UK opens SEC play against Gators

Kentucky opens Southeastern Conference play on the baseball diamond with a three-game weekend series at Florida beginning with a televised game Friday night on CSS.

Kentucky opens Southeastern Conference play on the baseball diamond with a three-game weekend series at Florida beginning with a nationally-televised game Friday night.

The ninth-ranked Wildcats will appear on live on CSS at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday and on Fox Sports South on Saturday at noon. The series wraps up Sunday at noon with broadcast on the UK IMG Radio Network.

Kentucky (14-2) is coming off a winning weekend series over Michigan State and a mid-week victory over Ohio.

Sophomore left-hander A.J. Reed (2-1, 3.22 ERA) will get the starting nod in the opener with senior lefty Jerad Grundy (3-1, 1.35) and junior southpaw Corey Littrell (2-0, 3.42) going on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Florida (8-10) has been up and down early in the season. The Gators have been slow to get things going at the plate, hitting .264 as a team, but Justin Shafer has been a bright spot with a .358 average, nine doubles, one home run and eight RBI.

The Gators' weekend rotation will feature freshman right-hander Jay Carmichael (2-1, 2.00 ERA) on Friday, junior right-hander Jonathon Crawford (0-2, 4.22) on Saturday and freshman righty Eric Hanhold (0-1, 6.39) on Sunday. The UK offense should be a tough challenge for the Gators. The Wildcats have a .307 team batting average with 26 doubles and 12 home runs early in the season. The Cats have also been aggressive on the basepaths with 26 steals.

Junior second baseman J.T. Riddle leads UK with a .400 average, four doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBI. Reed has posted a .361 average with a team-leading five home runs and 23 RBI. Catcher Micheal Thomas is also hitting at a .361 clip.

Florida leads the all-time series 131-57-1, including a 71-23 mark in Gainesville. The Wildcats have not won a series in Gainesville since the 1999 season and their only other three-game series wins came in 1973 and 1975.


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