No. 11 Baseball Hosts State Rival WKU
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 11 Kentucky baseball team returns to action on Wednesday, at it plays host to state rival Western Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. EDT at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (20-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) is off to the best 22-game start in the 103-year history of the Wildcat baseball program. The Wildcats opened up the season running off 19 consecutive wins before faltering in the SEC opener last Friday against Arkansas. The 19-game win streak set several school marks including the longest winning streak and the best start to a season. UK’s 10-2 loss to Arkansas on Friday snapped the nation’s longest regular season home winning streak at 29 games.
The Wildcats have been paced by several hot bats, including seniors Mike Brown and Sean Coughlin. Brown is second in the SEC in batting average, reaching at a .452 mark. Brown and junior Brian Spear are tied for the team lead in runs scored with 31.
Kentucky went 4-2 last week, playing six games in seven days. In day two of SEC opening weekend, the Wildcats tallied a hard-fought win over the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks to notch its first league win of the season. After playing Western Kentucky on Wednesday, Kentucky will travel to Baton Rouge, La. to face off with LSU in a three-game set beginning on Friday.
Kentucky leads the all-time series with WKU, 28-19-1. Last season, Kentucky dropped the game with the Hilltoppers 7-6. Western Kentucky (8-9, 3-3 Sun Belt), will face No. 1 Vanderbilt on Tuesday before making the trek to Lexington.
Wednesday will mark another installment of Kentucky’s Website Wednesday’s promotion. Fans can visit the official home of UK Athletics, UKathletics.com, to print off a special admission coupon before the game.
Antone DeJesus Featured in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd”
DeJesus, a preseason All-SEC selection, is widely regarded as one of the top defensive centerfielders in all of college baseball. After 22 games, DeJesus is batting .321 with 23 RBI, 26 runs, and seven stolen bases. In the first game of the season at Furman, DeJesus led off the season with a triple, and later in the contest ripped his first career grand slam.
Kentucky Moves Up in the Rankings
Last week, UK cracked all four national polls for the first time in 2007. The Collegiate Baseball poll tabbed Kentucky the highest last week, ranking them No. 12. Kentucky has now been ranked in 19 consecutive polls, dating back to last season.
Offensive Marks Keep Getting Better
Below compares some of the offensive stats from the first 22 games in 2006 to the stats through the first 22 games in 2007.
Thru 22 games 2006 2007 Batting Average .319 .351 At Bats 747 766 Runs Scored 215 248 Hits 238 269 2B 4 66 3B 2 12 HR 30 20 RBI 189 224 Slg% .530 .547 BB 142 155 HBP 39 50 SB 26 33