Kentucky Opens 106th Season at Caravelle Resort Invite
Feb. 18, 2010
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- After posting four consecutive winning seasons for just the second time in program history, the Kentucky baseball team opens its 106th all-time season, traveling to play in the Caravelle Resort Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina at Vrooman Field.
Kentucky will open the season Friday, playing Virginia Tech at noon ET. UK will play West Virginia Saturday at noon ET and will face the host Chanticleers Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Saturday's game, which was originally slated to begin at 11 a.m. ET, has been pushed back to a noon ET first pitch. All games will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with Dick Gabriel calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear all three games on WGVN 1580-AM, with the broadcast also available on UKathletics.com.
The Wildcats are opening their second consecutive season in Myrtle Beach, posting a 2-2 record in the Caravelle Resort Invitational last year. Kentucky notched wins over Troy and James Madison to open the season, before falling in two games at Coastal.
Kentucky will open the 2010 season with sophomore right-hander Alex Meyer (1-4, 5.73 ERA in 2009) on the mound against Virginia Tech's junior left-hander Justin Wright (7-2, 3.95 ERA in 2009). Meyer, a 6-foot-9, 220-pounder, is rated as one of the top prospects in college baseball after ranking sixth in the NCAA with 12.06 strikeouts per nine innings as a true freshman. Meyer started 11 games and appeared in 13 in 2009, totaling 80 strikeouts in 59.2 innings.
Saturday, UK will send freshman left-hander Taylor Rogers to the mound for his first career starting assignment against West Virginia. A native of Littleton, Colo., the 6-foot-3, 170-pound Rogers is rated as the 21st-best freshmen in college baseball by Baseball America. West Virginia is expected to counter with sophomore southpaw Jonathan Jones (6-2, 6.57 ERA in 2009), a sophomore who started 12 games and appeared in 15 a year ago. Jones tossed 63 innings last season, allowing 77 hits, walking 38 and striking out 54.
Sunday, UK will send junior southpaw Logan Darnell (5-6, 4.50 ERA in 2009) to the mound for his first career start. A 6-foot-2, 210-pounder, Darnell has appeared exclusively out of the bullpen for the first two seasons, totaling 43 relief appearances and a 4.38 ERA, adding three saves in 63.2 innings pitched with 59 punch-outs. Coastal Carolina will counter with junior left-hander Matt Laney, a transfer from Miami Dade Community College and former East Carolina pitcher, Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats own a 56-40-3 all-time record in season-opening games, including a current streak of winning six consecutive games, a school record. UK last opened the season with a loss in the lidlifter in 2003. UK will be opening in the Palmetto State for the third time in the last four years, as the Wildcats opened the 2007 season in Greenville, S.C., for a three-game set against Furman.
Kentucky will be meeting Virginia Tech for the fifth time in program history, with the series tied 2-2. UK owns a 10-2 lead against West Virginia and trails the series with CCU, 1-4.