Kentucky vs Ole Miss Baseball: SECT Game 1 Preview and Game Thread

It's time for some postseason baseball, go Cats! - Mike Ehrmann

The Kentucky Wildcats and Ole Miss Rebels will open the new-look SEC Tournament today at 10:30 AM. The winner of this single elimination game will advance to the double elimination round which begins Wednesday.

It's been a much tougher season for the Batcats than most people expected. After a surprising 18-12 run last year in conference play, the team fell on its face in April and May finishing with an 11-19 record in conference play this year and just barely squeezing in to the revamped SEC Tournament. But make it they did and now they have a chance to solidify creep into a spot in the regional round of the College World Series. Baseball America doesn't think the Cats have a chance, but College Baseball Daily is a bit more bullish.

The 11 Seed Wildcats' first opponent will be a familiar one in 6 seeded Ole Miss. UK took 2 of 3 from the Rebels on the road back at the end of April, despite being outscored in the series 17-13. Winning a couple of 1-run games will do that for you. That was the only series victory for the Cats in April and May combined. Yeah, it's been a rough couple of months.

This is the 2nd year in a row that UK opens the SEC Tournament against Ole Miss. Last year they won a thrilling 2-0 game behind the arm and bat of A.J. Reed. This year, Jerad Grundy will take the mound for the Cats and try to improve upon the last time he faced Ole Miss. On April 26 Grundy was tagged for 9 runs (all earned) in 5.2 innings, giving up 12 hits and walking 2 in an 11-5 loss. Needless to say (though I'll say it any way), the Cats absolutely cannot afford a repeat performance like that. Mike Mayers will go for the Rebels. He was Grundy's opponent in that April 26 game where he went 6 innings, giving up 3 runs (1 earned) while striking out 8. Mayer gave up only 1 hit that game, but he walked 3, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, and for good measure committed a balk.

Pitching comparison:

Jerad Grundy 6-5 4.75 1.36 6.95
Mike Mayers 4-5 3.21 1.20 7.30

Game info:

TV: Fox Sports Net
Online Audio: UK Athletics
Online Video: ESPN3
UK Athletics Preview: here.

This post will serve as the game thread. Play ball!

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