Cats Begin Road Swing at Western Kentucky
The University of Kentucky baseball team will play the first of five consecutive road games when it travels to Bowling Green for an intra-state battle with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Tuesday, March 27 at 4 p.m. CST.
After playing eight of its last nine games at home, UK will see its fair share of travel over the course of the next two weeks. Following Tuesdays game at WKU, the Cats will travel to Cincinnati to face Xavier on March 28 before venturing to Baton Rouge for a three-game Southeastern Conference series with defending NCAA Champion LSU this weekend.
The Cats (11-14, 2-7 SEC) have won three of their last four road contests, including a 5-2 win over Austin Peay last Wednesday.
Four Wildcats are carrying batting averages above .300. Spencer Prestons .341 mark leads the club, while Morgan Embry (.333), Vince Harrison (.319), and Caleb Brock (.308) have been solid contributors at the plate. Seth Morris six home runs lead a UK squad that has out-homered its opponents 27-22 this season.
Scott Wade leads UKs talented pitching staff with a 2.39 ERA. Fellow sophomores Rob Corrado, Joseph Blanton and Mark Michael have pitched well of late after struggling early in the season. With his four saves this season, senior closer Jon Hooker is just five saves shy of tying the school saves record.
WKU enters Tuesdays contest with an overall record of 17-9. The Hilltoppers have been tough to beat on their home turf, posting a 14-5 mark at Nick Denes field this season. Ryan Hutchison and Ryan Biconda have been the workhorses for a WKU pitching staff that boasts a team ERA of 3.37. At the plate, the Hilltoppers are led by junior infielder Nick Turner. Turner leads the club in virtually every offensive category, including batting average (.474), home runs (7), RBI (28), and total bases (71). As a team, WKU carries an overall batting average of .317.
Kentucky leads the all-time series over Western Kentucky by a 24-14-1 margin. Current UK skipper is 22-12 in 34 career meetings
with WKU. The two teams met twice last season, with each winning on its home field. WKU will visit Lexington on April 18.