No. 22 Baseball Hosts Evansville in Midweek Matchup
LEXINGTON, Ky. --
Off to a 9-1 start to the season, the 22nd-ranked Kentucky baseball team will return to action for an 11-game homestand, hosting Evansville Tuesday and Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium with first-pitch slated for 3 p.m. ET.
Kentucky (9-1) is fresh off a trip to San Diego, where the Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season at San Diego State, in addition to posting wins at San Diego and against Monmouth.
The games will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the games live on WGVN 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
In the loss to SDSU, a team coached by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, Aztec starter and All-American Addison Reed tossed six innings for the win in the pitching matchup with UK right-hander Alex Meyer. UK responded with a 6-0 shutout win over San Diego Friday, with UK junior left-hander Logan Darnell tossing a complete-game shutout, earning Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week accolades in just his third career start. In the win, Gunner Glad led the charge offensively, going 4-for-5 with two RBI.
Saturday, UK wrapped up its stay in San Diego with a dramatic comeback from six down in the bottom of the seventh to post a 14-13 slugfest win over Monmouth, the defending Northeast Conference champions. UK faced a 13-7 deficit entering the bottom of the seventh, before mounting a rally with one run in the seventh, four in the eighth and the game-winning two runs in the bottom of the ninth. With UK trailing by one entering the bottom of the ninth, Neiko Johnson ripped a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence to even up the game and then UK loaded the bases for Braden Kapteyn to get plunked by a pitch for the walk-off win. UK reliever Matt Little earned Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Week accolades after tossing the final four innings and allowing only two hits with nine strikeouts to pick up the win.
Kentucky has been led offensively by senior centerfielder Keenan Wiley, who paces the Wildcats with a .400 (14-for-35) average, adding a homer, two doubles and eight RBI. Preseason All-American second baseman Chris Bisson has charted a .378 (14-for-37) average, adding two doubles, a triple, two homers and 10 RBI. Glad leads the team with four doubles, adding a .343 (12-for-35) average with nine RBI. Third baseman Andy Burns leads the team with three homers, also contributing two doubles and a triple, ranking tops on the team with seven walks.
In the bullpen, Little has led the way for UK, appearing in a club-high five games and totaling a 0.82 ERA with three saves, fanning 14 in 11 innings. Sophomore right-hander Braden Kapteyn has added a win and a save in his two appearances, striking out three in 3.1 innings.
Evansville (3-8) is coming off a 2-1 series loss at Samford and has also posted two wins over Mercer. UE opened the year with a sweep at the hands of Belmont and have suffered one midweek loss at No. 8 Louisville. The Purple Aces have hit for a .260 team average and totaled a 6.82 team ERA.
Individually, UE has been led by Cody Fick, who leads the team with a .383 (18-for-47) average, totaling four homers and 16 RBI. Tom Heithoff (.364 avg., 2 HR, 6 RBI) and Greg Wallace (.267 avg., 4 HR, 13 RBI) have provided the offensive punch in the lineup. Out of the bullpen, Heithoff (1-1, 3.09 ERA) has the lone save, while Corey Davisson (0-1, 2.16) has appeared in a staff-best six games out of the pen.
Last season Evansville beat UK in Lexington, 11-7, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after the top of the first inning against starter Sean Bouthilette. UE started Wade Kapteyn, brother of UK sophomore Braden Kapteyn in the game, with him going two innings and allowing one run. UK reliever Chase Greene gave up five runs and got one out in the game, while then-senior Jonathan Huff threw 3.2 shutout innings in relief for UK. Offensively, Glad led UK in the game with a homer and three RBI, while Chad Wright and Chris Wade each charted multi-hit games.
Overall in the series, Evansville leads 9-6, with the series tied 4-4 in games played in Lexington. Evansville has won two of the last three meetings, including a win in Evansville in 2007, a walk-off win for the Purple Aces and an 11-7 win in Lexington last season.
Kentucky – 9-1, 0-0 SEC
Evansville – 3-8, 0-0 MWC
Rankings (as of 3/8/10)
• No. 22 (Baseball America)
• No. 24 (Collegiate Baseball)
• No. 24 (NCBWA)
• No. 19 (Rivals.com/Yahoo!)
• No. 22 (USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll)
• No. 21 (Ping! Baseball)
• Not ranked
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) -- Lexington, Ky.
Tuesday, March 9 * vs. Evansville * 3 p.m.
Wednesday, March 10 * vs. Evansville * 4 p.m.
Radio (BBSN with Neil Price)
Tuesday: WGVN 1580-AM in Lexington
Wednesday: WGVN 1580-AM in Lexington
Live video, audio and stats on UKathletics.com;
Live blog from Cliff Hagan Stadium press box 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 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 is available in the C8 and PS7 lots.