No. 12 Baseball Hosts Pair of Midweek Tilts
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Fresh off a series win over top-ranked Florida, No. 12 Kentucky will return to action with a pair of midweek tilts, welcoming Northern Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and Xavier at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The games will be broadcast live on SEC Network +, available on the ESPN app, and will be broadcast live on the UK Sports Radio Network, available in Central Kentucky on WLAP 630-AM.
The Wildcats have moved into a pair of rankings on Monday morning, including No. 12 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and No. 24 in the Baseball America top-25.
Kentucky (17-6, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) completed a four-game week with three wins last week, including a series win over No. 1 Florida. UK posted a 10-5 win in midweek action on Tuesday vs. Morehead State, before suffering a 12-5 loss in the series opener vs. Florida on Friday. UK then bounced back on Saturday with a 7-4 win, before winning the series on Sunday with a 5-4 result in 10 innings.
Last weekend, UK opened its home league schedule with its fourth consecutive series win over Florida. UK’s win over the top-ranked Gators also marked the third consecutive season UK has won a series over a No. 1 ranked team, including vs. South Carolina (2014) and at LSU (2015).
The Wildcats posted a 10-5 win over Morehead State in midweek action on Tuesday, marking UK’s third consecutive game with double-digit runs. Florida then opened the series with a 12-5 win behind a two-home run game from Nelson Maldonado and a strong start from Logan Shore, with UK’s Zack Brown suffering the loss after leaving the game with a minor finger injury. UK then bounced back on the strength of Dustin Beggs’ sixth straight win to open the season on the mound, a program record. Beggs improved to 6-0 with 5.2 innings, allowing four runs, before freshman Justin Lewis locked down his fourth save of the year with 3.1 shutout innings in relief. UK got a three-run homer from Dorian Hairston and a first-inning blast from Evan White in the win. On Sunday, UK won the series with a comeback win in 10 innings, scoring two in the sixth and a run in the seventh to erase UF’s 3-0 lead, before winning the game in the 10th inning with a pair of runs.
Kentucky has hit .297/.390/.469 as a team through 23 games, scoring 162 runs, ripping 46 doubles and five triples, belting 27 homers and stealing 26 bases. On the mound, UK has a 3.93 team ERA in 206 innings, allowing only 188 hits and 87 walks, striking gout 183. Defensively, UK has fielded .969, turning 17 double plays and nabbing six runners stealing.
Junior outfielder Zach Reks leads the team with a .400 average with three doubles, one homer and five RBI. Junior DH Gunnar McNeill has hit .391 with four doubles, four homers and 28 RBI, with Evan White batting .386 with six doubles, one triple, two homers and 25 RBI, stealing eight bases. Shortstop Riley Mahan has hit .314 with five doubles, two triples, three homers and 13 RBI, stealing four bases. Sophomore second baseman Luke Becker has hit .303 with six doubles and nine RBI and junior third baseman JaVon Shelby has hit .282 with six homers and 15 RBI.
UK’s weekend rotation of junior Zack Brown (1-4, 5.97 ERA) on Friday, senior righty Dustin Beggs (6-0, 2.40 ERA) on Saturday and senior right-hander Kyle Cody (2-1, 6.43 ERA) on Sunday have earned nine of UK’s 17 wins. In relief, Justin Lewis (2-0, 0.50 ERA) has four saves in eight relief outings, with Sean Hjelle (1-0, 0.00 ERA) owning three saves and Zach Strecker (2-0, 0.57 ERA) appearing in a team-high nine games in relief.
Kentucky: 17-6, 4-2 Southeastern Conference
Northern Kentucky: 7-16, 0-6 Atlantic Sun
Xavier: 8-15, 1-0 Big East
Kentucky: No. 12 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 24 (Baseball America)
NKU: not ranked
Xavier: not ranked
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) -- Lexington, Ky.
Tuesday, March 29 * vs. Northern Kentucky * 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 30 * vs. Xavier * 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. NKU
TBD vs. TBD
Wednesday vs. Xavier
TBD vs. TBD
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 [SOLD OUT]