Feb. 18 vs. Appalachain State • 11 a.m.
Feb. 19 at Charleston Southern • 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 vs. George Mason • 11 a.m.
Pitching Rotation (2004 stats)
W-L ERA G/GS IP H R ER SO BB Fri. Andrew Albers (L) freshman from N. Battlefield, Saskatchewan Sat. Scott Green (R) freshman from Louisville, Ky. Sun. Kalen Gibson (R) 3 5.06 15/13 74.2 80 51 42 61 38
Kentucky Opens Season at Buccaneer Classic
The Kentucky baseball team kicks off the 2005 campaign with three games at Charleston, S.C., in the Buccaneer Classic hosted by Charleston Southern. The Wildcats will also face Appalachian State and George Mason on the weekend. Kentucky has just four returning starters from last year's squad and brings back just three total pitchers. However, the Wildcats will be bolstered by 18 newcomers which comprised the nation's 25th-ranked recruiting class. It is the second year for head coach John Cohen, who went 24-30 in his inaugural year. He has a 60 percent career winning percentage.
Projected Starting Lineup
Pos. Player Cl. Note C JP Lowen Jr. transfer from Chipola JC (Fla.), lefty power hitter 1B Michael Bertram Jr. Batted .303 as a sophomore 2B JB Schmidt Sr. hit .264 a year ago 3B Shaun Lehmann Jr. transfer from Dyersburg State CC (Tenn.) SS John Shelby III So. hit .279 as a freshman, can also play centerfield LF Collin Cowgill Fr. Kentucky Mr. Baseball in 2004 CF Antone DeJesus Fr. speedster who covers a ton of ground in outfield RF Billy Grace So. top returning hitter at .331 a year ago DH Matt Fritts Sr. redshirted 2004 season
Kentucky Head Coach John Cohen
On getting the season started
"Our players are really excited, with all the drill work and all the intrasquad games, they're excited about playing outside competition. I think we're ready. It's like any other sport, where you're not ready to play your best until you get to the meat of your schedule. But we're at a good starting point. I feel like our preparation has been outstanding. It's been as good a preseason as I've ever been a part of. The staff has done a great job."
On the biggest challenge this weekend
"In basketball, if you have a great scorer, you can double-team him. In baseball, if you have that dominant guy on the mound, you can't double-team that guy. In college baseball, anybody can beat anybody because of who's on the mound. The teams we face this weekend have a couple guys that can beat you, and I think can beat anybody. It'll be a challenge."
On this weekend's opponents
"George Mason had the greatest year in the history of their program last year and they have 18 guys back. Appalachian State has a new coaching staff and will be a lot better than they've been in the past. Charleston Southern beat Florida last week, so even though people might not recognize these names, it's very good competition early.
On playing so many young players this weekend
"We've got a freshman on the mound. There's a good chance we'll have two freshmen start in the outfield with a sophomore. Potentially, we could pitch five or six different freshmen this weekend. It's an issue with us, but the amount of energy and enthusiasm and passion the young guys have is going to help them clear some hurdles. We're excited about seeing them play."