with a 9-2 win over UNC Asheville at Wofford, getting five strong innings on the mound and a four-hit game from A.J. Reed. UK then plated 20 runs in a 20-3 rout of Niagara on Sunday, with junior second baseman J.T. Riddle making history with a 6-for-6 game at the plate, finishing a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.

After its game with USC Upstate was snowed out on Saturday, the contest was scheduled for a Monday matchup, with the Wildcats staying over a night in Spartanburg. UK opened up to a 6-2 lead before the Spartans rallied with eight unanswered runs to take a 10-6 lead into the eighth inning. UK started rallying with a Riddle solo homer, then plated three more runs to even the game in the eighth. With a runner at second base, UK turned to Thomas Bernal to pinch hit, with Bernal lacing a game-winning RBI single up the middle to score the go-ahead run. UK junior Trevor Gott closed out the game with the final six outs for the win.

A native of Frankfort, Ky. Riddle paced UK's offensive attack with a historic weekend, batting .786 (11-for-14) with three doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI, drawing a walk and getting hit by two pitches. Bernal finished opening weekend with a .500 average (4-for-8) with two doubles, while All-America centerfielder Austin Cousino batting .385 (5-for-13) with a homer, four RBI and four steals.

On the mound, Reed, Gott and Jerad Grundy picked up the wins for the Wildcats, with UK starter Corey Littrell getting the nod in the USC Upstate contest. UK also used Walter Wijas, Chandler Shepherd and Jeff Boehm as veterans out of the bullpen, with freshmen Dylan Dwyer, Kyle Cody, Zach Strecker, Tyler Cox and Ryne Combs each seeing their collegiate debuts on the bump.

Kentucky will face Elon on Friday at 12 p.m. ET at Pelicans Park in Myrtle Beach, with the event hosted by Coastal Carolina. UK will face Coastal Carolina on Saturday, before finishing the weekend with an 11 a.m. ET matchup with Kansas State on Sunday.

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