Baseball Hosts Pair of Midweek Tilts
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Winners of four consecutive games to open its home schedule, Kentucky will return to action with a pair of midweek games, starting on Tuesday with Cincinnati at 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK will then host Murray State at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Kentucky (7-3) will start junior left-hander Zach Logue (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Cincinnati. It marks the first start of the year for Logue, who has appeared in three games in relief in 2016. UK has not yet announced a starter for the Murray State matchup, but the Breds’ will turn to junior right-hander Austin Dubsky.
The two games will be broadcast live on the UK Sports Radio Network and the Tuesday game will be televised live on SEC Network +. Fans in Lexington can hear the pair of games on the radio, on Fox Sports 1580-AM or online at UKathletics.com.
In honor of National Pancake Day on Tuesday, fans can purchase $2 short stacks at the Cliff Hagan Stadium concession stand. In addition, Tuesday is Taco Tuesday at The Cliff.
Kentucky opened its home schedule with a comeback win vs. Austin Peay on Wednesday, rallying from behind with two runs in the eighth inning to take a 3-2 lead, with freshman righty Sean Hjelle – a 6-foot-11, 200-pounder – earning his first career save. Luke Becker provided the go-ahead RBI with a two-out knock in the eighth inning to lead to the comeback win.
In Friday’s win, junior righty Zack Brown took center stage with seven innings without allowing an earned run. UK got the first homer of the year from Evan White in the opener. Dustin Beggs fired seven strong innings in a win on Saturday, with White and Gunnar McNeill each charting a 4-for-4 game at the plate. Sunday, UK fell behind 8-0 after the top of the third inning to Buffalo, before rallying behind to even the game by the fifth inning. A standout relief outing from Logan Salow (4.2 shutout IP) and freshman Justin Lewis (3.1 shutout IP), allowed the bullpen to first eight straight shutout innings as UK won it in the 10th inning on a Zach Arnold walk-off single with two outs, scoring Becker.
The Wildcats have hit .319/.396/.540 as a team through 10 games, with 72 runs, 22 doubles, four triples, 16 homers and 17 steals. UK has fielded .967 as a team, turning seven double plays and nabbing three runners attempting to steal. On the mound, UK has a 3.74 team ERA in 89 innings, allowing just 74 hits, walking 38 and striking out 92, with opponents hitting .223.
At the plate, UK has been led in average by sophomore switch-hitting second baseman Luke Becker, who has sported a .433 (13-for-30) average in his NCAA debut, with three doubles, three RBI, a .514 on-base percentage and two steals. Sophomore first baseman Evan White has hit .386 (17-for-44) with three doubles, one triple, one homer and 12 RBI, stealing five bases. Sophomore shortstop Riley Mahan has batted .378 (14-for-37), with four doubles, two triples, two homers and six RBI, stealing two bases. Junior DH Gunnar McNeill has hit .366 (15-for-41) with a double, two homers and nine RBI. Junior corner outfielder Zach Reks has hit .346 (9-for-26) with a double and three RBI. Junior third baseman JaVon Shelby has hit .333 (12-for-36) with five doubles, three homers and six RBI, stealing two bases. Junior centerfielder Storm Wilson has hit .269 (7-for-26), with a .472 on-base percentage, three doubles, one homer and three RBI, stealing four bags. Freshman outfielder Tristan Pompey has hit .273 (9-for-33) with a double, triple, four homers and 12 RBI. Freshman catcher Kole Cottam has hit .250 (4-for-16) with a homer and five RBI. Junior outfielder Marcus Carson has batted .158 (3-for-19) with a homer and four RBI.
UK has used the weekend rotation of junior righty Zack Brown (3-0, 1.29 ERA) on Friday, senior right-hander Dustin Beggs (3-0, 1.29 ERA) on Saturday and senior righty Kyle Cody (1-1, 8.03 ERA) on Sunday. Freshmen Sean Hjelle (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Justin Lewis (1-0, 1.29 ERA) each have saves, with senior righty Zach Strecker (1-0, 1.42 ERA), freshman lefty Daniel Tillo (0-0, 2.70 ERA), junior southpaw Logan Salow (0-0, 3.68 ERA), sophomore lefty Zach Logue (0-0, 5.40 ERA) and sophomore southpaw Brad Schaenzer (0-0, 10.80 ERA) have each appeared in three games in relief.