Baseball Travels to No. 5 Louisville on Wednesday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky baseball team will open a four-game road week with a midweek matchup at No. 5 Louisville on Wednesday, with first pitch at Jim Patterson Stadium slated for 6 p.m. and the game set for broadcast live on WatchESPN.
The game will also be broadcast live on the UK Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky (18-13) will be facing its 15th top-25 opponent in its first 32 games of the 2015 season. The Wildcats have five wins over top-25 foes including two wins vs. No. 20 Mississippi State and at No. 1 LSU and a win at No. 16 UC Santa Barbara. UK will be facing its sixth game against a top-five opponent in its last seven games, with the lone non-ranked foe in the current stretch B1G power Indiana.
Louisville (25-7) is coming off a series sweep at No. 15 Virginia, including a 4-0 shutout win on Monday. The Cardinals have a 14-1 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with the lone loss coming at Miami (Fla.).
Last weekend, UK had weather impact another weekend in 2015, as the Wildcats and the top-ranked Texas A&M Aggies were set to square off in a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series, before a historic rain storm halted plans. The two teams were forced to settle with a pair of seven-inning games on Saturday, with TAMU erasing an early one-run lead in the first game with five runs over the fourth and fifth innings. In the nightcap, TAMU jumped out to a 3-1 lead, before UK rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. A two-strike hit batter to leadoff the sixth, an RBI double and a two-run homer lead to the 6-3 setback in the seven-inning game. In the midweek game, UK plated five runs in the second inning and had a 7-5 lead heading to the seventh inning, before Indiana had two-run innings in each of the final three frames to post an 11-7 win.
The Wildcats have hit for a .303 average as a team in 2015, good for fourth in the SEC. UK has slugged .404 and reached base at a .388 clip, scoring 184 runs in 31 games, stealing 40 bases. On the mound, UK has a 4.59 ERA, with six saves in 278.2 innings, walking 98 and striking out 223.
At the plate for UK, junior leftfielder Ka'ai Tom has hit .384 with nine doubles, one triple, two homers and 30 RBI, stealing 11 bases. Junior centerfielder Kyle Barrett leads the SEC in hits (52), while hitting .382 with seven doubles, one triple, one homer and 16 RBI, stealing seven bags. Second baseman JaVon Shelby hit .636 last week and is sporting a .330 average with seven doubles, one triple, two homers and 23 RBI. Senior third baseman Thomas Bernal has a .317 average with six doubles, one homer and 22 RBI. Freshman first baseman Evan White has a .310 mark with five doubles, one triple, one homer and 16 RBI. Catcher Zach Arnold has hit .284, with freshman infielder Riley Mahan batting .270 with a homer and eight RBI. Rightfielder Storm Wilson has a .250 mark with three doubles, two triples, one homer and 11 RBI, stealing six bases. Outfielder Marcus Carson has added five steals, with shortstop Connor Heady belting a homer and adding nine RBI. Catcher Greg Fettes leads the team with three homers, adding 13 RBI and a pair of doubles.
On the mound, UK has used the weekend rotation of Zack Brown (2-3, 3.06 ERA), Dustin Beggs (3-2, 3.33 ERA) and Cody (2-3, 5.87 ERA) to open SEC play. In relief, junior Zach Strecker (2-0, 4.11 ERA) and senior Andrew Nelson (2-2, 4.40 ERA) have each appeared in a team-leading 13 games in relief. Senior Spencer Jack (1-0, 3.27 ERA) has four saves in 12 games, with Logan Salow (1-1, 9.26 ERA) also owning a save in 12 games. Dylan Dwyer (2-0, 2.65 ERA) has appeared in 10 games, along with freshman lefty Zach Logue (1-1, 5.49 ERA).
Kentucky -- 18-13
Louisville -- 25-7
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change)
at Louisville * April 8 * 6 p.m.
Radio (UK IMG Network with Neil Price)
- WLAP 630-AM in Central Kentucky
- WKJK 1080-AM in Louisville
Tentative Pitching Matchups
Wednesday at Louisville
TBA vs. TBA
Live audio and stats on UKathletics.com
Jim Patterson Stadium