Baseball Hosts Georgia in Final SEC Home Weekend

 

Gameday Information
Records

Kentucky: 22-27, 5-19 SEC
Georgia: 25-24, 14-10 SEC

Location

Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)

Friday, May 13/6:30 p.m. ET
Coverage

Radio: BSSN
WLAP 630-AM
WKJK 1080-AM
Online Video listen (subscription)
Online Audio listen (free)
GameTracker

Tentative Pitching Matchup

Jr., RHP Alex Meyer (5-5, 2.98 ERA) vs. So., LHP Alex Wood (4-5, 3.95 ERA)

Saturday, May 14/4:30 p.m. ET
Coverage

Radio: BSSN
WLAP 630-AM
WKJK 1080-AM
Online Video listen (subscription)
Online Audio listen (free)
GameTracker

Tentative Pitching Matchup

Fr., LHP Corey Littrell (5-5, 6.37 ERA) vs. Jr., RHP Michael Palazzone (8-2, 2.15 ERA)

Sunday, May 15/1:00 p.m. ET
Coverage

Radio: BSSN
WLAP 630-AM
WKJK 1080-AM
Online Video listen (subscription)
Online Audio listen (free)
GameTracker

Tentative Pitching Matchup

So., RHP Jordan Cooper (3-1, 4.23 ERA) vs. TBA

2011 Team Stats UK GA
Batting Average .291 .271
Runs Scored 265

240

ERA 4.46 4.64
Strikeouts Thrown 370 302
Fielding Pct. .967 .975
2011 Stat Leaders
Batting Average UK: Wright (.371)
GA: Hyams (.335)
RBI UK: Kapteyn (40)
GA: Farmer (48)
On Base Pct. UK: Wright (.431)
GA: Hyams (.413)
ERA UK: Phillips (2.37)
GA: Palazzone (2.15)
Strikeouts Thrown UK: Meyer (96)
GA: Palazzone (57)

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In the final Southeastern Conference home series of the year, the Kentucky baseball team will host the Georgia Bulldogs in a three-game set, beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The series will resume on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET and conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

The series will open at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Friday and Saturday games will be televised live on the Big Blue Sports Network, with Dick Gabriel (play-by-play), MLB Gold Glover Doug Flynn (color), and Brian Milam and Ryan Lemond (sideline) calling the action. The telecasts can be found on FSN South (Insight-Lexington channel 52) and in Central Kentucky on CWKYT-TV (Insight-Lexington channel 5). The three games will also be broadcast live on BBSN, 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 (22-27, 5-19 SEC) is coming off a midweek win over Indiana, an 8-5 result that saw UK belt a season-high four homers. The SEC-leader in homers, Kentucky got jacks from Thomas McCarthy, Luke Maile, Michael Williams and Chad Wright and a splendid start from sophomore southpaw Taylor Rogers, who made his first career midweek start.

UK will turn to its weekend rotation of junior right-hander Alex Meyer (5-5, 2.98 ERA) on Friday night, freshman southpaw Corey Littrell (5-5, 6.37 ERA) on Saturday and sophomore righty Jordan Cooper (3-1, 4.23 ERA) on Sunday. Georgia will counter with sophomore left-hander Alex Wood (4-5, 3.95 ERA) on Friday vs. Meyer and ace right-hander Michael Palazzone (8-2, 2.15 ERA) on Saturday, with Sunday's starter yet to be announced.

A native of Greensburg, Ind., Meyer is coming off the best start of his career, posting a complete-game shutout win over No. 1 Vanderbilt and VU ace Sonny Gray. Meyer was named SEC Pitcher of the Week for the second time in 2011 on Monday, also earning National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Pro-Line Athletic and CollegeBaseball360.com National Player of the Week. A 6-foot-9, 220-pounder, Meyer has had the hottest four-start span of his career over his last month, posting a 1.67 ERA with two complete games. Owning eight quality starts, Meyer has been dominating in his quality outings, posting a 4-3 record with a 1.71 ERA. On the year, Meyer has totaled an SEC-leading 87.2 innings pitched, leading the conference in complete games (four), complete-game shutouts (two), innings pitched per game (7.31) and strikeouts (96). Meyer has fanned 234 in 198.1 career innings, ranking sixth in UK career annals. In his last start at Georgia in 2010, Meyer went 2.1 innings, allowing seven this and five runs, walking four and striking out three after returning from mononucleosis late in the season. Wood has made 11 weekend starts for Georgia, tossing 73 innings, with 15 walks and 54 strikeouts.

On Saturday, Littrell will make his 12th start of the season vs. Georgia's ace Palazzone. Littrell has tossed 59.1 innings and allowed 24 walks with 43 strikeouts as a true freshman, hurling five quality starts. Last Saturday, Littrell was roughed up for six runs in the top of the first, before settling down to go five innings with seven runs allowed vs. the SEC's leading hitting team, Vanderbilt. Palazzone has established himself as one of the premier pitchers in college baseball as a draft-eligible junior, making 12 starts and tossing two complete games in 88 innings, walking eight and striking out 57. Last year in a must-win for UK in the regular-season finale at Georgia, Palazzone allowed seven hits and six runs in four innings vs. the Wildcats.

Cooper will make his second consecutive weekend start on Sunday vs. Georgia. A native of Shelbyville, Tenn., Cooper has made 11 starts and tossed 61.2 innings, walking 28 and striking out 46. In his last start, Cooper went six innings and allowed only five hits and two earned runs, walking six and striking out five vs. Vanderbilt. Last year, Cooper was roughed up in a two-inning stint at Georgia, allowing five runs in two innings, walking two without a strikeout, with the UK bullpen inheriting the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning and allowing all three to score.

The Wildcats have been led offensively by junior outfielder Chad Wright, who paces UK with a .337 average, adding 13 doubles, two triples, six homers and 33 RBI, stealing 14 bases. Third baseman Thomas McCarthy has batted .331 with 17 doubles, one triple, five homers and 26 RBI, stealing eight bases. Shortstop Taylor Black has hit .305 with 14 doubles, two triples, two homers and 31 RBI, swiping 11 bags. Braden Kapteyn has hit .305 with six homers and a team-high 40 RBI, while freshman J.T. Riddle has batted .303 with eight doubles, three homers, 23 RBI and seven stolen bases, ranking seventh in the SEC among freshmen with 43 hits. Centerfielder Brian Adams has added a .297 mark with eight doubles, one triple, two homers and 13 RBI, stealing nine bases. UK's two-man catching tandem of Michael Williams and Luke Maile has combined for 15 homers and 53 RBI.

In the bullpen, junior southpaw Alex Phillips (1-2, 2.37 ERA) has appeared in a team-high 24 games, tossing 30.1 innings with only one walk and 24 strikeouts, charting one save. Freshman Trevor Gott (2-4, 2.88 ERA) has two saves in 21 outings, striking out 31 in 25 frames. Senior Nick Kennedy (0-1, 4.58 ERA) and sophomore Walter Wijas (3-0, 3.73 ERA) have appeared in 18 games each, while senior lefty Mike Kaczmarek (0-0, 7.11 ERA) has saved a team-best four games.

Georgia (25-24, 14-10 SEC) has hit .271 as a team with 29 homers and 40 stolen bases on the year, fielding .975 as a club. On the mound, UGA has tallied a 4.64 ERA with 18 saves in 49 games, striking out 302 and walking 161 in 428.1 innings. The Bulldogs have played the hardest schedule in the nation according to BoydsWorld.com. UGA, ranked No. 10 in the NCAA RPI, has played an SEC-leading 27 games against ranked teams in 2011, posting a 13-14 mark. Led by two-time SEC Coach of the Year David Perno the tradition-rich Bulldogs have totaled three College World Series appearances and won a pair of SEC Titles.

UGA has been led offensively by second baseman Levi Hymas, who has a team-best .335 average with 12 doubles, two homers and 29 RBI. Shortstop Kyle Farmer has hit .298 with a team-high seven homers and 48 RBI, stealing three bases. Slugger Chase Davidson has hit .275 with five homers and 20 RBI, while All-America centerfielder Zach Cone has hit .273 with two homers and 24 RBI, stealing 11 bases. Jonathan Hester has hit .269 with five homers and 19 RBI, while outfielder Peter Verdin has stole 11 bases and hit .227.

In the bullpen, closer Tyler Maloof (2-1, 7.17 ERA) has a staggering 15 saves in 23 relief appearances, striking out 21 in 21.1 innings. Blake Dieterich (1-2, 2.87 ERA) has saved two games in a club-high 24 relief outings, striking out 33 in 37.2 innings.

Last year, Kentucky traveled to Athens, Ga., needing to win two of three to clinch a berth in the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. UK fell in the opener, 8-6, as eventual high round draft pick Justin Grimm went eight innings in his final career start at Georgia, as the Bulldogs jumped out to an 8-1 lead entering the seventh inning, before UK's furious rally fell short. UK got a three-RBI game from Black in the opener, who hit his 11th homer of the year. In the second game of the series, Georgia got another great starting performance from senior Jeff Walters, making his final career UGA appearance. Georgia rode nine runs in the first five innings to a startling 20-0 win, as UK had a run called off the board on an appeal play at third base late in the game. Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor went 5-for-5 with three RBI in the game to clinch the series, while Farmer added four hits and four RBI. UK responded with a win to stay in the hunt in the regular-season finale on Saturday at Georgia, posting a comeback 14-11 win behind a career day from Adams, who went 4-for-5 with a grandslam, triple and six RBI. UK got a strong relief outing from Kennedy, who went two innings for the win, with Gunner Glad breaking up a 11-11 tie in the top of the ninth inning with a three-run homer off UGA flame-throwing closer Cooper Moseley. UK was led in the Georgia series by Adams, who hit .667 (8-for-12) with a double, triple, homer and six RBI. Marcus Nidiffer added two hits and Chris Bisson collected four knocks.

Georgia leads the overall series with UK 124-84-1, including a 46-39-1 mark in games played in Lexington. Before UK won the finale in 2010, Georgia has a stretch of wins in eight consecutive meetings. The biggest win in UK history came at Georgia in 2006, when Craig Snipp pitched the Wildcats to a regular-season SEC Championship clinching win in Athens.

Parking
Parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is free.

UK will utilize three lots: the C8 lot behind Shively Sports Center, the R lot down the first base line 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.

Tickets
SINGLE GAME TICKET PRICES
$5 - General Admission Seating - Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors

SEASON TICKET PRICES
$35 General Admission
$55 Reserved Seating

Parking
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.