No. 21 Kentucky Hosts Evansville in Final Game of Homestand

No. 21 Kentucky Hosts Evansville in Final Game of Homestand


Coming off a Southeastern Conference opening weekend sweep for the second season in a row, the No. 21 Kentucky baseball team will welcome the Evansville Purple Aces to Kentucky Proud Park on Tuesday, March 19. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET, with the game set to be broadcast on the SEC Network + and the UK Sports Network. The game will close out an eight-game home stretch for the Wildcats, who are 11-2 in Lexington this season.

After the first weekend of conference play, Kentucky (17-3, 3-0 SEC) sits as one of three teams with a perfect league record after it ran away with a trio of wins over No. 25 Georgia. The Wildcats also ascended to 12 in the latest RPI rankings released by the NCAA and sported appearances in three national polls, ranked 21 by the NCBWA, 24 by Perfect Game, and 25 in the USA Today Baseball Coaches Poll.

In the opening weekend of conference play, the Wildcats came from behind on Friday to win a 16-10 slugfest, then led from start to finish in Saturday’s 9-3 win. The Cats finished off the sweep in an emphatic way, run-ruling the Bulldogs in seven innings, 12-2. Overall, Kentucky hit .396 as a team on the weekend, and scored 47 runs on 50 hits, including nine home runs. On the mound, Dominic Niman and Mason Moore each turned in stellar starts, with Niman giving up zero earned runs in 6.2 innings and Moore tossing 6.0 innings of three-hit baseball.

On the week, Nick Lopez led the way offensively, building off his 5-for-5 performance in Tuesday’s win over Murray State to hit .625 with seven RBI over four games. Ryan Nicholson also had a breakout week, blasting his first three home runs as a Wildcat, including two in Sunday’s series finale.

The Wildcats have yet to lose a midweek contest this season, with redshirt-freshman RHP Drew Lafferty leading the way. He has received the starting nod in every Tuesday contest thus far this season, sporting a 1-0 record on a 3.65 ERA in four starts.

Evansville (9-10, 0-0 MVC) is coming off a 1-2 weekend on the road at Michigan State. The Purple Aces won an extra-inning contest on Saturday, their first power-five win of the season, but lost a late lead in Sunday’s rubber match to drop the series. Evansville opened the season with a bang, claiming two of three at Oral Roberts, a 2023 College World Series participant. The Aces are led by OF Mark Shallenberger, who is hitting over .400 on the season out of the leadoff position. Overall, the Purple Aces feature five players who have received all-MVC honors in their careers and return seven position starters from last year’s Missouri Valley Conference runner-up squad.

Following Tuesday’s contest, the Wildcats will travel to Colombia, Mo. for their first SEC road series of the season. Kentucky and Mizzou will face off in a three-game series beginning on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. ET. The series will continue on Saturday, March 23 at 4 p.m. ET and close on Sunday, March 24 at Noon ET. Sunday’s series finale will be broadcast on the SEC Network, the first TV appearance of the season for the Cats, with the opening two games being streamed on the SEC Network +. Radio coverage via the UK Sports Network will be available for all three games, with Darren Headrick on the call.



Tuesday, March 19 vs. Evansville

6:30 p.m. ET; Lexington, Ky. (Kentucky Proud Park)

Radio: UK Sports Network (98.5 locally) | Live Stream: SECN+


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