UK heads to LSU for Top 10 showdown

Kentucky has opened SEC play with three consecutive winning series, but the Wildcats and their No. 7 ranking will be put to the test this weekend at No. 2 LSU.

Kentucky has opened SEC play with three consecutive winning series, but the Wildcats and their No. 7 ranking will be put to the test this weekend at No. 2 LSU.

The Top 10 matchup begins on Friday with an 8 p.m. ET game at Alex Box Stadium. The Cats and Tigers will play again at 7:30 on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be televised with the first two aired live on CST and the series finale live on CSS as well as ESPN3.com.

Kentucky (22-6, 6-3 SEC) will be facing an LSU squad that is 20-1 at home and riding a nine-game win streak. The Tigers, off to their best start since 1986, currently hold a two-game lead in the SEC standings.

The Wildcats will send its regular weekend rotation of left-handers to the mound with sophomore A.J. Reed (2-3, 2.57 ERA) going on Friday, senior Jerad Grundy (5-2, 2.15) on Saturday and junior Corey Littrell (4-0, 2.17) on Sunday.

LSU (27-2, 8-1 SEC) will counter with sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola (4-0, 2.74 ERA) on Friday and junior right-hander Ryan Eades (6-0, 1.35) on Saturday. The Tigers have yet to announce a starting pitcher for Sunday.

Kentucky is coming off series wins over Florida, No. 14 Mississippi State and Georgia to open league play. On Tuesday, UK posted a 5-4 win at No. 9 Louisville.

The Cats have been led offensively by junior second baseman J.T. Riddle, who has hit .352 with six doubles, one triple, one homer and 17 RBI. A two-way standout, Reed has hit .333 with four doubles, two triples, seven homers and 30 RBI. Freshman outfielder Kyle Barrett has hit .333 with three doubles, five RBI and three steals. All-America centerfielder Austin Cousino has a .309 average with eight doubles, one triple, four homers and 20 RBI, while stealing eight bases.

LSU is paced by the SEC's top offensive unit, batting .308 as a team with 27 home runs and averaging almost seven runs per game. The Tigers boast a frontrunner for player of the year in Mason Katz, who is batting .430 with 13 home runs and a nation-leading 49 RBI.


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