[Moderated by Matt Jones]
The Cats (36-9, 14-7 SEC) will welcome unanimous preseason #1 and twice defending SEC Champion Florida (33-12, 12-9 SEC) to town for a three game set. Both teams are coming off series losses last week and need to win this one to stay in the SEC title race. Tonight’s game will be nationally televised on ESPNU as the SEC Baseball Game of the Week at 7:30.
The Cats will once again go with their weekend rotation of Taylor Rogers, Jerad Grundy, and Corey Littrell. Rogers (5-2, 4.84 ERA )picked up his first SEC victory last week at Vanderbilt in 5(2/3) innings of work in which he allowed two runs. Both Grundy (4-1, 4.29 ERA) and Littrell (6-0, 2.44 ERA) received no-decisions in eventual losses to the Commodores.
The Cats are looking to get one of the SEC’s top ranked offenses back on track after a bit of a down week last week. The team still leads the SEC in slugging percentage, runs scored, RBIs, and doubles. Junior Luke Maile is ranked second in the SEC with 11 homeruns and leadoff hitter Austin Cousino leads the league in doubles with 18.
Florida will come into town with a highly ranked offense as well as they lead the nation with 56 home runs. Junior catcher and reigning SEC Player of the Year Mike Zunino lead the league with 12 homeruns and owns a .335 average. On the mound for the Gators this weekend will be Hudson Randall (4-1, 3.46 ERA), Karsten Whitson (3-0, 3.86 ERA), Brian Johnson (5-3, 4.50 ERA). Randall picked up the lone win for the Gators last week against Arkansas after working six inning and only allowing two runs. Johnson was tagged with the loss to the Razorbacks on Saturday while Whitson picked up a midweek victory against Bethune-Cookman.
This series has major SEC and SEC East title implications as Kentucky, South Carolina, and LSU are all tied atop the SEC leaderboard while the Gators are two games back. Both teams need to win this series to stay in the hunt for title and a first round bye in the SEC Tournament.
Thursday: 7:30 p.m.
Friday: 7 p.m.
Saturday: 2 p.m.
All three games will be on television but only tonight’s game on ESPNU is available in Kentucky. Friday night’s game will be broadcast on CSS and Saturday’s game will be on Fox Sports Florida/Sun Sports.
All games can be heard in Lexington on 630AM and in Louisville on 1080AM as well as UKatheltics.com and iheartradio.
Follow me on twitter @mulloyksr for updates throughout the game.
See you at The Cliff
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