Baseball Hosts WKU in Home Finale Tuesday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Coming off a series win over Georgia last weekend and riding wins in 11 of its last 12 non-conference games, the Kentucky Wildcats will host Western Kentucky in the 2011 home finale, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (24-28) picked up its first series win over Georgia since the 2007 season with wins on Friday and Saturday in the series. The Wildcats fell just short of their first sweep of the Bulldogs since 1993 in a 7-6 loss in the finale on Sunday. UK also posted an 8-5 midweek win over Indiana on Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Throughout the week, the Wildcats rode the red-hot bat of junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy, who was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week on Monday after collecting 13 hits in 19 at bats, with two doubles, two homers and nine RBI during the four-game week.
The Wildcats will turn to sophomore southpaw Taylor Rogers (3-6, 5.01 ERA) for the start on Tuesday vs. Western Kentucky. Rogers made his first career midweek start last week vs. Indiana and turned in his sixth quality start of the year. Rogers has made 12 starts and made one relief outing, tossing 70 innings, allowing 16 walks and striking out 47. The Hilltoppers are projected to start righty Taylor Haydel (5-3, 7.06 ERA). Haydel has made nine starts and appeared in 23 games in 2011, tossing 51 innings, allowing 72 hits and 23 walks, striking out 36.
The game will be broadcast 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, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
The Wildcats have been led offensively by McCarthy, who paces UK with a .359 average, adding an SEC-leading 19 doubles, one triple, seven homers and 34 RBI, stealing eight bases. Chad Wright has hit .345 with 14 doubles, six homers and 34 RBI, swiping 16 bags. Shortstop Taylor Black has added a .308 mark with three homers and 37 RBI, while UK’s two-man catching tandem of Luke Maile and Michael Williams have combined for 16 homers and 57 RBI.
On the mound, UK has been led by one of the top starting pitchers in the country, junior right-hander Alex Meyer (6-5, 3.06 ERA), who leads UK and the SEC with 101 strikeouts in 94 innings. In relief, UK lefty Alex Phillips (1-2, 2.36 ERA) has appeared in a team-high 26 games with two saves and only one walk in 34.1 frames. Freshman Trevor Gott (2-4, 2.73 ERA) has added two saves in 22 relief outings, with 32 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.
The Wildcats rode a dynamic offensive approach during the four-game week, batting .393 overall with nine homers, 59 hits and 33 runs scored as a team. UK was led by McCarthy throughout the week, with the third sacker batting .684 during the four games and .714 (10-for-14) during the three-game weekend. McCarthy tallied his first career multi-homer game on Saturday, as UK clinched the series with a dominating 12-5 win.
Western Kentucky (30-21) has hit .303 as a team in 2011, totaling 36 homers and 56 stolen bases, fielding .977 as a club. On the mound, WKU owns a 4.06 ERA as a team, with 11 saves in 458.1 innings, walking 163 and striking out 378.
The Hilltoppers have been led offensively by outfielder Kes Carter, who has hit .360 with 17 doubles, two triples, six homers and 37 RBI. Catcher Matt Rice – the all-time hits leader in WKU program history – has hit .353 with 13 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 51 RBI. Jared Andreoli has batted .347 with six doubles, five triples, three homers and 35 RBI. Ryan Hutchinson has hit .296 with 15 doubles, two triples, five homers and 40 RBI.
In the bullpen, WKU has been led by Phil Wetherell (0-3, 3.71 ERA) who has appeared in a team-high 26 games with four starts and four saves, tossing 53.1 innings with 41 strikeouts. Ross Hammonds (2-2, 2.68 ERA) has three saves in 22 relief outings, with 44 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. Righty Rye Davis (1-3, 6.81 ERA) has three saves in 35.2 innings, walking 24 and striking out 30.
In the last meeting earlier in 2011 in Bowling Green, WKU rallied from behind in the late innings for a win at the Bowling Green Ballpark. In front of 5,142 the Topper erased UK’s 8-2 lead with an eight-run inning in the bottom of the seventh inning and held on for an 11-8 win. UK’s offense erupted in the game, as UK his two three-run homers, coming from Black and Maile, with Maile’s homer landing on top of the stadium and bouncing out into the parking lot. UK also got multi-hit games from McCarthy, Braden Kapteyn, Brian Adams and J.T. Riddle and hit from Williams and Matt Reida. UK started Jordan Cooper (3-2, 4.61 ERA), who went six strong innings, allowing eight hits and three runs – two earned – walking two and striking out eight. WKU started Haydel, who went three innings, allowing six hits and three runs, walking two.
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.
SINGLE GAME TICKET PRICES
$5 - General Admission Seating - Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors
SEASON TICKET PRICES
$35 General Admission
$55 Reserved Seating