The No. 14 UK Baseball team will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend to take on the Volunteers at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The three-game series will be a big win for either team, as only three weeks remain in regular-season play.
The Cats did not play a midweek game this week due to finals, but struggled against the Missouri Tigers last weekend. They took two of three but allowed the Tigers to score a whopping 25 runs on the weekend. Coming into the series, the Tigers scored an average of less than six runs a game, a feat they beat twice in the set.
The Cats are currently 10-11 in SEC play and 29-15 overall, which is not at all how the team or fans expected the season to go. UK was ranked No. 3 at one point but have consistently dropped in the rankings since. They look to host an NCAA regional like they did last year but have a lot to prove in the next few weeks.
The series will open on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s game will have a 6 p.m. first pitch and Sunday’s is scheduled for 1 p.m. All games will be streamed on SECN+.
Previous matchups/how the weekend could pan out
Tennessee leads 154-151 all-time vs. Kentucky, one of the closest records UK has against any SEC opponent.
The Volunteers took a game from Florida and should not be underestimated. The pitching staff is much better than it was last year and they have been producing offensively in recent weeks, particularly at home.
The Cats need to give the series their all if they hope to do well/make it to the postseason. They need a series win this weekend to secure their spot in the SEC Tournament and improve their overall rankings.
UT is hungry and are also fighting for a spot in the SEC Tournament. The home field advantage certainly will not hurt them.
Because of the rivalry, it could be either team’s series and could come down to a rubber match.
Probable pitching matchups:
FRIDAY: UK – Sean Hjelle (Jr., RHP) vs. UT – TBD
SATURDAY: UK – Zack Thompson (So., LHP) vs. UT – TBD
SUNDAY: UK – Justin Lewis (Jr., RHP) vs. UT – Will Neely (Jr., RHP)