Bat Cats Battling Tough Times

Reported by: Alex Risen
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Updated: 4/15/2013 7:59 pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- No. 17 Kentucky will step out of Southeastern Conference action with a midweek matchup with No. 8 Louisville, with first pitch slated for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The game will be televised live on the UK IMG Network, with Dick Gabriel (play-by-play), former MLB Gold Glover and World Series Champion Doug Flynn (color) and Ryan Lemond (sideline) calling the action. The game will be found live on Fox Sports South and regionally on CWKYT-TV. The game will also be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.

The game will feature a ceremonial first pitch from first-year Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops. In addition, fans can purchase $1 hot dogs and $1 drinks until 5:30 p.m. and UK students with valid ID can purchase $1 hot dogs and drinks throughout the game. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is free.

Kentucky (24-11) will be looking to complete the series sweep over the Cardinals, as the Wildcats posted a 5-4 10-inning win at Louisville on April 2 in front of a UofL program record crowd at Jim Patterson Stadium. UK jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before falling in a 3-2 hole entering the sixth inning. UK got a solo homer to tie the game and plated a run in the top of the ninth, before an error allowed the tying run to score in the bottom of the ninth. UK plated the game-winning run in the 10th inning and held on for the 5-4 win.

UK will send freshman right-hander Kyle Cody (3-1, 4.60 ERA) to the mound for his second start vs. Louisville, with the Cardinals yet to announce a starting pitcher. Cody, a 6-foot-7, 230-pounder, worked 6.1 innings on April 2 in UK’s win over Louisville, allowing four hits and three runs – two earned – walking one and striking out four. In 2013, Cody has appeared in 10 games with five starts, working 29.1 innings, allowing 26 hits and nine walks, striking out 25.

The Wildcats have totaled a .274 average as a team, with a .384 slugging and a .382 on-base percentage, stealing 42 bases. UK has a .970 fielding percentage as a club, turning 37 double plays and allowing only 16 steals. On the mound, UK has a 3.20 ERA, walking 88 and striking out 252 in 312 innings.

UK has been led individually by freshman outfielder Kyle Barrett, who has hit .316 in 28 games with four doubles, a triple and 10 RBI. Junior second baseman J.T. Riddle has a .313 average with seven doubles, one triple, one homer and 18 RBI, while sophomore first baseman A.J. Reed has hit .311 with four doubles, two triples, nine homers and 37 RBI. Centerfielder Austin Cousino has hit .281 with nine doubles, one triple, four homers and 22 RBI, stealing 10 bases. Catcher Micheal Thomas has a .273 average with two doubles, two homers and 18 RBI. Third baseman Max Kuhn has hit .268 with seven doubles, one triple, three homers and 24 RBI.

In the bullpen, UK has been paced by senior right-hander Walter Wijas (2-0, 0.47 ERA), who has appeared in a team-high 17 games, working 19 innings, allowing 14 singles and two walks, striking out 16. Junior righty Trevor Gott (4-0, 0.95 ERA) has a school-record nine saves in 16 outings, striking out 24 and allowing 15 hits – 14 singles – in 19 innings. Freshmen Zach Strecker (1-0, 0.90 ERA), Ryne Combs (0-0, 1.65 ERA) and Dylan Dwyer (1-0, 5.79 ERA) have been key pieces of the bullpen.

Louisville (28-7), has hit .307 as a team, with a .422 slugging and a .395 on-base percentage. The Cardinals have stolen a staggering 98 bases, fielded .966 and turned 32 double plays, posting a 2.27 ERA on the mound. UL is coming off a three-game sweep over Elon, a club UK posted an early season win over in Myrtle Beach, S.C. UL ranks as the NCAA leader in strikeouts per nine innings pitched, fourth in ERA and third in stolen bases.

UofL has been led offensively by third baseman Ty Young, who has a .400 average with six doubles, five triples, three homers and 39 RBI, stealing 18 bases. Shortstop Sutton Whiting has hit .345 with four doubles, three triples, one homer and 19 RBI, swiping 14 bases. Outfielder Cole Sturgeon has a .345 average with three doubles, two triples, one homer and 23 RBI, with outfielder Coco Johnson batting .323 with eight doubles, two triples, two homers and 21 RBI, stealing 11-of-18 bases. Second baseman Nick Ratajczak has a .304 average with three doubles, Outfielder Adam Engel has hit .281 with four doubles, one triple, one homer and 17 RBI, stealing 30-of-36 bags.

In the bullpen, UofL has been paced by the top power arm in college baseball, right-hander Nick Burdi (2-1, 0.49 ERA), who has six saves in 14 outings, striking out 38 and allowing four walks and 10 hits in 18.1 innings. Cody Ege (2-1, 0.82 ERA), a crafty lefty who switches arm slots base on the hitter, has appeared in a staff-best 17 games, working 11 innings and allowing three singles with 13 strikeouts. Kyle McGrath (4-0, 1.26 ERA) has appeared in 15 games with one midweek start, posting two saves in 28.2 innings, walking four and striking out 36.

The Wildcats lead the all-time series with Louisville, 67-35-1, including a 32-13 mark in games played in Lexington. After its win on April 2 in Louisville, UK will be looking for its first sweep in the series since 2011. UK jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on the strength of A.J. Reed’s two-run homer. After allowing an unearned run on a dropped fly ball in leftfield in the bottom of the first inning, UL took a 3-2 lead with two runs in the third. Max Kuhn evened up the game to start the sixth with a solo homer over the wall in left-centerfield. After scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth, UK got a run in the top of the ninth inning to take a 4-3 lead. Louisville took advantage of a UK error to plate an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning, before UK scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th and Trevor Gott closed out the game.

Records

Kentucky: 24-11

Louisville: 28-7

Rankings

Kentucky: No. 17 (Baseball America), No. 23 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 19 (USA Today/ESPN)

Louisville: No. 8 (Baseball America), No. 8 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 9 (USA Today/ESPN)

Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) -- Lexington, Ky.

Tuesday, April 16 * vs. No. 8 Louisville * 6:30 p.m.

Radio (UK IMG Network with Neil Price)

Tuesday: WLAP 630-AM in Central Kentucky; WKJK 1080-AM in Louisville

Television (UK IMG Network with Dick Gabriel, Doug Flynn, Ryan Lemond)

Tuesday: Fox Sports South and CWKYT-TV in Central Kentucky

Internet Coverage

Live audio and stats on UKathletics.com

Tentative Pitching Matchups

Tuesday vs. Louisville

Fr., RHP Kyle Cody (3-1, 4.60 ERA) vs. TBA

Stadium

Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)

Parking

Parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is FREE.

UK will utilize two lots: the C8 lot behind Shively Sports Center, and 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 is available in the C8 and PS7 lots.

Tickets

SINGLE GAME TICKET PRICES
$5 - General Admission Seating - Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors

SEASON TICKET PRICES

$35 General Admission

$55 Reserved Seating

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