No. 20 Baseball Travels to No. 16 Indiana
March 10, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After scoring 50 runs in its last two games, No. 22 Kentucky will travel to face No. 17 Indiana in a midweek rivalry clash, with first pitch in Bloomington, Ind., on Tuesday at Bart Kaufman Field slated for 4:05 p.m. ET.
The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WWTF 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky (13-3) will send sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer (1-0, 3.00 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday to face off with Indiana junior southpaw Kyle Hart (1-1, 3.38 ERA).
Dwyer is coming off the first complete-game shutout in a midweek game in the UK modern-era (2003-present), after firing a three-hit blanking against Cincinnati on Wednesday. Dwyer has worked three midweek starts in 2014, with 15 innings, allowing 10 hits and seven walks, striking out 16 and holding opponents to a .192 average. A native of Murray, Ky., Dwyer has appeared in 17 games with three starts in his two-year career, owning a 2-0 record and a 3.45 ERA in 31.1 innings, allowing 30 hits and 14 walks, striking out 23. Hart, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound southpaw, is coming off his second straight season as a starter for the Hoosiers.
Hart has made five appearances and three starts in 2014, notching one save in 16 innings, allowing eight hits and 11 walks, striking out seven. In his career, Hart has a 14-8 record and a 3.14 ERA in 35 games and 33 starts, working 183.2 innings, walking 68 and striking out 110. In 2013, Hart opened with a 7-0 record in his first 11 starts, finishing with an 8-2 mark and a win in regular-season finale to clinch the B1G regular-season title. On Sunday, in a win at Jacksonville University, Hart picked up the save with a 16-pitch ninth inning, striking out one in the three batters he faced to clinch the IU series win.
Last week, the Wildcats posted a 7-0 win over Cincinnati in the opener of a Wednesday doubleheader, getting the first complete-game shutout in a midweek game in modern program history from Dwyer. UK then swept the twinbill with the Bearcats with a 13-2 win in the nightcap.
UK took a three-run lead into the ninth inning in the series opener on Friday vs. Ball State, before the Cardinals plated three runs to equal the game, with UK allowing a two-out error to plate the tying runs, with another error in the 10th inning allowing the game-winning runs to score. In the second game of the series, UK pounded the Cardinals 24-1, behind the NCAA-leading eighth homer of the year from A.J. Reed. UK then posted a 26-3 win over BSU in the rubber match, with catcher Micheal Thomas homering for the second straight game and Max Kuhn belting his first homer of 2014. UK’s 58 runs over the three-game weekend shattered the previous record of 47 runs scored in a three-game series with Tennessee Martin in 2007.
The Wildcats plated 76 runs during their five-game week, with a .385 average, 24 extra-base hits, nine steals, 17 hit batters and a .504 on-base percentage. In 16 games in 2014, UK has hit a SEC-leading .345 with 45 doubles, four triples, 14 homers and 182 runs scored, stealing 36 bases. On the mound, UK has a 2.51 team ERA in 143.1 innings, walking 50 and striking out 105, with UK fielding .965 and turning 15 double plays.
Individually, centerfielder Austin Cousino leads the SEC with a .443 average, with eight doubles, two triples, one homer and 10 RBI, stealing seven bases. Reed leads the NCAA in homers (eight) and RBI (28), with four doubles and a .579 on-base percentage. Thomas has hit .391 with five doubles, two homers and 20 RBI, with leftfielder Ka’ai Tom hitting .362 with four doubles, 10 RBI and six steals. Kuhn has a .353 average with seven doubles, one homer and 17 RBI. Rightfielder Kyle Barrett has hit .343 with four doubles, one homer, 14 RBI and eight steals.
UK has used the weekend rotation of Reed (3-0, 1.38 ERA) on Friday and Chandler Shepherd (3-0, 2.42 ERA) on Saturday. UK has started Kyle Cody (2-0, 1.35 ERA) in three games, with Andrew Nelson (1-0, 1.93 ERA) starting on Sunday vs. Ball State. In the bullpen, junior Spencer Jack (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has appeared in seven games, with freshman Logan Salow (1-0, 0.00 ERA0 appearing in five games, striking out 10 of the first 19 hitters he has faced in his career.
Indiana (7-6) – which advanced to its first ever NCAA College World Series in 2013 – is coming off a series win at Jacksonville University over the weekend, suffering a loss in the lidlifter before winning the final two games the series. As a team, IU has hit .253 with 22 doubles, five triples, three homers and 56 runs scored in 13 games, stealing 15 bases and fielding .967 as a team. On the mound, IU has a 3.06 team ERA in 117.2 innings, saving four games, walking 49 and striking out 81, with opponents batting .270.
Individually, IU has been led by preseason All-America catcher Kyle Schwarber, who has hit .333 with four doubles, two triples, two homers and seven RBI. First baseman Sam Travis owns a .320 average with three doubles, one triple and 11 RBI, while Casey Rodrigue has hit .321 with two doubles and four RBI. Third baseman Dustin DeMuth has a .317 average with a double and an RBI, with Will Nolden hitting .250, Nick Ramos batting .233, Scott Donley hitting .213 and Casey Smith – the son of head coach Tracy Smith – hitting .188 with two RBI.
In the bullpen for IU, Scott Effros (1-0, 2.20 ERA) has appeared in a team-high seven games, with a save in 16.1 innings, walking four and striking out nine. Luke Harrison (0-0, 2.35 ERA) has appeared in five games with one save and 11 strikeouts in 7.2 innings, with Jake Kelzer (0-1, 6.43 ERA) also appearing in five games in relief.
Kentucky leads the all-time series with Indiana, 19-15, with a 5-4 lead in games played in Bloomington. UK has won three consecutive meetings with the Hoosiers and has won five of the last six meetings with IU.
In the last meeting in 2013, Kentucky posted a 5-3 win over the then No. 15 Hoosiers in Lexington. Kentucky jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and third innings, before IU got a run back in the sixth and took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh. UK answered with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, as Micheal Thomas belted a game-tying homer to lead off the inning and A.J. Reed smacked a game-winning, two-out single. After adding an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, Trevor Gott needed just nine pitches in a perfect ninth inning for his 12th save of the year. UK started Jerad Grundy, who had scuffled into the midweek starting role after two straight years as a Saturday starter. Grundy dominated IU, working six innings, allowing four hits and one run, walking two and striking out two. Chandler Shepherd picked up the win with 1.1 perfect innings of relief for the Wildcats. IU started Will Coursen-Carr, who worked six strong innings, allowing five hits and two runs, walking one and striking out three. UK got a 3-for-4 game from Russiaville, Ind., native Matt Reida, with Terre Haute, Ind., native A.J. Reed going 2-for-3 with a walk and Zionsville, Ind., native Max Kuhn going 2-for-4. UK held Kyle Schwarber, Sam Travis, Dustin DeMuth and Michael Basil to a 2-for-15 game in the 2-3-4-5 parts of the order.
UK ranks as the SEC leader in 11 offensive categories, while also ranking second in the league in walks, fourth in triples and 13th in strikeouts. Kentucky leads the SEC in average (.345), slugging (.510), on-base percentage (.461), runs (183; 65 runs more than the No. 2 team), hits (199), RBI (157), doubles (45), homers (14), total bases (294), hit batters (35) and steals (36).
Individually, A.J. Reed leads the SEC in slugging (.945), on-base percentage (.579), RBI (28), homers (eight) and total bases (52), ranking third in average (.436), third in runs (22), third in hits (24) and third in walks (15). Austin Cousino ranks second in the SEC in average (.443), slugging (.657), runs scored (25), total bases (46) and doubles (eight), also ranking first in hits (31) and third in steals (seven). Max Kuhn leads the SEC in runs scored (26) and walks (16), with Kyle Barrett ranking fourth in runs (18), sixth in hits (23), 10th in RBI (14) and first in steals (eight). Catcher Micheal Thomas ranks 11th in average (.391) and sixth in on-base percentage (.500).
Kentucky – 13-3, 0-0 SEC
Indiana – 7-6, 0-0 B1G
Kentucky – No. 20 (Baseball America), No. 21 (Collegiate Baseball, USA Today, NCBWA), No. 18 Perfect Game
Indiana – No. 16 (Baseball America), No. 28 (NCBWA), not ranked (Collegiate Baseball, USA Today, Perfect Game)
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change)
at No. 16 Indiana * March 11 * 4:05 p.m.
Radio (UK IMG Network with Neil Price)
Tuesday, March 11 * WWTF 1580-AM in Lexington
Tentative Pitching Matchups
Tuesday at Indiana
So., LHP Dylan Dwyer (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Jr., LHP Kyle Hart (1-1, 3.38 ERA)