Patterson to Throw out First Pitch at Houston College Classic

HOUSTON -- A two-time first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection and a current member of the Houston Rockets, former Kentucky men’s basketball star Patrick Patterson will throw out the first pitch of UK’s opening game in the Houston College Classic against No. 17 Rice, with first pitch on Friday night at the Houston Astros Minute Maid Park slated for 8 p.m. ET.

“I’m proud and excited to welcome the University of Kentucky baseball team to Houston,” Patterson said. “They have put some wins together recently and I look forward to seeing their winning continue here in Houston this weekend.”

Patterson has thrown out the first pitch at Minute Maid Park before, as he throw out the first pitch at an Astros-Cincinnati Reds game in August and the Rockets held a private batting practice session prior to an Astros game. Also a member of the Rockets is former UK star Chuck Hayes.

A starter for all of his three years at UK, Patterson’s collegiate career awards included first-team All-SEC in 2009 and 2010; SEC All-Defensive Team, first-team All-SEC in 2010; Associated Press Preseason All-American, first-team in 2009; SEC Co-Freshman of the Year in 2008; and he became the 10th fastest player in University of Kentucky history to reach 1,000 points in his 58th game. For this year, his rookie campaign with the Rockets, Patrick is averaging 4.6 points and three rebounds per game, with career highs of 20 points against the Detroit Pistons on February 22 and 10 rebounds twice (vs. Toronto 12/31/2010 and vs. Portland 1/2/2011).

Kentucky (4-4) will open up its play in the 2011 Houston College Classic against high powered Rice at 8 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park. UK will turn to sophomore southpaw Taylor Rogers for the start, with Rogers facing off with right-hander Matthew Reckling. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with Dick Gabriel voicing the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM and online at UKathletics.com.