Kentucky Rides Hot Streak Into SEC Opening Weekend


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The meat of the season begins in earnest this weekend as Kentucky travels to the Lone Star State to begin Southeastern Conference play against No. 22 Texas A&M at Blue Bell Park in College Station. The Wildcats are coming off three consecutive seasons where they hovered around the .500 mark in the ultra-competitive league and will look to get off to a hot start in a difficult place to play.

The Cats enter league play on a high note, having won 12 of 14 games, including 10 in a row at home. They rank second in the league in hitting (.330) and fourth in ERA (2.68) and lead in runs scored scored, doubles, slugging, on-base percentage, RBI, hit by pitch, SAC bunts and fewest stolen bases against. Even with star first baseman Evan White shelved with a hamstring injury the Cats haven’t missed a beat as other players have filled in admirably for him.

Texas A&M also has been brilliant at the plate, led by arguably the nation’s top freshman class to this point. Four of the Aggies’ top six hitters are freshman, led by infielder Braden Shewmake, who is hitting .415 with 14 extra-base hits, 21 runs and 23 RBI. He leads the SEC in hits and total bases. 

The Aggies’ pitching rotation is highlighted by Brigham Hill, the Friday starter who is 4-0 with a 1.40 ERA.  Mitchell Kilkenny and Stephen Kolek also have been terrific, setting up three must-see pitching matchups between these two teams on SEC opening weekend.


WEEKEND PITCHING ROTATON
Friday: 
UK – Sean Hjelle (So., RHP): 4 starts, 2-1, 7.06 ERA
TEXAS A&M – Brigham Hill (Jr., RHP): 4 starts, 4-0, 1.40 ERA
Saturday:
UK – Zach Logue (Jr., LHP): 4 starts, 3-1, 1.93 ERA
TEXAS A&M – Stephen Kolek (So., RHP): 4 starts, 2-0, 2.70 ERA
Sunday:
UK – Justin Lewis (So., RHP): 4 starts, 2-1, 2.74 ERA
TEXAS A&M – Mitchell Kilkenny (So., RHP) – 4 starts, 1-0, 2.05 ERA


SERIES DETAILS
Date/Time: Fri., March 17 (7 p.m.); Sat., March 18 (3 p.m.); Sun., March 19 (2 p.m.)
Location (Facility): College Station, Texas (Blue Bell Park)
Series History: Texas A&M leads 5-3
Radio: UK Radio Network; 105.5 FM (Fri.), 630 AM (Sat.), TBD (Sun.); ukathletics.com
TV/Online: SEC Network (Fri.); SECN+ (Fri./Sat./Sun.)