Kentucky Hosts Tennessee Tech in Three-Game Set
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 25 Kentucky baseball team, off to a 4-0 start to the 2007 season, gets set to host Tennessee Tech in a three-game series beginning Friday at 4 p.m. EST at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Wildcats, the defending Southeastern Conference Champions, have jumped all over its competition in the first four games, plating 48 runs and hitting seven home runs. Leading the charge for the Wildcats are several newcomers, including outfielder Jason Kipnis.
Kipnis, the reigning national and SEC Freshman of the Week, is off to an excellent start to his collegiate career, ripping four home runs in three games. The Northbrook, Ill. native is batting .500 (6-for-12) with nine runs, a triple, three hit-by pitches, and one stolen base.
Kentucky first baseman Sawyer Carrroll is currently leading the Wildcats in batting average with a .533 (8-for-15) clip. The junior college transfer has doubled four times, while driving in a team-high tying seven runs.
On the mound for the Wildcat pitching staff to face Tennessee Tech is the trio of weekend starters that mowed down the Furman Paladins last weekend. Friday’s starter, Andrew Albers, went five innings in the season opener, striking out four and allowing only two hits. Saturday will see Chris Rusin toe the hill, after striking out a career-high seven Paladin batters last weekend. Sunday’s starter is one of the best pitchers in college baseball, Greg Dombrowski. The right-hander is on the watch list for the Rogers Clemens Award, an honor annually given to the top pitcher in the nation. Dombrowski worked six innings last Sunday, allowing only two runs to get his first win of the season.
Tennessee Tech is off to a 3-0 start, running through Alabama A&M and Mid-Continent to the tune of 37 runs in its three games. Pitching for the Golden Eagles on Friday will be Adam Liberatore, a sophomore southpaw.
The Wildcats boast three preseason All-Americans on its roster and one, Lexington native Collin Cowgill, has yet to take the field due to a nagging hand injury. Backstop Sean Coughlin and Dombrowski round out UK’s All-Americans. Centerfielder Antone DeJesus was also named to the All-SEC second-team by SEBaseball.com.
Kentucky is coming off a home-opening win over Murray State on Wednesday. The Breds’ pushed UK to the limit before a Sean Coughlin two-run double broke open the game to give Kentucky an 8-5 win.
Cliff Hagan Stadium has received significant modification attention during the offseason. Among the improvements made include a state-of-the art video board in left-centerfield and a brand new viewing deck in right field. Kentucky’s turf management crew, led by Sports Turf Manager Donnie Mefford, also installed a new Bermuda grass infield, improving an already magnificent playing surface at Shively Field.
Fans can catch the action on the Big Blue Sports Network in Lexington on WXRA 1580-AM with Neil Price on the call. For ticket information visit UKathletics.com or call the UK ticket office (859) 257-1818.