Baseball Hosts Pair of Midweek Games

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After participating in the prestigious 2011 Houston College Classic hosted by the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park over the weekend, the Kentucky baseball team will kick off an 11-game home stand, hosting Eastern Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State in a pair of midweek games on Tuesday and Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky (5-6) will host EKU on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET and MTSU on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. The games will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK baseball, Neil Price, voicing the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the games live on WGVN 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.

UK suffered the two close losses at the HCC, falling to the No. 17 Rice Owls on Friday night 8-7, as UK rallied from behind against the Owls from a 7-2 deficit. UK got a homer from Braden Kapteyn in the game, the first homer in the first 25 innings at Minute Maid Park on the weekend, with Kapteyn having a career weekend in terms of reaching base safely, touching first base in 11-of-13 plate appearances. On Saturday, UK fell in a late hole to Houston, before rallying with runs in the seventh and eighth in an 8-5 loss, with Luke Maile belting a homer.

The Wildcats rebounded on Sunday, using a career outing from junior right-handed starter Jordan Cooper, who posted a career-high nine strikeouts in seven innings, allowing only three hits and one run. Cooper turned the ball over to freshman Trevor Gott with a 2-1 lead, with Gott hurling two shutout innings for his first career save, allowing only one hit and striking out four. UK’s run production came from Kapteyn, who scored both UK runs in the win and tripled with one out in the eighth inning to set the stage for the go-ahead run.

On the year, the Wildcats have totaled a .295 batting average through 11 games, with 27 doubles and seven homers. In addition, UK has been paced by a steady defense, totaling a .980 fielding percentage. Kapteyn leads UK at the plate with a .351 average (13-for-37) with a team-high 12 runs scored and a pair of homers, adding nine RBI and a staggering .520 on-base percentage. Third baseman Thomas McCarthy has hit .349 (15-for-43) with a league-leading seven doubles through his first 11 career games. Centerfielder Brian Adams has batted .348 (8-for-23) with two doubles and three RBI in seven games, while Maile has added a .341 average (15-for-44) with four doubles, one homer and eight RBI. Senior Taylor Black, who has been a defensive wizard at shortstop, has batted .295 (13-for-44) with four doubles, one triple and one homer, with nine RBI. Outfielder Chad Wright has hit .293 (12-for-41) with four doubles and one homer, adding nine RBI and a team-high seven walks. Wright, a native of Paducah, Ky., leads UK with five stolen bases in five attempts.

On the mound, UK’s weekend rotation of Cooper (1-0, 3.86 ERA), Alex Meyer (1-2, 3.86 ERA) and Taylor Rogers (0-1, 5.40 ERA) have formed a strong trio. In relief, Gott (1-1, 0.00 ERA) has appeared in 8.1 innings, allowing just seven hits and striking out a bullpen-leading 11. Senior lefty Mike Kaczmarek (0-0, 0.00 ERA), has been a veteran out of the bullpen, notching a save, while sophomore Walter Wijas (1-0, 1.80 ERA) has appeared in five games.

UK will start a pair of freshmen in its midweek tilts, as southpaw Corey Littrell (1-1, 10.38 ERA) will start on Tuesday vs. EKU and right-hander Jonathan Paquet (0-0, 6.00 ERA) will face MTSU. Littrell, the Louisville Slugger Kentucky High School Player of the Year in 2010 out of Louisville’s Trinity High School, will make his second career start. In his first career start, Littrell carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, before back-to-back hits ended his no-hit bid and outing at 6.2 frames. On the year, Littrell has appeared in three games and tossed 8.2 innings, allowing nine hits and 10 runs with six strikeouts. Paquet, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound native of Canada, will be making his second career appearance and his second midweek start. Paquet tossed three innings in his collegiate debut at Morehead State, allowing six hits – including four infield hits – and two runs. Paquet’s two runs allowed came in his final inning of work.

Eastern Kentucky (3-7) has hit for a .270 team average through 10 games, totaling a .960 fielding percentage and a 5.88 ERA on the mound. Individually shortstop Richie Rodriguez leads the team with a staggering .514 average (19-for-37) with four doubles and a triple, drawing five walks and only striking out once. Bryan Soloman has hit .326 (14-for-43) with a homer and four RBI, while Ryan Faidley has batted .265 (9-for-34). In the pen, Greg Terry (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Matt Harris (0-0, 3.18 ERA) and Lincoln Wagner (0-0, 12.27 ERA) have each appeared in a team-high four games in relief. Ryne Purcell (0-0, 3.86 ERA) leads the team with two saves, while Austin Rexroat (0-0, 0.00 ERA) has also totaled a save.

Middle Tennessee State (2-9) is a traditional power in the Sun Belt Conference and are coming off a series loss at Louisiana Tech. The Blue Raiders, coached by Steve Peterson, have batted .289 as a team with a .958 fielding percentage and a 6.03 ERA. At the plate, Tyler Acker leads MTSU with a .463 average (19-for-41) with six doubles and seven RBI. Will Kinner leads the team in power numbers with a .409 average (18-for-44) with four homers and 14 RBI. Justin Guidry has hit .327 (17-for-52) with three doubles, two triples and one homer, adding eight RBI. Lexington native and graduate of Lexington Christian Academy Dalton Henzman has hit .300 (3-for-10) in five games. On the mound, Paul Mittura (0-1, 3.18 ERA) has appeared in a team-high six games in relief with one save. Keaton Baker (0-1, 3.18 ERA) owns four relief outings and one save. Hunter Dawson (2-1, 3.86 ERA) and Jud Stotlz (0-0, 5.06 ERA) have each appeared in five games.

UK leads the series with EKU, 66-21-1, including a 38-11 mark in games played in Lexington. UK has won seven consecutive meetings in the series, including a win in the last meeting in 2009. The Wildcats own a 10-10 all-time record against tradition-rich MTSU, with the two teams meeting for the first time since 1996, when MTSU posted an 11-2 win in Lexington.  

ADAMS NAMED HOUSTON COLLEGE CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
HOUSTON – Kentucky sophomore centerfielder Brian Adams has been selected to the 2011 Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team, as voted on by media and announced by the Houston Astros on Sunday afternoon.

A native of Gainesville, Ga., Adams was selected as one of three outfielders on the HCC All-Tournament team after batting .364 (4-for-11) with a double and two RBI. A 6-foot-4, 230-pound speedster, Adams covered ground splendidly in centerfield during the tournament at Minute Maid Park, with the centerfield fence sitting at 434 feet.

On the year, Adams has started seven of UK’s 11 games, batting .348 (8-for-23) with two doubles, three triples and one stolen base. In his career, Adams has played in 25 games with 16 starts, batting .424 (25-for-59) with five doubles, one triple, one homer and 11 RBI. The best game of Adams’ young career came in a must-win at Georgia in the regular-season finale in 2010, when he batted 4-for-5 with a triple, grand slam and six RBI. Rated as the fourth-best prospect in the SEC available in the 2012 MLB Draft, Adams is a scholarship wide receiver on the football team. In 2010, Adams backed up UK first-team All-American wide receiver Randall Cobb, totaling three catches for 28 yards and excelling on special teams.

Records
Kentucky – 5-6
Eastern Kentucky – 3-7
Middle Tennessee – 2-9

Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) -- Lexington, Ky.
Tuesday, March 8 * vs. EKU * 4 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 * vs. MTSU * 4 p.m.

Radio (BBSN with Neil Price)
Tuesday: WGVN 1580-AM in Lexington
Wednesday: WGVN 1580-AM in Lexington

Internet Coverage
Live video, audio and stats on UKathletics.com

Tentative Pitching Matchups
Tuesday vs. EKU
Fr., LHP Corey Littrell (1-1, 10.38 ERA) vs. TBA
Wednesday vs. MTSU
Fr., RHP Jonathan Paquet (0-0, 6.00 ERA) vs. TBA

Stadium
Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)

Parking
Parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is free.

UK will utilize two lots: the C8 lot behind Shively Sports Center, and brand-new 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 will be available in the C8 and PS7 lots.

Tickets
SINGLE GAME TICKET PRICES
$5 - General Admission Seating - Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors

SEASON TICKET PRICES
$35 General Admission
$55 Reserved Seating