UK baseball to face Xavier



By Nick Gray | @KYKernelGray

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After heavy rain forced the postponement of Tuesday’s game vs. Cincinnati, No. 7 UK baseball (10-1) faces Xavier (3-6) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Cats freshman right-handed pitcher Kyle Cody (0-0, 11.25 ERA) will go to the mound for his second career start against the Musketeers. Xavier has not yet announced its probable starting pitcher.

UK’s game against Cincinnati has been rescheduled for March 13 at 4 p.m. in Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Tuesday also signaled more awards handed out to sophomore first baseman and left-handed pitcher A.J. Reed, who was named the Hitter of the Week by the National College Baseball Writers Association for his five-game effort against Murray State, Eastern Kentucky and Akron last week.

Reed hit .526 (10-for-19) with three home runs, 15 runs batted in and a double. Reed also pitched six innings against Akron on Friday, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts.

Reed also was named the SEC Player of the Week, the second Cats player to earn the honor (after junior infielder J.T. Riddle two weeks ago), and the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for his efforts last week.

Overall this season, Reed is second in the country in runs batted in with 22 through 11 games and is tied for eighth in home runs with five hits out of the ballpark.

Riddle is among the national leaders in hits, tied for 14th with 21 hits.

Sophomore centerfielder Austin Cousino is tied for fourth in the country and leads the conference in runs scored with 18.

Sophomore infielder Max Kuhn is tied for the conference lead and is tied for sixth in the country in base on balls with 14 walks taken.

Senior left-handed pitcher Jerad Grundy is tied for fourth in victories (3), tied for 24th in strikeouts (24) and tied for 18th in earned run average (0.43).

Also, all nine regulars in the UK lineup have a batting average at .250 or above, with five players (Riddle, Reed, senior catcher Micheal Thomas, Kuhn and Cousino) sporting averages over .300. All nine regulars also have on-base percentages over .310.

On Wednesday, the Cats will face a Xavier lineup led by senior outfielder Mark Elwell, who is hitting .400 with six doubles and seven RBIs.

Junior infielder Brian Bruening sports a .385 average while leading the team in hits (15).

Sophomore catcher Derek Hasenback is hitting .289 with a team-leading eight RBIs and the Musketeers’ only home run.

Xavier was scheduled to host Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday but that game also was postponed. Last weekend, the Musketeers took the first game of a three-game series at Georgia Southern but lost the final two contests.

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on WWTF 1580-AM radio in Lexington by the UK IMG Radio Network.