Cats play host to top-ranked S.C.

Kentucky is getting familiar with some of the best clubs in America early in the 2014 college baseball season. Top-ranked South Carolina visits Lexington this weekend for a three-game series that pits the nation's No. 1 pitching staff against the nation's highest-scoring offense.

Kentucky is getting familiar with some of the best clubs in America early in the 2014 college baseball season.

The Wildcats, already an owner of a victory over formerly top-ranked Virginia, plays host to the new No. 1 team in the country, South Carolina, this weekend for a three-game series at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The Gamecocks (18-1, 2-1 SEC) come to town after taking two out of three from No. 12 Ole Miss last weekend to open league play. They reeled off 17 consecutive victories to start the season before the Rebels handed them their first loss.

Sign up for AllWildcats!

South Carolina features the nation's top pitching staff, highlighted by a bullpen that enters the weekend riding a remarkable 61.1 scoreless inning streak dating back to Feb. 15. The Gamecocks have a team ERA of 1.35. Meanwhile, Kentucky (15-6, 1-2) boasts the nation's top-scoring offense at 9.7 runs per game, a .323 team batting average and 40 stolen bases.

UK will send the weekend rotation of junior left-hander A.J. Reed (3-1, 1.91 ERA) on Friday, junior right-hander Chandler Shepherd (4-0, 2.41 ERA) on Saturday and junior righty Andrew Nelson (1-0, 1.99 ERA) on Sunday. South Carolina will counter with junior southpaw Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 3.14 ERA) on Friday, sophomore lefty Jack Wynkoop (4-0, 1.84 ERA) on Saturday and freshman right-hander Will Crowe (4-0, 1.10 ERA) on Sunday.

The Wildcat lineup has gotten a huge lift from fifth-year senior catcher Micheal Thomas, who leads the SEC with a .431 average. He's also notched six doubles, three home runs and 24 RBI. His great start to the season has complemented the expected strong play from preseason All-Americans Reed (.403, 9 HR, 31 RBI) and centerfielder Austin Cousino (.409, 13 XBH, 10 RBI, 9 SB).

The series opens Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and continues with games on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for kids and seniors. Parking is free.


AllWildcats Top Stories