Baseball Looks to Sweep Louisville Tuesday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Fresh off a thrilling series win over No. 12 Arkansas over the weekend, the Kentucky baseball team hosts in-state rival Louisville, with UK looking to sweep the Cardinals for the first time since the 2006 season. First-pitch on Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised live on the Big Blue Sports Network, with Dick Gabriel (play-by-play), former UK great and MLB Gold Glover Doug Flynn (color) and Ryan Lemond (sideline) calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can see the game live on CWKYT-TV (Insight-Lexington channel 5) and throughout the Southeast on FSN (Insight-Lexington channel 52). The game will also be broadcast live on BBSN (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, voicing 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 (19-22) posted a series win over the red-hot Razorbacks over the weekend, who entered the series leading the Southeastern Conference Western Division, ranked as high as No. 12 nationally, and having won nine of their last 10 games. UK rode dominating pitching to a 3-2 series-opening win and a 3-1 series-clinching win, before the weather halted Kentucky’s attempt at the first series sweep of Arkansas in program history in a rain-shortened five-inning contest.
The Wildcats will send sophomore right-hander Jordan Cooper (2-1, 4.96 ERA) to the mound for his fourth career start against Louisville and his second of the season. Over the last two seasons, Cooper has started all four of the meetings against the Cardinals, tossing 13 innings, allowing only one earned run. In his last start vs. UL on April 12, Cooper was dominating, going 6.1 innings, allowing five hits and two runs – one earned – walking three and striking out two in a 3-2 UK win. On the year, Cooper has appeared in 11 games with nine starts, saving one game in 49 innings, walking 19 and striking out 36. Louisville will counter with sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Nastold (3-4, 3.53 ERA). Nastold owns nine starts this year, tossing 35.2 innings, allowing 32 hits and 22 walks, striking out 28.
Louisville (22-17, 8-7 Big East) has hit .259 as a team, with 18 homers and 47 stolen bases. The Cardinals own a 3.00 team ERA with 13 saves in 345.1 innings, walking 126 and striking out 266, posting a .963 fielding percentage. UL is coming off a series win over South Florida last week, in addition to falling in a midweek test vs. Indiana.
The Cardinals have been led by All-America second baseman Ryan Wright, who has hit .325 with six homers, 28 RBI and 13 stolen bases. Stewart Ijames has hit .287 with eight homers and 30 RBI, while infielder Ryan Seiz has batted .284 with two homers and 14 RBI. J.J. Ethel has batted .279 with eight RBI, while Cade Stalling has added a .241 average with a club-best 11 doubles. In the bullpen, UL has been led by All-America closer Tony Zych (0-2, 3.32 ERA), who was named the prospect of the year in the prestigious Cape Cod League over the summer. Zych has appeared in 19 games with 10 saves, hurling 19 innings with eight walks and 19 strikeouts. Derek Self (2-1, 1.55 ERA) has appeared in 15 games with one start and a save, tossing 40.2 innings with only 25 hits and 11 walks allowed.
In the last meeting between the two teams, UK rode the strong pitching outing from Cooper, who went into the seventh inning and allowed only one earned run. UK got three-hit games from senior Taylor Black and junior Chad Wright, with the duo sparking UK’s game-winning, one-run rally in the top of the ninth inning to break the 2-2 tie. Wright doubled to lead off the ninth and Black smoked a RBI single into rightfield off Zych for the game-winning RBI in front of 3,245 at Jim Patterson Stadium. UK used Mike Kaczmarek and Trevor Gott in relief, with Gott picking up the win with three strikeouts in the final four outs, with Michael Williams completing the strikeout-throw-out double play to end the bottom of the ninth inning and seal the win for Gott. UK also got a two-hit game from Thomas McCarthy with Williams, J.T. Riddle and Paul McConkey charting hits, with Riddle notching a first-inning RBI and McCarthy forcing home a run with a double-play ball. UL started Jeff Thompson, who went 3.2 innings, allowing seven hits and two walks. Travis Tingle went 2.2 innings in relief, with Self taking the loss with one run allowed in 1.2 frames.
The UK game with Louisville earlier in the year marked the third time in the last four meetings that the rivalry tilt was decided by one run. With the exception of UK's decisive 5-0 win over UL in 2010 in Lexington, the two teams have squared off in drama-filled rivalry games, with UK falling in Louisville in 2010, 10-9 on a walk-off loss and UK posting an 8-7 win over UL in 2009 in Louisville.
Overall, Kentucky has dominated the series with Louisville, winning 25 of the last 35 games in the series and owning a 65-33-1 overall mark all time.
The Wildcats have been led offensively by Black, who has hit .337 with 12 doubles, two homers and 27 RBI, stealing 10 bases. Braden Kapteyn has hit .321 with five homers and 38 RBI, while McCarthy has added a .320 mark with a SEC-leading 15 doubles, four homers and 22 RBI, stealing eight bags. Wright has batted .314 with four homers, 27 RBI and a club-best 14 stolen bases, with Riddle adding a .314 mark with eight doubles, three homers and 22 RBI. Brian Adams has hit .304 with two homers and 12 RBI, while Luke Maile leads the team with six homers, batting .274 with eight doubles and 27 RBI, swiping six bases.
In the bullpen, UK has been led by Gott (2-4, 1.82 ERA), who has two saves in 24.2 innings, striking out 31. Alex Phillips (1-1, 2.28 ERA) has appeared in 20 games with 23.2 innings and only one walk issued. Walter Wijas (3-0, 3.67 ERA) has pitched 27 innings, striking out 22. Kaczmarek (0-0, 6.94 ERA) has a team-best four saves, while Kapteyn (0-2, 7.24 ERA) has saved two games in 2011 with eight career saves.
Television (BBSN with Dick Gabriel, Doug Flynn and Ryan Lemond)
CWKYT-TV in Central Kentucky (Insight-Lexington channel 5)
FSN throughout Southeast (Insight-Lexington channel 52)
Parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is free.
UK will utilize two lots: the C8 lot behind Shively Sports Center, and 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.
SINGLE GAME TICKET PRICES
$5 - General Admission Seating - Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors
SEASON TICKET PRICES
$35 General Admission
$55 Reserved Seating