Baseball Hosts Morehead State on Tuesday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After claiming a road series win to open Southeastern Conference play, Kentucky will return home with a midweek challenge vs. Morehead State, starting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The contest will air on the UK Sports Radio Network, available on WLAP 630-AM in Central Kentucky and online at UKathletics.com.
The Wildcats will turn to sophomore right-hander Zach Pop (0-1, 6.30 ERA) for his fourth start of the season. Morehead State will counter with senior righty Patrick McGuff (1-3, 7.85 ERA).
Kentucky (14-5, 2-1 SEC) is coming off a four-game week, posting a pair of wins in Athens at Georgia to open league play. UK opened the week suffering a 14-6 loss on Tuesday to the Hilltoppers, as WKU and UK combined to walk 17, the most in a UK game since 2007. The Wildcats then opened SEC play at Georgia with a 5-2 loss, with a three-run fourth inning serving as the difference. UK bounced back to even the series with an explosive offensive performance in an 11-4 win on Saturday. Senior Dustin Beggs fired seven innings to become the first pitcher in UK’s modern era (2002-present) to win his first five starts to a season and UK got a homer and three RBI from Gunnar McNeill. In the rubber match UK exploded again for a 14-6 win, with junior JaVon Shelby, a preseason All-America third sacker, belted two homers and had a triple in a seven RBI game.
The Wildcats have hit .296/.391/.479 through 19 games in 2016, scoring 135 runs, ripping 38 doubles, five triples and 24 homers, stealing 22 bases. On the mound, UK has a 3.78 team ERA in 169 innings, walking 67 and allowing 151 hits, striking out 158 and holding opponents to a .236 average. Defensively, UK has fielded .974, turning 14 double plays and throwing out five of 13 attempted base stealers.
At the plate, junior DH Gunnar McNeill leads UK with a .382 average, belting three doubles, four homers and 23 RBI. Sophomore first baseman Evan White has sported a .378 average with five doubles, one triple, one homer and 23 RBI, stealing six bases with a .436 on-base percentage. Junior outfielder Zach Reks has added a .353 average with a double, homer and four RBI and sophomore second baseman Luke Becker has batted .311 with five doubles, six RBI and a .419 on-base percentage. Junior third baseman JaVon Shelby has batted .321 with six doubles, one triple, six homers and 14 RBI, with a .487 on-base percentage and two steals. Sophomore shortstop Riley Mahan has hit .297 with four doubles, two triples, two homers and nine RBI and freshman catcher Kole Cottam has hit .265 with two doubles, one homer and nine RBI. Junior centerfielder Storm Wilson has hit .254 with seven doubles, one homer and three RBI, owning a .421 on-base percentage. Freshman leftfielder Tristan Pompey has hit .234 with three doubles, one triple and four homers, driving in 17 runs. Junior outfielder Marcus Carson has added two homers and six RBI.
On the mound, UK has used the weekend rotation of junior righty Zack Brown (1-3, 5.14 ERA) on Friday, senior right-hander Dustin Beggs (5-0, 1.77 ERA) on Saturday and senior right-hander Kyle Cody (2-1, 6.95 ERA) on Sunday. In relief, senior righty Zach Strecker (2-0, 0.71 ERA) has a team-high eight appearances. Freshman right-hander Sean Hjelle (0-0, 0.00 ERA) has three saves and 12 strikeouts in six innings and freshman righty Justin Lewis (2-0, 0.61 ERA) has three saves in seven relief outings, fanning 14 in 14.2 innings. Lefties Dylan Dwyer (1-0, 1.23 ERA), Daniel Tillo (0-0, 1.59 ERA), Logan Salow (0-0, 3.68 ERA), Zach Logue (1-0, 5.40 ERA), Josh Smith (0-0, 7.71 ERA) and Brad Schaenzer have each appeared in at least three games. Right-handers Zach Pop (0-1, 6.30 ERA) and Bo Wilson (0-0, 14.73 ERA) have each appeared in at least four games.
Morehead State (12-7, 3-3 Ohio Valley Conference) has hit .308/.384/.473 as a team through 19 games with 148 runs scored. Defensively, Morehead State has a .966 fielding percentage, turning 13 double plays and throwing out five runners stealing. On the mound, Morehead has a 3.66 team ERA in 172 innings, allowing only 154 hits and 63 walks, striking out 173.
UK leads the series with Morehead State, 45-26, including a 32-13 mark in games played in Lexington. UK won the meeting last year in Lexington, 9-4, and have won six of the last seven in the series.
Kentucky: 14-5, 2-1 Southeastern Conference
Morehead State: 12-7, 3-3 Ohio Valley Conference
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) -- Lexington, Ky.
Tuesday, March 22 * vs. Morehead State * 6:30 p.m.
Radio (UK Radio Network)
WLAP 630-AM in Central Kentucky
Live audio and stats on UKathletics.com
Tentative Pitching Matchup
Tuesday vs. Morehead State
So., RHP Zach Pop (0-1, 6.30 ERA) vs.
Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)
Free gameday parking is available in the C-8 lot beyond rightfield and behind homeplate, or in the E lot adjacent to Cliff Hagan Stadium. The C-8 lot will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Once C-8 is filled, vehicles will be directed to park in the E lot next to Cliff Hagan Stadium. After the E lot is full, a limited amount of parking will be available in Parking Structure No. 7 on the ground floor. If you’re parking in PS#7, please exchange your ticket for a pink payment voucher at the ticket booth, prior to the end of the fourth inning. Additionally, overflow parking will be available in the smaller E lots close to Cooper Dr., as well as the C-6 lot at Commonwealth Stadium. All fans are asked to please follow the signage provided to the nearest parking location.
SINGLE-GAME TICKET PRICES
$5 - General Admission Seating - Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors
SEASON TICKET PRICES
$35 General Admission
$55 Reserved Seating