Kentucky Baseball Hosts No. 8 TCU for Weekend Series

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky baseball team is off to an 8-1 start this season, one of its best starts in nearly a decade. The Cats have found various ways to win through the early stretch, doing whatever it takes in a particular game to get a victory. Whether scoring a lot of runs early to put an opponent away or rallying from behind to win, the Cats have been able to get the job done early in the campaign.

Beginning this weekend, the Cats will face a step up in competition. The ante gets upped this weekend when eighth-ranked TCU will be Kentucky’s toughest challenge to date. The Horned Frogs are 7-1 on the season and are coming off a sweep of Nebraska last weekend in Fort Worth. TCU allowed just seven runs in three games against the Huskers on their way to winning three in a row.

Pitching is TCU’s strong suit. Friday night starter Austin Krob is 1-0 and has not allowed a run in 10 innings so far this season. Saturday starter Riley Cornelio is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. Sunday starter Brett Walker is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA through his first two starts.

And it’s not just the starters for TCU. The bullpen has been lights out as well. Closer River Ridings has four saves in four appearances and has struck out seven batters in four innings while not allowing a run.

Kentucky will send Cole Stupp to the mound on Friday. The junior is 1-0, despite an ERA of 8.00 through two starts. Magdiel Cotto figures to be Kentucky’s Saturday starter. The transfer from South Carolina is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA. On Sunday, UK will send Tyler Bosma to the hill. The lefty is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA through two starts this season.

The Cats have done their damage with offense so far this season. UK has outscored the opposition 87-44 through nine games, knocking out 111 hits and hitting 10 home runs.

Junior infielder Chase Estep leads the Cats in hitting with a .438 batting average. The Corbin, Kentucky, native is tied for the team lead with three home runs, has nine RBIs and has stolen two bases.

Jacob Plastiak is hitting .436 for the Cats and he is tied with Estep for the team lead in homers with three. Plastiak also has nine RBIs this season.

UK head coach Nick Mingyone knows that a team like TCU can only help the Cats as they get ready for a rugged gauntlet in the Southeastern Conference.

“It’s a great team, storied program,” Mingione said. “All the trips to Omaha and everything else. But we want to play good teams and our league is full of them. So, we’re going to get another good test this weekend.”

This will be the second three-game series between the schools. The first came in 2020, when TCU swept a three-game set from the Cats in Fort Worth.

Action begins on Friday at 4 pm, followed by 1 pm games on both Saturday and Sunday. All three games will be streamed on SECN+ and the radio call will be on UKathletics.com and 98.5 FM locally.

WEEKEND DETAILS
Friday, March 4 vs. TCU
4 pm ET; Kentucky Proud Park (Lexington, Ky.)
TV: SECN+; Radio: UK Sports Network

Saturday, March 5 vs. TCU
1 pm ET; Kentucky Proud Park (Lexington, Ky.)
TV: SECN+; Radio: UK Sports Network

Sunday, March 6 vs. TCU
1 pm ET; Kentucky Proud Park (Lexington, Ky.)
TV: SECN+; Radio: UK Sports Network

PROBABLE ROTATIONS
FRIDAY WL ERA G/GS IP H R ER bb SO
UK – Cole Stupp (Jr., RHP) 1-0 8.00 2/2 9.0 17 8 8 2 11
TCU – Austin Krob (Jr., LHP) 1-0 0.00 2/2 10.0 6 0 0 4 13

SATURdAY WL ERA G/GS IP H R ER bb SO
UK – Magdiel Cotto (So., LHP) 1-0 2.70 2/2 6.2 7 8 2 4 8
TCU – Riley Cornelio (So., RHP) 1-0 3.18 2/2 11.1 6 4 4 2 11

SUNdAY WL ERA G/GS IP H R ER bb SO
UK – Tyler Bosma (Sr., LHP) 1-0 4.50 2/2 10.0 10 6 5 4 11
TCU – Brett Walker (Gr., RHP) 2-0 1.32 2/2 13.2 13 2 2 2 11

Leave a Comment