Cats face Louisville, put 18-game streak on line

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Riding an 18-game non-conference winning streak, the No. 9 Kentucky baseball team hosts state-rival Louisville, in a Tuesday mid-week tilt, with first pitch at Cliff Hagan Stadium set for 6:30 p.m. ET.

Fans can see the game live on the Big Blue Sports Network, with Dick Gabriel (Play-by-Play), Doug Flynn (Color) and Ryan Lemond (Sideline) calling the action. The game will be broadcast throughout the state on FSN South (Insight-Lexington Channel 52) and locally on C-WKYT (Insight-Lexington Channel 5). The game will also be called on the radio by the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price. Fans in Lexington can hear the game on WLAP 630-AM and in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM.

Kentucky (25-5, 7-5 Southeastern Conference) has not suffered a non-conference loss since a May 9 setback at Evansville in 2007. The Wildcats have compiled a 20-1 record at home in 2008, with a lone loss to Mississippi State in the series opener. UK has lost just two regular season non-conference games at Cliff Hagan Stadium in the past three years, to Morehead State in 2007 and Western Kentucky in 2006.

UK will send sophomore right-hander Clint Tilford to the mound on Wednesday, for his third mid-week start of the year. Tilford has earned a 2-0 record and a 1.20 ERA, working in 15 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out 14.

During the weekend-series win over Mississippi State, Kentucky got an All-American performance from its junior centerfielder Collin Cowgill. Cowgill hit his 11th and 12th home runs of the year during the weekend, scoring six runs, driving in five and drawing six walks. In a Wednesday night win over Western Kentucky - a team that beat Louisville that Tuesday - Cowgill homered twice.

Cowgill, who was named the National Player of the Week by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper on Monday, was retired just four times in 20 plate appearances during UK’s 3-1 week. On the week, Cowgill batted .692 (9-for-13) with nine runs scored, four homers, seven RBI, six walks, one hit by pitch and a steal. During a nine-game hit streak, the former Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball has batted .500 (17-for-34), with six homers, 12 RBI, 15 runs scored, a double, eight walks, three hit by pitches and a steal.

Kentucky leads the SEC in nearly every statistical category, including batting average, slugging, on-base percentage, runs, hits, RBI, doubles, total bases, ERA, runs allowed, earned runs allowed, and fielding percentage. Despite the step up in competition, UK still leads the conference in nearly every offensive category in SEC games only – including average, slugging, on-base percentage, runs scored, RBI, home runs, total bases, walks and hit by pitches.

Sawyer Carroll ranks as the league leader in batting average (.445), on-base percentage (.537) and RBI (43). Cowgill ranks second in the conference in slugging (.850), on-base percentage (.528), runs scored (43) and total bases (96). Cowgill leads the club and ranks fourth in the conference with 12 home runs.

The Wildcats have dominated the series with the Cardinals, leading 61-30-1, including a 29-11 mark in Lexington. After splitting the two-game series in 2007, UK has claimed five of the last six meeting between the schools.

A year ago, Louisville had its best season in school history, riding a wave of momentum into a College World Series appearance. After losing seven position starters from its 2007 squad, Louisville has compiled a 16-12 record, including a 4-5 Big East mark. The Cardinals have relied on its slugging third baseman, Chris Dominguez (.387 avg., 8 HR, 26 RBI) at the plate and Justin Marks (2-1, 2.55 ERA) and Zach Pitts (4-3, 4.03 ERA) on the mound.

UK Adds Game vs. Marshall for April 30
With three lost games this season due to inclement weather, the Kentucky baseball team has added a make-up game with Marshall University, set for Wednesday, April 30. First pitch at Cliff Hagan Stadium is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET.

UK leads the all-time series with Marshall, 26-10, with the last meeting coming in 2006.

Wildcats Move Up to No. 9 In Polls
After a series win over Mississippi State and a mid-week victory over Western Kentucky, the Kentucky baseball team has risen to No. 9 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll, up from a No. 10 ranking last week.

Kentucky climbed to No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll (No. 17 last week), No. 9 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Poll (No. 14 last week) and No. 17 in the Baseball America Poll (No. 21 last week).

The Wildcats have been ranked in the top 10 for six consecutive weeks and in the top 25 in each weekly poll this season, eight straight.

Kentucky – 25-5, 7-5 SEC
Louisville – 16-12, 4-5 Big East

Kentucky – No. 9 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 14 (NCBWA), No. 17 (Baseball America), No. 14 (USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll), No. 24 (
Louisville – not ranked

Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) – Lexington, Ky.
Tuesday, April 8 * 6:30 p.m.

Radio (BBSN with Neil Price)
Tuesday, April 8 * 6:30 p.m.

Lexington: WLAP 630-AM
Louisville: WKJK 1080-AM
Tentative Pitching Matchups
Tuesday vs. Louisville
RHP Clint Tilford (2-0, 1.20 ERA) vs. TBA

Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)

Tuesday’s game will mark another installment of Two-for Tuesday’s promotion. Fans can mention the promotion at the ticket window, Buy any single game ticket and get another single game admission free.

Wildcat Refuge
Weather permitting, arrive early and have some fun on inflatable games.

Parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is free.

We 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, 7 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.

$5 - General Admission Seating – Adults
$2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors

$35 General Admission