Nov. 5, 2001


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Coach Keith Madison, now in his 24th season at the helm of the Wildcats, announced the 2002 University of Kentucky baseball schedule on Monday, November 5. Traditionally one of the most competitive schedules in college baseball, this season’s 59-game slate is highlighted by a tournament in College Station, Texas, with perennial powers Texas A&M and Pepperdine. The Wildcats will open Southeastern Conference play at Auburn on Friday, March 15, with a three-game tilt.

“We’re very excited about our schedule this year,” Madison said. “We’re playing at Texas A&M in one of the best tournaments in the nation in the second week of our season. That’s going to be a challenging and demanding tournament for us as we’re playing five games in four days. At the same time, it will test our pitching staff, and we’ll learn a lot about our club with the level of competition we’re facing.”

The first pitch of the 106th season of Kentucky baseball will be thrown against Samford on Friday, Feb. 15 in a four-team tournament in Birmingham, Ala., that also features Birmingham Southern and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The Wildcats will open the home docket by playing hosts to the Holiday Inn North Classic at the newly constructed Cliff Hagan Stadium. The three-day tourney will welcome Illinois and Miami (OH) to the Bluegrass from March 1 to March 3. Home contests against Western Michigan, Ball State and Austin Peay will lead into SEC play, as the Cats travel to Auburn before returning to Lexington for a six-game league swing with Mississippi State on March 22 and Ole Miss on March 29.

“Our home games are not only highlighted by a very challenging SEC schedule but the Holiday Inn Classic before SEC play starts,” Madison said. “We’re going to be playing three great tournaments in our pre-conference schedule, two on the road and one at home. I think it will help our team get ready for a very demanding SEC schedule.”

The Cats will also host conference contests with Alabama, South Carolina and Florida, while playing the role of visitors at Tennessee, 2001 SEC-Champion Georgia, Arkansas and Vanderbilt. Intrastate rivals Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky and Morehead State will also visit the UK campus this spring before Louisville takes I-64 East to battle the Cats at Cliff Hagan Stadium on May 13.

“I feel we have a great schedule ahead of us and it’s definitely an extremely challenging schedule,” Madison said. “I feel good that our team is going to compete very well against the teams that await us this spring with the experienced pitching staff we have returning from last year.”

The Wildcats return seven position starters and six pitchers from last season’s club that finished 22-34 overall and 7-23 in SEC play, good for sixth place in the SEC Eastern Division.

– UK –

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