Baseball begins SEC Tournament against Ole Miss



By Tom Hurley | @TomHurleyKernel

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UK baseball meets Ole Miss for the fourth time in 2013 on Tuesday when the Cats and the Rebels open the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.

The Cats won two out of three when the teams met for a weekend series in Oxford, Miss., in late April.

Senior left-handed pitcher Jerad Grundy (6-5, 4.75 ERA) will start for the Cats in the win-or-go-home game against Ole Miss junior right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers (4-5, 3.21 ERA).

Grundy gave up nine runs on 12 hits in 5.5 innings in an 11-5 loss to Mayers and the Rebels on April 26.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound hurler has won each of his last two starts, including a win over No. 15 Indiana in the Cats’ final home game of 2013 on May 13.

Grundy posted an 1.64 ERA, allowing nine hits and two walks in 11 innings of work across the two starts.

Mayers is 2-0 lifetime against the Cats, striking out nine UK batters and holding the Cats to a team batting average of 1.88.

Junior catcher Stuart Turner leads Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) in several offensive categories, including batting average (.377), hits (75), runs (44), doubles (15), RBIs (47), total bases (107), slugging (.538) and on-base percentage (.448).

His five home runs are also tied for the team-high with junior utility player Preston Overbey.

UK (30-24, 11-19 SEC) freshman right fielder Kyle Barrett leads the Cats in hitting with a .352 average, while the 13 home runs and 52 RBIs from the bat of sophomore first baseman A.J. Reed are both team-highs.

The SEC Tournament opener will be UK’s fourth neutral site contest of 2013. The Cats have gone 3-1 in neutral site games this season.

Tuesday’s clash is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. with the winner moving on to play No. 3 seed Arkansas on Wednesday.

Radio coverage of No. 11 seed UK and No. 6 seed Ole Miss will be available on WLAP 630-AM in Central Kentucky with Neil Price calling the action.