Houston College Classic Field Finalized


HOUSTON -- The field and schedule for the 2011 Houston College Classic, hosted by the Houston Astros, has been set, with the Kentucky baseball team set to play Rice, Houston and Utah in the three-day event, set for March 4-6 at the Astros' Minute Maid Park.

Kentucky was invited to participate in the prestigious annual event, featuring a collection of the top college baseball programs in the nation. The event is scheduled for Friday-Sunday, March 4-6, and is widely considered as the top early season, invitational tournament in the NCAA. Baylor and Texas A&M will also participate in the tournament.

UK will play in the final game March 4, facing tradition-rich Rice, with UK serving as the visiting team, at 8 p.m. ET. On Saturday, March 5, UK will play the middle game of the day, functioning as the home team for a contest with Houston at 4:30 p.m. ET. In the Sunday, March 6 game, UK will open the stadium with the first game of the day, functioning as the visiting team in a tilt with Utah at 12 p.m. ET.

Last year, 28,642 fans attended the three-day tournament, including 10,706 fans for the Friday contests.

The Wildcats return their entire weekend pitching rotation from the 2010 season, including strong-armed right-handers Jordan Cooper and Alex Meyer and southpaw Taylor Rogers. The Wildcats also return several standout position starters, including senior shortstop Taylor Black, who belted 11 homers and hit .270 (48-for-178) in his first season at UK. Kentucky also returns a pair of Cape Cod League summer all-star selections, including Paducah, Ky., native Chad Wright and two-way talent Braden Kapteyn. As a sophomore in 2010, Wright hit .316 (71-for-225) with two homers, 37 RBI and 12 stolen bases. Kapteyn posted a 2-0 record with two saves and a 4.09 ERA on the mound and hit six homers and .294 (45-for-153) as a junior. UK also returns catchers Luke Maile and Michael Williams, along with speedy utility man Neiko Johnson, who stole an eye-popping 24 bases in just 76 at-bats as a junior.

Ticket information has yet to be announced but ticket sales from the 2010 Houston College Classic opened up in January. For more information, visit Astros.com.

2011 Houston College Classic Schedule

1:00 p.m.: Baylor at Houston                                                                            
4:30 p.m.: Utah at Texas A&M                                                                          
8:00 p.m.: Kentucky at Rice                                                                              

SATURDAY, MARCH 5                                                                                                                
1:00 p.m.: Utah at Baylor                                                                                    
4:30 p.m.: Houston at Kentucky                                                                      
8:00 p.m.: Texas A&M at Rice                                                                           

12:00 p.m.: Kentucky at Utah                                                                             
3:30 p.m.: Rice at Baylor                                                                                     
7:00 p.m.: Texas A&M at Houston

* times listed as Eastern