March 26, 1998

The Matchup

Kentucky (11-13, 3-6)
No. 6 LSU (22-7, 7-2)

Site: Lexington, Ky.
Stadium: Cliff Hagan at Shively Field
Game One: Friday, March 27 — 6 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, March 28 — 2 p.m.
Game Three: Sunday, March 29 — 1 p.m.

The Coaches: Kentucky head coach Keith Madison is in his 20th season at UK and is 596-461-4. Skip Bertman is in his 15th season at LSU and is 707-255-1

The Series: This is the 30th meeting between the two teams. LSU leads the series 19-10.

Probable Starters:

RHP Doug Thompson (6-0, 4.08) LSU
LHP Jason Chaney (0-3, 7.20) Kentucky
LHP Chris Demouy (1-1, 3.14) LSU
RHP Brandon Webb (2-1, 6.32) Kentucky
RHP Jake Esteves (3-1, 4.74) LSU
To Be Announced Kentucky

A Glance at the Wildcats Kentucky heads into the LSU series riding a season-high three-game winning streak. UK beat Tennessee 13-10 on Sunday in the final game of its three-game series and had non-conference wins over IUPU-Ft. Wayne (8-4) and Austin Peay (8-5) this week. UK and LSU are meeting for the 30th time (See Page 5). LSU leads the series 19-10, although UK has won its last six games against LSU at home. The last time the teams squared off was in the 1996 Southeastern Conference Tournament in Birmingham when the Wildcats pulled out a 12-11 victory with 10 runs in the final three innings. LSU heads into the series with a 22-7 record, including seven straight victories. The Tigers swept Arkansas last weekend at home. UK sits in fourth-place in the SEC, 3.5 games back from first-place Florida and 1.5 back from third-place South Carolina in the Eastern Division. The top three teams in each division advance to the SEC Tournament. UK has won one of three in its first three conference series against Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

Head Coach Keith Madison Since becoming the Wildcats coach in 1979, Keith Madison has guided his team to 596 victories – more than any other baseball coach in school history and the second-highest mark among active coaches in Southeastern Conference games. In his 19 seasons, 77 players whom Madison has coached have signed pro contracts, 15 of whom have seen time in the major leagues. With UK’s win over Tennessee on April 13, 1996, Madison moved into third place on the SEC all-time victories list. Madison is just 4 wins shy of 600. Against Ohio University on March 12, 1996, Madison achieved another milestone by coaching in his 1,000th career game. Over the last 19 seasons, UK has averaged 31 wins a season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1988 and 1993, with the team’s ’88 berth representing the school’s first NCAA appearance in 38 years. Madison took over a program in 1979 that had just finished last in the SEC Eastern Division. Madison guided his first team to a 29-18 mark, setting the school record for wins in a season. Madison improved that mark from 39 wins (1981) to 40 (1987) to 41 (1991). Through all the success, Madison has guided eight All-Americans, 19 first-team All-SEC players, and 33 players to SEC academic honors. Madison has coached a first or second-team All-SEC selection 18 of his 19 years at Kentucky. On the national scene, Madison was named the fourth vice-president of the American Baseball Coaches Association in 1995. In the ABCA officer rotation system. Madison has moved up to third vice-president of the organization. He will assume the presidency of the organization in 1999. Scouting LSU 6th-ranked LSU heads into the series on a seven-game winning streak with a 7-2 mark in the SEC. The Tigers swept Georgia and Arkansas at home and lost two of three at Auburn in their first three SEC weekends. LSU had non-conference wins over Northwestern State (6-3) and McNeese State (13-5) this week. Senior 1B Eddy Furniss leads the Tigers with a .425 batting average, including 12 home runs and 37 RBIs. Third basemen Trey McClure, SEC Player of the Week, is hitting .380 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs. Doug Thompson, who will pitch on Friday, enters the series with a perfect 6-0 record and 4.08 earned run average.

Wildcats Overall This is the 102nd season of Kentucky baseball. The Wildcats have an all-time mark of 1265-1083-22 for a winning percentage of .534.

Last Time Out UK’s Josh Loggins broke a 5-5 tie in the seventh inning with a two-run home run as the Wildcats prevailed 8-5 over Austin Peay Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK has won 10 of its last 11 non-conference games. Eight different Wildcat players had hits. Senior David Cheatle went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored and an RBI. Loggins went 2-for-5 with a homer, double and three RBIs. Ben Shaffar (1-1) picked up the victory in 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, allowing only two hits and striking out one. Cheatle earned his first save of the season in one inning of relief. Freshman Bradd Heyerly made his second start of the season, allowing five hits and two runs in 4.1 innings of work.

UK Enters NCAA Record Book With Six Double Plays The Wildcats turned six double plays against Toledo on March 18, becoming only the 12th NCAA Division I team to accomplish the feat. Three different teams have recorded a record seven double plays. The last team to turn six double plays was Indiana against Kent in a 13-inning game in 1995. Along with the Wildcats six double plays, Toledo recorded three which ranks second with a combined nine double plays. Georgetown and George Mason combined for 10 double plays in 1989.

They’re Back LSU arrives in Lexington as the defending national champions, the second time the Tigers have played UK at home as defending national champions. After winning the title in 1993, LSU ventured into Lexington the following season and lost both games of a two-game series. LSU is the only team to play in Lexington the year after winning the national title since 1979. UK has an overall record of 3-4 against defending national champions under coach Keith Madison.

Wildcat Bats Kentucky enters the LSU series with its highest batting average of the season, .317. The Wildcats average was a season-low .269 after the third game of the season, but has steadily improved with each game. UK has raised its average by 17 points in the past nine games, including 16 home runs and 34 doubles during that span. The Wildcats have an extra-base hit in 23 of their 24 games and doubles in 14 of their last 15 games.

Fabulous FourThe first four hitters in the UK lineup have provided the bulk of the Wildcat offense. David Cheatle, Aaron McGlone, Josh Loggins and Jason Colemire have hit a combined .367 (144-392). The four have 13 home runs, 93 runs, 79 RBIs and 42 doubles. All three have a slugging percentage of at least .485 and at least 30 hits. They are also the top four in multi-hit games with 45, and have 20 multi-RBI games between them.

Pasero Earning His Playing Time Catcher Jason Pasero has worked his way into the lineup, earning starts in two of the last three games. Josh Loggins, who has started 15 games this season at catcher, moves to right field when Pasero is behind the dish. Pasero is 5-for-7 in the past three games with a double and three RBIs.

Iron Men David Cheatle, Jason Colemire and Josh Loggins are the only Wildcats to start every game this season. Cheatle (2B) and Colemire (CF) are the only players to start every game at the same position.

Doubles, Doubles, and More Doubles UK has connected on 68 doubles in its 24 games. Jason Colemire (12), David Cheatle (11) and Aaron McGlone (11) have combined for half of them. The Wildcats have slapped 27 doubles in SEC play compared to their opponents 24.

It’s Over After the Seventh UK has posted an impressive 26-4 (.866) mark when leading after seven innings the past two seasons. The Wildcats were 19-3 in 1996 and 7-1 in 1998.

The Kentucky FlavorSeventeen of the 35 players on the Kentucky roster hail from the Bluegrass State…The rest of the breakdown: California (5), Indiana (5), Florida (1), Arizona (1), Georgia (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (1) and Tennessee (1)…UK has five players from Lexington.

Colemire Streak is Snapped at 18 Games Senior Jason Colemire had career-high 18-game hitting streak snapped against Toledo on March 18 with an 0-for-5 day at the plate. Colemire is hitting .350 with four home runs and 20 RBIs.

Feel the Power Senior Andy Bendix has been experiencing a power surge in the past five games with four home runs and two doubles. Bendix had three homers in the three-game series at Tennessee, one in each game, and had a game-winning grand slam against IUPU-Fort Wayne on Tuesday. Bendix, who has raised his batting average by 56 points in the past five games, connected on two doubles against Austin Peay on Wednesday. His homer against IUPU-Fort Wayne traveled over 400 feet. It was his first career grand slam. The senior from Eugene, Ore., has a team-leading seven home runs which is four shy of the 11 he hit in 1996. Bendix has a team-leading slugging percentage of .680.

Opponents Find it Difficult to Hold UK Scoreless UK has put at least one run on the scoreboard the past 35 games. The last time the Wildcats were held scoreless was April 25, 1997 against Georgia.

Who’s on First? Four different Wildcat players have seen action at first base this season. John Wilson (10 starts), Aaron McGlone (8 starts), Micah Plotts (3 starts), Robert Newton (2 starts) and Josh Loggins (1 start) have all started at least one game at first base.

UK Scores Runs in Bunches UK has scored four-plus runs in 14 different innings this season. The Wildcats scored six runs in the ninth inning to pick up its first SEC win of the season March 8 at Vanderbilt. The Wildcats had a season-high seven runs in an inning against Ohio on March 4.

UK Gets 21 Hits Against Ohio UK pounded a season-high 21 hits against Ohio on March 4, the most since April 9, 1996 when the Wildcats had 26 against Marshall. Earlier this season, Uk had 18 hits against Southern Mississippi.

Two-Year Veteran Senior Andy Bendix can be considered “the veteran” of this year’s squad. Bendix is the only player who has played in more than one season at Kentucky. Bendix played in six games last year before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair torn labrum in his right shoulder. In 1996, Bendix hit .296 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs. Bendix, who was granted a medical hardship, is hitting .347 this season with seven home runs and 21 RBIs.

Cats on the Tube Kentucky fans will have a chance to catch its favorite team on television twice this season. Fox Sports South will broadcast the Mississippi State game on Friday, April 10 and the Auburn game on Saturday, May 2. Both games are on the road.

Wildcats’ Bats On Fire While the temperature was falling in Lexington during the opening week, it was soaring in Phoenix at the season-opening College Sports Classic thanks in part to the Wildcats bats. UK outhit New Mexico State (12-6) and Oklahoma State (11-4) in its first two games. The Wildcats recorded 11 RBIs, six doubles and a triple.

UK in Season-Openers UK has fared well in its season-openers under the direction of head coach Keith Madison. UK posted a 13-7 record in the past 20 years, including a 8-6 win over New Mexico State this season in the College Sports Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. The Wildcats are 6-2 in season-openers in tournaments.

Preseason Highlights

Cats To Face Five NewOpponents in 1998 UK will play six new opponents this season, including four in the first three weeks. The Wildcats beat New Mexico State 8-6 in the team’s first-ever meeting at the College Sports Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. and split a series with Southern Mississippi (10-15, 10-6). UK was swept by Long Beach State (4-6, 2-19, 1-13) in Long Beach, Calif. Belmont (March 31) and Western Carolina (April 8) will also be new additions to the Wildcats’ schedule. Eight of UK’s opponents finished in the final 1997 USA Today Top 25 poll.

Wildcats Hire Assistant CoachFormer Birmingham-Southern College assistant Daron Schoenrock was named assistant coach in May. He will serve as pitching coach and also head the recruiting process. Schoenrock, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, served as the assistant head coach at Birmingham-Southern for eight years under head coach Brian Shoop. While he was at BSC, the Panthers were ranked nationally seven of his eight years. He also coached two All-Americans, seven All-Conference selections and seven Major League draft picks. In 1995, Schoenrock was hired by the Chicago White Sox organization and assigned to Bristol, Tenn., (A-Appalachian League), where he was responsible for tutoring pitchers from the 1995 draft.

Nine Signees for Kentucky Head coach Keith Madison signed nine players in the fall to national letters of intent to play baseball at Kentucky next season. The list of eight high school players and one junior college player includes four pitchers, four position players and one pitcher/outfielder. Jeff Goldbach, a senior at Princeton Community High School in Princeton, Ind., will join the UK baseball program as a pitcher/outfielder. Goldbach was named the 1997 Southwestern Indiana Player of the Year and a TPX/Louisville Slugger All-American. The four position players to sign with Kentucky are first baseman Chris DeLeenheer from Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kan., outfielder/pitcher Jason Graham from Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., third baseman Jonathan Peacock from Lake Park High School in Roselle, Ill., and outfielder Pete Rasmusen from McHenry High School in McHenry, Ill.

Graham led the Cardinal Newman Crusaders last season in runs (19) and triples (3), while stealing 10 bases in 12 attempts. Peacock was named most valuable player of his high school team last season and was selected All-Conference and All-Area. Rasmusen, a four-year starter on the varsity squad, was named All-Conference and All-Area his sophomore and junior seasons.

One of the four pitchers to join the Wildcats is local talent Jarrod Reynolds, a right-hander from Lafayette High School in Lexington. In 1997, Reynolds was named first team All-City, and selected to the 11th region All-Tournament team and State Sectional All-Tournament team.

Brandon Girdler, a right-hander, will join the Wildcats from Somerset High School, where he has tossed two no-hitters in his career, 252 strikeouts and holds a 0.90 ERA in 196 innings pitched. He has been named All-District, All-City and Honorable Mention All-State.

Right-handed pitcher Clint Kelley holds a 1.88 ERA with a 17-9 record for Morton High School in Morton, Ill. Heearned All-Conference honors his sophomore and junior seasons and led last years team in hitting, RBIs and ERA.

Right-handed pitcher Ethan Crum will be the only junior college transfer joining Kentucky next season. The Murray, Ky., native transferred from Murray State to Neosho Community College in Neosho, Kan., this season. While at Murray State, Crum stole 12 bases on 16 attempts. Coming out of high school, Crum earned all-state selections his junior and senior seasons.

DID YOU KNOW?1998 Major Leauge Baseball Hall of Fame selection Larry Doby was the hitting instructor for the Montreal Expos in the Gulf Goast League in 1970 while current UK coach Keith Madison was a player in the Expos organization.

1998 SEC Baseball Tournament The SEC has adopted a new format for its 1998 baseball tournament, May 13-17, at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Birmingham, Ala. The new format is an eight-team double elimination tournament that is modeled after the College World Series. The tournament field includes the top three teams from the SEC’s Eastern and Western Divisions plus two at-large bids based on conference winning percentage. The eight teams are seeded 1-8 with the two divisional champions guaranteed of the top two seeds.

1997 RecapWith the loss of nine seniors, in addition to All-America center fielder Chad Green moving into the professional ranks, UK Coach Keith Madison labeled the 1997 campaign a rebuilding year at the beginning of the season. And though the final record may indicate a disappointing season at 20-34-1, the Wildcats grabbed victories in four of their final five games to end the season on a positive note.

In what has become a Madison mainstay during his 19 years as UK coach, Kentucky put all the pieces together at the end of the year. In the final week of the season, the Wildcats ran off four victories in their final five games, topping Vanderbilt and Louisville before taking two-of-three from South Carolina. Freshman right-hander Aaron McGlone tossed a complete game two-hitter against the Gamecocks in his debut as an SEC starting pitcher. Kentucky hit for a .285 batting average for the season, led by Josh Loggins’ .338 average. Loggins led the team in seven offensive categories. Outfielder Justin Bunch had the hot bat late in the season, earning SEC Player of the Week honors for the final week of the season.

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