Baseball Cats set for clash with Gators

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Riding a 22-1 home record in 2008, the No. 17 Kentucky baseball team will seek to continue its winning ways, playing host to the 24th-ranked Florida Gators in a three-game set, with first pitch on Friday at Cliff Hagan Stadium slated for 6:30 p.m. ET.

The first two games of the series can be seen live on the Big Blue Sports Network, with Dick Gabriel, Doug Flynn and Ryan Lemond calling the action. Fans can see the games live in Lexington on C-WKYT (Insight Channel 5) and on FSN South. Sunday’s game will be televised by CSS.

The game can be heard live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game on WLAP 630-AM and in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM.

Kentucky (28-8, 7-8 Southeastern Conference) enters the game after posting two mid-week wins at Cincinnati and over Morehead State. UK rode four-RBI and a home run from Collin Cowgill to the win at Cincy, before a come-from-behind win over Morehead State on Wednesday. Cowgill and Sawyer Carroll ripped back-to-back home runs in the win over the Eagles, breaking open a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth. UK right-hander Scott Green picked up his first save of the season, closing down the ninth.

The Wildcats have been paced at the plate by its two National Player of the Year candidates, Carroll and Cowgill. Carroll leads the SEC in average (.459) and on-base percentage (.546). Carroll has cranked out 13 doubles, a triple, 11 homers and an SEC-leading 50 RBI, stealing 7-of-7 bases. Carroll has drawn 25 walks to just 16 strikeouts. Carroll ranks seventh nationally in on-base percentage, sixth in average, fourth in OPS (1.366) and eighth in RBI. Cowgill’s .800 slugging percentage, ranks 10th best nationally and his 50 runs scored are tied for seventh in the NCAA.

Cowgill ranks tied for third in the nation in home runs, with 14 longballs, totaling 10 doubles, two triples, 44 RBI and 15 stolen bases. While playing centerfield for UK, Cowgill has added five outfield assists, fielding at a .973 clip.

Florida (24-13, 9-6 SEC) enters the series in a tie for second place in the SEC East. The Gators, under first-year head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, have played well with a young roster, getting contributions from returning veterans, including Cole Figueroa (.343 avg., 10 2B, 6 HR, 39 RBI) and Avery Barnes (.368, 6 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 17-19 SB). Josh Adams (.361, 16 2B, 6 HR, 40 RBI) and Matt den Dekker (.295, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 11-11 SB) have boosted an offensive that hits for a .300 team average. On the mound, the Gators have accumulated an excellent 3.69 ERA, allowing opponents to hit for a .283 average.

An offensive juggernaut, Kentucky leads the league in eight offensive categories, including batting average (.339 – 29 points higher then the next team), slugging (.557), on-base percentage (.437 – 38 points higher then the next team), runs scored (323 – 43 more runs then the next team), hits (413), RBI (292), sacrifice bunts (45, sacrifice flies (25) and hit by pitch (61). UK ranks second in the conference in ERA (3.40) and fielding percentage (.976).

Kentucky will mix up its starting rotation for the first time this season, sending regular Friday night starter Chris Rusin (4-1, 2.49 ERA) to the bump to face off with Florida sophomore right-hander Billy Bullock (3-2, 2.88 ERA). Saturday sophomore southpaw James Paxton (2-1, 2.76 ERA) will get the starting nod, facing off with UF lefty Stephen Lock (2-1, 3.20 ERA). Sunday, UK will sends its career winning percentage record holder, senior Greg Dombrowski to the hill to face off with Gator junior right-hander Patrick Keating (6-0, 2.45 ERA).

Records

Kentucky – 28-8, 7-8 SEC

Florida – 24-13, 9-6 SEC

Rankings

Kentucky – No. 17 (NCBWA), No. 23 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 25 (Baseball America), No. 23 (USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll)

Florida – No. 24 (USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll), No. 29 (NCBWA)

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

Friday, April 18 * 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 19 * 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 20 * 1 p.m.

Television

Friday, April 18 * 6:30 p.m.

Big Blue Sports Network (Dick Gabriel, Doug Flynn and Ryan Lemond)

· C-WKYT (Insight-Lexington Channel 5)

· FSN South:

o Live in North Carolina, South Carolina and parts of Alabama and Mississippi

o Delayed in Kentucky, Tennessee and parts of Alabama and Mississippi

Saturday, April 19 * 7 p.m.

Big Blue Sports Network (Dick Gabriel, Doug Flynn and Ryan Lemond)

· C-WKYT (Insight-Lexington Channel 5)

· FSN South:

o Live on the entire FSN South Footprint (12 million homes)

Sunday, April 20 * 1 p.m.

CSS (Talent TBA)

Radio (BBSN with Neil Price)

Friday, April 18 * 6:30 p.m.

· Lexington: WLAP 630-AM

· Louisville: WKJK 1080-AM

Saturday, April 19 * 7 p.m.

· Lexington: WLAP 630-AM

· Louisville: WKJK 1080-AM

Sunday, April 20 * 1 p.m.

· Lexington: WLAP 630-AM

· Louisville: WKJK 1080-AM

Tentative Pitching Matchups

Friday vs. Florida

LHP Chris Rusin (Jr., 4-1, 2.49 ERA) vs. RHP Billy Bullock (So., 3-2, 2.88 ERA)

Saturday vs. Florida

LHP James Paxton (So., 2-1, 2.76 ERA) vs. LHP Stephen Locke (Jr., 2-1, 3.20 ERA)

Sunday vs. Florida

RHP Greg Dombrowski (Sr., 4-0, 3.32 ERA) vs. RHP Patrick Keating (Jr., 6-0, 2.45)

Stadium

Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)

Promotions

UK Basketball Coach Billy Gillispie to Throw out the First Pitch Saturday

First-year Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie will be on hand on Saturday to throw out the first pitch.

Inflatable Games

Arrive early and play on our inflatable games, down the third-base line.

Ice Cream Sundaes

Enjoy Ice Cream Sundaes during Sunday’s game, served in a collectable mini batting helmet.

Weekend Sponsor

The weekend sponsor for the series with the Florida Gators is Windstream.

Parking

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 5th 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.

Tickets

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

SEASON TICKET PRICES

$35 General Admission


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