Cat Scratches: Rivalry presents win-win opportunity to turn season around | Live blog
UK Game Notes | UL Game Notes
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Coming off a narrow series defeat at the hands of No. 10 Arkansas over the weekend, the Kentucky baseball team will return to action, hosting No. 7 Louisville in a rivalry tilt, with first pitch at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Tuesday slated for 7 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised live on the Big Blue Sports Network, with Dick Gabriel (Play-By-Play), Doug Flynn (Color) and Ryan Lemond (Sideline) calling the action. Fans can see the game in Central Kentucky on CWKYT-TV (Insight-Lexington channel 5) and in the state of Kentucky on FSN South (Insight-Lexington channel 52). Fans in Louisville can see the game live on WMYO-TV.
In addition to television coverage, the game will also be broadcast live on BBSN (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, voicing the contest. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM and in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM. In addition, UKathletics.com will offer a comprehensive live blog, with UK New Media Coordinator Eric Lindsey and former UK pitcher Adam Revelette detailing the action.
Kentucky (18-11) was one strike and one out away from securing its first series win in Fayetteville in 17 years Sunday, carrying a three-run lead into the bottom of the ninth in front of over 7,000 fans at No. 10 Arkansas. In an intense, back-and-forth affair in the rubber match UK took a 5-0 lead in the second inning, to have Arkansas answer with eight runs in the bottom half of the inning to take an 8-5 lead. Arkansas then plated five additional runs over the next two innings to hold a 13-5 advantage, before UK began to chip away. UK got two, two-run homers in the middle innings to cut the lead to four, before exploding for seven runs in the top of the eighth inning, taking a 16-13 lead. UK turned to closer Matt Little, who worked a scoreless eighth inning, before loading the bags with two outs on UA leadoff hitter Collin Kuhn. Down to his last strike, Kuhn lifted the Razorbacks to the series win, belting a walk-off grand slam over the left-field wall, just out of reach of UK’s leaping leftfielder Chad Wright. UK’s 12-8 win Friday night and a 10-1 loss Saturday in front of 9,445 fans, set the stage for the drama-filled game Sunday.
UK will send freshman right-hander Jordan Cooper (1-1, 5.70 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in his second career start. A 6-foot-3, 205-pounder, Cooper has appeared in 10 games, tossing 23.2 innings, allowing 31 hits and 18 runs – 15 earned- walking 11 and striking out 14. In his last appearance, Cooper came on relief of fellow freshman Taylor Rogers on Saturday in front of nearly 10,000 fans at No. 10 Arkansas, allowing two runs – one earned – after inheriting runners in the fifth inning. Cooper settled down to toss three consecutive scoreless innings, going four total frames, allowing six hits and no walks, striking out three. In his first career start March 9 against Evansville, Cooper tossed four innings and allowed six hits and one run, not issuing a walk and striking out four, picking up his first career win. Louisville has not announced a starting pitcher yet.
Kentucky has a dominating lead in the overall series between the two schools, 63-32-1, including a 30-12 mark in Lexington. Over the last few years, since both programs became relevant weekly on the national stage, the two teams had engaged in some intense contests, with the two-game series being split in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Over the last 29 meetings, UK has won 21 games in the series.
In the 2009 meetings, UK notched a 8-7 win in the first game April 14 in Louisville, rallying with four runs over the final two innings to secure the win. UK reliever Braden Kapteyn picked up the win with three innings in relief, allowing just one hit and striking out four. UK started Clint Tilford, who went 4.1 innings, allowing three hits and three runs, walking two and striking out five. At the plate, Wright led the Wildcats at the top of the order, going 3-for-5 with two RBI, a triple and a homer. Chris Bisson and Keenan Wiley added multi-hit games. UL started then-freshman lefty Keith Landers, who allowed a career-high six hits and three runs in his three innings, with Tony Zych taking the loss after allowing three hits, two walks and two runs in his inning of work. On April 28 in the second game of the year, Louisville posted an 11-2 win, breaking open a 2-2 game with nine unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Tilford again registered the start and went 5.1 innings, allowing seven hits and two runs – one earned – striking out five. UK was led at the plate by Andy Burns, who made the only start of his UK career at shortstop, going 2-for-3 with a steal, with senior Chris McClendon going 2-for-3 at third base. UL started Neil Holland, who went 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and one run, walking two and striking out one. Chris Dominguez led the Cardinals, hitting a home run and going 2-for-4 with a team-high three RBI.
This season, UK has been led offensively by senior Gunner Glad, who leads UK with a .365 (39-for-107) average with seven doubles, six homers and a team-high 28 RBI. Wright has batted .355 (43-for-121) with eight doubles, two triples, two homers and 22 RBI, stealing seven bases. Bisson has hit .355 (33-for-93) with four doubles, one triple and two homers, totaling 18 RBI and stealing 13 bases. Wiley has hit .330 (34-for-103) with four homers and 24 RBI, swiping eight bases. Cory Farris and Andy Burns lead the team with seven homers each, while Neiko Johnson paces the league with 17 stolen bases.
In the Wildcat bullpen, Matt Little (1-1, 2.96 ERA) leads the team with 13 appearances and four saves, striking out 35 in 24.1 innings, allowing 11 hits and a .141 opponent average. Nick Kennedy (2-1. 2.12 ERA) has appeared in eight games since returning from injury during the first weekend of March, tossing 17 innings, allowing only 12 hits and nine walks, striking out 25. Kapteyn (1-0, 0.00 ERA), a 6-foot-4, 220-pound two-way standout has appeared in six games with one save and seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings.
The game with Louisville continues UK’s rugged schedule, where the Wildcats are in the midst of facing a ranked foe in 18-of-20 games, including the current stretch of 12 consecutive opponents ranked in the latest weekly polls. All told, 25 of UK’s final 39 games of the 2010 season (since the opening of Southeastern Conference play on March 19) are against ranked opponents.
Louisville (24-3) is off to another excellent start to the season in the Big East Conference, winning 13 consecutive games to open the season. The biggest weekend of the year for the Cardinals came when UL traveled to No. 17 Ole Miss and secured the series with a decisive win in the rubber match Sunday in Oxford, Miss. The Rebels are the only ranked team UL has faced this season. The Cardinals have hit for a .328 average as a team, slugging 38 homers in 27 games. On the mound, UL owns a 3.17 team ERA, with the Cards fielding .969 as a club with 33 errors.
Individually, UL has been led by Ryan Wright, who leads the team with a .393 (42-for-107) average, with seven homers and 32 RBI. Second baseman Adam Duvall has hit .370 (44-for-119) with an eye-popping 16 doubles, while Phil Wunderlich leads the team with 10 homers, batting .345 (38-for-11) with 32 RBI, eight walks and just seven strikeouts. Stewart Ijames has hit .340 (33-for-97) with three homers and 24 RBI, while catcher Jeff Arnold owns a .302 (26-for-86) average with two homers and 12 RBI. Centerfielder Drew Haynes has batted .299 (26-for-87) with eight RBI and a team-high nine steals, while Kyle Grieshaber has charted a .289 (26-for-90) average with seven RBI.
In the bullpen for the Cardinals, Neil Holland (4-0, 0.34 ERA) has solidified himself as one of the top closers in the nation, appearing in a team-high 14 games, with seven saves. Holland has tossed 26.2 innings, allowing just five hits and six walks, striking out 30 and holding opponents to a .061 average. Gabriel Shaw (3-0, 0.98 ERA) has appeared in 13 games in relief with two saves, tossing 18.1 inning with 14 strikeouts. Bob Revesz (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Justin Amlung (0-0, 4.63 ERA) and Matt Lea (2-0, 3.86 ERA) have each appeared in eight or more games in relief.
In the SEC stats, UK ranks second in the league in home runs (46), first in hit batters (67), first in stolen bases (67), first in defensive chances (1173) and assists (361). UK also ranks second in the SEC in fielding double plays (30), allowing the second-fewest home runs of any team in the conference (14 HR allowed in 29 games). Individually, Wright ranks fourth in the SEC in hits (43), 12th in doubles (eight) and third in at bats (121). Farris and Burns rank sixth in the league in homers (seven), with Johnson pacing the conference with 17 steals, with Bisson checking in fifth with 13 stolen bases. Defensively, shortstop Taylor Black leads the SEC in assists (98), while Glad paces the league with 27 double plays, ranking third in chances (259) and third in putouts (232).
Kentucky – 18-11
Louisville – 24-3
• Gary Henderson (San Diego State, 1984)
• 46-37 (.554) – 2nd year
• Dan McDonnell (The Citadel, 1992)
• 135-63 (.682) – 4th year
• Receiving Votes (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association)
• No. 8 (Baseball America)
• No. 7 (Collegiate Baseball Newspaper)
• No. 7 (USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll)
• No. 7 (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association)
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) -- Lexington, Ky.
Tuesday, April 6 * vs. No. 7 Louisville * 7 p.m.
Radio (BBSN with Neil Price)
• WLAP 630-AM in Lexington
• WKJK 1080-AM in Louisville
Television (BBSN with Dick Gabriel, Doug Flynn and Ryan Lemond)
• FSN South in state of Kentucky
• CWKYT (Insight-Lexington channel 5) in Central Kentucky
• WMYO-TV in Louisville
Live video, audio and stats on UKathletics.com
Tentative Pitching Matchups
Tuesday vs. Louisville
RHP Jordan Cooper (1-1, 5.70 ERA) vs. RHP Tyler Mathis (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)
Inflatable Games: Available, weather permitting, down the third-base line.
Concession Stand: Check out the newest menu item at the Cliff Hagan Stadium concession stands - a Ballpark Hot Brown. Made with turkey dog, diced tomatoes, bacon and cheese sauce on a bun, this will be a fan favorite for years to come. Visit the concession stands starting Tuesday night and be one of the first to enjoy this unique treat.
Parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is FREE.
UK will utilize two lots: the C8 lot behind Shively Sports Center and the brand-new Parking Structure 7 on the corner of Complex Drive and Jerry Claiborne Way. Both parking lots are only steps away from Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Fans who park in the PS7 lot will be given a parking value card to exit the structure free of charge. Value cards should be picked up at the baseball ticket booth prior to the fifth inning.
Fans should not use the university “R” lots adjacent to the dorms or on the south side of Nutter Training Facility. These lots are patrolled by the university 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fans that park in these lots may be ticketed or towed. Plenty of parking will be available in the C8 and PS7 lots.