Baseball Travels to Arkansas for Three-Game Series
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky baseball team will open a three-game series on Friday at Arkansas, with first pitch at Baum Stadium slated for 7:35 p.m. ET. The series will resume on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET and conclude on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET at Baum Stadium.
The three games will be broadcast live on SEC Network+, available on WatchESPN. The series will also be live on the UK Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the games live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
The Wildcats will send the weekend rotation of sophomore righty Zack Brown (2-3, 3.06 ERA) on Friday, junior right-hander Dustin Beggs (3-2, 3.33 ERA) on Saturday and junior right-hander Kyle Cody (2-3, 5.87 ERA) on Sunday. Arkansas will turn to junior standout right-hander Trey Killian (0-2, 4.23 ERA) on Friday and sophomore righty Dominic Taccolini (5-2, 3.11 ERA) on Saturday, with Sunday's starter to be announced.
A native of Seymour, Ind., Brown has made eight appearances and seven starts, owning 47 innings, allowing 39 hits and 22 walks, striking out 39. In his career, Brown has a 3-4 record and a 4.04 ERA in 27 games and 12 starts, tossing 75.2 innings, allowing 81 hits and 33 walks, striking out 57. In his last start on Saturday vs. No. 1 Texas A&M, Brown worked his second career complete game in a seven-inning tilt. Brown allowed eight hits and five runs, walking four and striking out five. Brown took a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning, before the Aggies struck for two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to take a three-run win. Killian has made five starts to open the year, allowing only 27 hits and seven walks in 27.2 innings, striking out 19. Last week, Killian worked six innings at Auburn in the opener, allowing eight hits and five runs -- four earned -- walking two and striking out three on 106 pitches.
Beggs, a native of Roswell, Ga., has made eight weekend starts in 2015. A 17th round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, Beggs has tossed a team-leading 48.2 innings, allowing 41 hits and 11 walks, striking out 37. In his last start, a seven-inning series and doubleheader finale vs. No. 1 Texas A&M on Saturday, Beggs worked five innings in a no decision, allowing four hits and three runs, surrendering one walk and striking out four, exiting the game in a 3-3 game. Taccolini has made eight starts in 2015, working 46.1 innings, allowing 37 hits and 18 walks, striking out 41. Taccolini worked seven innings last week at Auburn, allowing five hits and two runs -- one earned -- walking three and striking out three on 108 pitches. He allowed single Auburn runs in the second and sixth innings, exiting with the game tied 2-2 to start the eighth inning.
A 6-foot-7, 245-pound righty, Cody has appeared in eight games and made seven starts, working 38.1 innings, allowing 38 hits and eight walks, striking out 37. Cody has appeared in 41 games with 23 starts in his career, owning a 9-6 record and a 4.57 ERA, saving five games in 134 innings, allowing 131 hits and 41 walks, striking out 104. In his last outing, Cody came out of the bullpen to start the sixth inning in a 3-3 game vs. No. 1 Texas A&M, working the final two innings in the rain-shortened series, allowing three runs for the loss, striking out four on 40 pitches. Last week, Arkansas started Keaton McKinney, who worked 3.1 innings at Auburn, allowing five hits and two runs, walking two on 65 pitches. Jackson Lowery ate up 2.1 innings in relief for the Tigers to set up the save for Zach Jackson.
Kentucky (18-13, 4-7 Southeastern Conference) has 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.
Last weekend, UK had weather impact another stretch 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.
On Wednesday, UK was scheduled to face No. 5 Louisville at Jim Patterson Stadium in the River City, but a ferocious rain storm halted those plans with a postponement.
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).
Arkansas (18-15, 5-7 SEC) is coming off a pair of midweek wins over Mississippi Valley State, posting an 8-1 win and a 14-0 result on Wednesday. The Razorbacks are coming off a series win at Auburn last weekend, posting a 10-7 win in the opener, before Keegan Thompson fired a complete-game win to even the series. The Razorbacks claimed the finale with four runs over the eighth and ninth innings to pick up the series, getting the ninth homer of the year from Andrew Benintendi.
The Razorbacks have hit .292 with 200 runs scored in 33 games, slugging .451 and reaching base at a .384 clip, stealing 30 bases. Arkansas has fielded .976, turning 34 double plays and catching 18 runners stealing. On the mound, Arkansas has a 4.16 ERA, working 292 innings, allowing 274 hits and 158 walks, striking out 270.
At the plate, Andrew Benintendi has a nation-leading 11 homers, sporting a .350 average with six doubles, two triples and 36 RBI, adding 12 steals. Bobby Wernes has hit .353 with four doubles, four triples, three homers and 13 RBI. Tyler Spoon has hit .342 with 14 doubles, one triple, three homers and 29 RBI. Clark Eagan has added a .311 average, with Joe Serrano sporting a .275 mark with three homers and 13 RBI.
On the mound in relief, Zach Jackson (3-0, 1.76 ERA) has three saves in 11 games and three starts, striking out 43 and walking 26 in 30.2 innings. Josh Alberius (1-2, 1.99 ERA), Lance Phillips (0-3, 2.50 ERA), Jacob Stone (2-2, 3.20 ERA), James Tague (2-2, 4.13 ERA), Cannon Chadwick (1-0, 6.75 ERA) and Jackson Lowery (3-0, 4.94 ERA) have each appeared in double-digit games.
Arkansas has a 35-23 record all-time against Kentucky, claiming a series win in Lexington in 2013, with UK using a three-run bottom of the ninth inning to pick up a win in the finale, 4-3. Arkansas owns an 18-9 all-time record over Kentucky, with UK winning the last series in 2012 by posting the first-ever doubleheader sweep at Arkansas in the history of Baum Stadium. The 2010 meeting was decided on centerfielder Colin Kuhn's walk-off grand slam in a 16-15 win in the rubber match.
Kentucky - 18-13, 4-7 SEC
Arkansas - 18-15, 5-7 SEC
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change)
at Arkansas * Friday, April 10 * 7:35 p.m.
at Arkansas * Saturday, April 11 * 7:05 p.m.
at Arkansas * Sunday, April 12 * 1:05 p.m.
- WLAP 630-AM in Central Kentucky
- WKJK 1080-AM in Louisville
- SEC Network+ and WatchESPN
Tentative Pitching Matchups
Friday at Arkansas
So., RHP Zack Brown (2-3, 3.06 ERA) vs. Jr., RHP Trey Killian (0-2, 4.23 ERA)
Saturday at Arkansas
Jr., RHP Dustin Beggs (3-2, 3.33 ERA) vs. So., RHP Dominic Taccolini (5-2, 3.11 ERA)
Sunday at Arkansas
Jr., RHP Kyle Cody (2-3, 5.87 ERA) vs. TBA
Live audio and stats on UKathletics.com
Baum Stadium at George Cole Field