No. 22 Baseball Hosts Cincinnati in Wednesday Twinbill
March 4, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Winners of seven consecutive games, No. 22 Kentucky will play Cincinnati in a two-game midweek series, with the Wildcats hosting the Bearcats in a doubleheader, starting on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The games will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Neil Price and Dick Gabriel voicing the action, live in Lexington on WWTF 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky (9-2) became a consensus top-25 team on Monday, checking in No. 22 in the USA Today, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the Perfect Game polls, and No. 23 in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball weekly rankings.
UK will turn to sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer (0-0, 7.50 ERA) for his third consecutive midweek start to open the year. Cincinnati will start right-hander Connor Walsh (1-1, 6.23 ERA) in the first game and righty Grant Walker (0-1, 9.00 ERA) in the finale.
The Wildcats have won seven consecutive games entering the midweek tilts with the Bearcats. UK is coming off its first home week of the year, sweeping Eastern Michigan over the weekend and posting a 7-1 midweek win over Wright State in the home opener last Tuesday.
The Wildcats posted an 8-2 win over EMU to open the series on Friday, with the teams playing a doubleheader on Saturday to avoid inclement weather on Sunday. UK swept its first twinbill test of 2014, with a 9-5 win in the opener and a 13-2 result in the nightcap.
UK’s numbers during the four-game week saw UK hit .353 as a team, drawing 23 walks, getting hit by six pitches, stealing 12 bases and striking out just 14 times. On the mound, UK owned a 0.75 ERA in 36 innings, holding opponents to a .188 average.
On the year, Kentucky has hit .326 with a .439 on-base percentage, slugging 28 doubles, two triples and nine homers in 11 games, stealing 27 bases. On the mound, UK has a 2.77 team ERA, with 36 walks and 68 strikeouts in 97.1 innings, with UK fielding .965 with 12 double plays turned and five steals allowed defensively.
Individually, junior A.J. Reed is off to a blistering pace to the season, batting .429 (18-for-42) with four doubles, seven homers and 20 RBI, also owning a 3-0 record and a 1.00 ERA in 18 innings on the mound. Junior centerfielder Austin Cousino – who hit .500 over the week – has a team-high .438 average (21-for-48), with six doubles, one triple, one homer and eight RBI, stealing six bases. Junior third baseman Max Kuhn has hit .347 (17-for-49) with four doubles and 10 RBI, with fifth-year senior catcher Micheal Thomas hitting .345 (10-for-29) with three doubles and seven RBI, owning a .500 on-base mark. Rightfielder Kyle Barrett has hit .340 (16-for-47) with a homer, 11 RBI and six steals, with leftfielder Ka’ai Tom hitting .324 (11-for-34) with three doubles, five RBI and four steals, drawing four walks without striking out to open his NCAA career. Senior shortstop Matt Reida has hit .250 (10-for-40) with nine RBI and a .388 on-base percentage.
On the mound, UK’s weekend rotation of Reed, Chandler Shepherd (2-0, 3.32 ERA) and Kyle Cody (2-0, 1.35 ERA) has combined in nine games for a 7-0 record, a 1.97 ERA and a .210 opponent average. In the bullpen, junior Spencer Jack (0-0, 0.00 ERA) has appeared in a team-high five games with eight innings, with freshman Logan Salow (1-0, 0.00 ERA) working in four games with nine strikeouts in six innings. Sophomore Zach Strecker (0-1, 0.00 ERA), sophomore Ryne Combs (1-0, 2.16 ERA), junior Andrew Nelson (0-0, 2.70 ERA), freshman Zack Brown (0-0, 3.00 ERA), sophomore Matt Snyder (0-0, 6.75 ERA) and sophomore Taylor Martin (0-0, 9.82 ERA) have each appeared in three games in relief.
Kentucky leads the SEC in average (.326), slugging percentage (.478), on-base percentage (.439), runs (106), RBI (92), doubles (28) and two-out RBI. Individually, Reed ranks as the NCAA in homers (seven) and RBI (20), leading the SEC in slugging (1.024) and total bases (43), while also ranking tied for the SEC lead with three wins on the mound.
Cincinnati (2-7) enters the game hitting .239 as a team, with one homer and 36 runs scored in nine games, stealing 12 bases and fielding .965 as a team. On the mound, UC has a 4.19 ERA in 77.1 innings, walking 31 and striking out 38. UC is led by first-team preseason All-America infielder Ian Happ, the No. 2 prospect in the Cape Cod League during the summer, who has hit .303 with two doubles, one homer and nine RBI.
Kentucky – 9-2, 0-0 SEC
Cincinnati – 2-7, 0-0 AAC
Kentucky – No. 22 (NCBWA, USA Today, Perfect Game), No. 23 (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball)
Cincinnati – not ranked
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change)
vs. Cincinnati * March 5 * 1 p.m. ET (doubleheader)
Radio (UK IMG Network with Neil Price and Dick Gabriel)
WWTF 1580-AM in Lexington
Tentative Pitching Matchups
Wednesday vs. Cincinnati
So., LHP Dylan Dwyer (0-0, 7.50 ERA) vs. R-So., RHP Connor Walsh (1-1, 6.23 ERA)
Wednesday vs. Cincinnati
TBA vs. Jr., RHP Grant Walker (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Live video, audio and stats on UKathletics.com
Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)
Parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is FREE.
UK will utilize two lots: the C8 lot behind Shively Sports Center, and the Parking Structure 7 on the corner of Complex Drive and Jerry Claiborne Way. Both parking lots are only steps away from Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Fans who park in the PS7 lot will be given a parking value card to exit the structure free of charge. Value cards should be picked up at the baseball ticket booth prior to the fifth inning.
Fans should not use the university “R” lots adjacent to the dorms or on the south side of Nutter Training Facility. These lots are patrolled by the university 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fans that park in these lots may be ticketed or towed. Plenty of parking is available in the C8 and PS7 lots.
SINGLE GAME TICKET PRICES
$5 - General Admission Seating - Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors
SEASON TICKET PRICES
$35 General Admission
$55 Reserved Seating