Baseball Hosts Western Kentucky Wednesday

April 7, 2009

UK Game Notes (PDF) | WKU Game Notes (PDF) | SEC Game Notes (PDF)

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Winners of three consecutive meetings in the series, the Kentucky baseball team hosts state rival Western Kentucky in a Wednesday mid-week tilt, with first pitch at Cliff Hagan Stadium slated for 4 p.m. ET.

Kentucky (18-12) has won two consecutive mid-week games and owns a 14-4 non-conference record in 2009. The Wildcats posted wins over Marshall and Wright State last week, behind solid pitching performances from Mike Kaczmarek, Jonathan Huff, Clint Tilford, Logan Darnell, Tyler Henry and Braden Kapteyn. Offensively, first baseman Gunner Glad tallied his second multi-homer game of the season against Wright State, belting two homers for a team-high six round-trippers on the season.

The Wildcats are led offensively by its sophomore second baseman, Chris Bisson, who has totaled team highs in average (.364), at bats (118), runs (31), hits (43), doubles (9) and RBI (27). Catcher Marcus Nidiffer has tallied a .318 average with five homers and 20 RBI, with Gunner Glad leading the team with six homers, adding 17 RBI in just 41 at bats. UK has relied heavily on its freshmen class, including Braden Kapteyn (.312, 6 2B, 1 HR, 12 RBI), Chad Wright (.310, 3 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI), Andy Burns (.259, 4 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 19 RBI) and Cory Farris (.273, 8 RBI). Veterans Chris Wade (.290, 5 2B, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 8-9 SB) and Spencer Korus (.400, 3 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI) have helped bolster the UK lineup.

On the mound, senior southpaw Chris Rusin (3.83, 4-2), junior James Paxton (6.08, 4-2) and freshman Alex Meyer (1-1, 4.04) have formed a solid weekend rotation. In the bullpen, southpaw Logan Darnell (3.42, 3-1) has appeared in a team-high 15 games, joining Clint Tilford (3.76, 1-2), Tyler Henry (1-2, 3.76) and Braden Kapteyn (5.25, 1-0) in relievers appearing in 10 or more games.

UK leads the all-time series with WKU, 30-20, having won three consecutive meetings. A year ago, in Bowling Green, WKU hosted the Wildcats in front of a school-record 3,057 fans, an electric atmosphere that saw the Wildcats win 2-1 behind solo homers from first-team All-American Collin Cowgill and senior second baseman Ryan Wilkes and a great pitching effort from senior southpaw Tommy Warner. In the first game of the series in 2008, Cowgill belted two homers at Cliff Hagan Stadium in a 7-3 win that saw UK start James Paxton, with Aaron Lovett, Clint Tilford, Andrew Albers and Brock Baber seeing time in relief.

Western Kentucky (21-9, 9-3 Sun Belt) ranks as the top team in the Sun Belt in 2009, just a year removed for a NCAA Athens Regional and Sun Belt Conference Championship. The Hilltoppers are coming off its first series defeat of the season, in Miami, Fla., at Florida International, snapping a five-game winning streak. On the year, WKU has swept traditional powers Troy, South Alabama and Louisiana Monroe. Offensively, catcher Matt Rice (.423 avg., 11 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 40 RBI) has led the way, with Wade Gaynor (.391, 9 2B, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 9-11 SB), Jared Andreoli (.372, HR, 20 RBI), Matt Payton (.351, 9 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 20 RBI), shortstop Terrence Dayleg (.337, 11 2B, 2 HR, 16 RBI) and Jake Wells (.336, 8 2B, 3 HR, 25 RBI) solidifying the lineup. Also, starting pitcher/outfielder Matt Hightower, a Florida transfer, has hit .333, with five homers and 25 RBI, swiping 13-of-15 bases and earning a 4-0 record and a 3.79 ERA on the mound. In the bullpen, Evan Teague (2-2, 3.24 ERA, 2 saves), Bryce Jenney (1-1, 3.29 ERA, 3 saves), Ben Paxton (1-1, 6.00 ERA), Chad Adcock (0-1, 7.08 ERA, 1 save) and Garrie Krueger (0-1, 8.10 ERA) have all made 10 or more appearances for the Hilltoppers. As a team, WKU has hit for a staggering .343 average, posting a 5.88 team ERA.

For the game Wednesday, fans can catch all the action 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 game live on WLAP 630-AM. 

Kentucky - 18-12, 4-8 SEC
Western Kentucky - 21-9, 9-3 Sun Belt

Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) - Lexington, Ky.
Wednesday, April 8 * 4:00 p.m.

Radio (BBSN with Neil Price)
Wednesday: WLAP 630-AM in Lexington

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 will be available in the C8 and PS7 lots.

$5 - General Admission Seating - Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors

$35 General Admission
$55 Reserved Seating