Kentucky Wildcat Baseball: Kentucky versus Kent St Gamethread

Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

Kentucky tries to rebound from a tough loss on Friday with a rematch against their old nemesis from the 2012 Gary, IN regional. Fortunately, they've got ace A.J. Reed on the hill.

TV, and Radio

Starters

  • Kentucky: LHP A.J. Reed, 11-2, 2.10 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 5.9 K/9
  • Kent St:???

Kent St hasn't announced a starter as I write this, but I would guess it will be Nick Jensen-Clagg (5-2, 4.76 ERA) based on their recent games.

For Kentucky, the road ahead is simple, if difficult: they must win 4 games in 3 days if they wish to advance to the Super Regional stage of the College World Series.  The first step is beating Kent State, who lost 5-0 to Louisville late Friday night.  The Kentucky bats scored 6 runs against Kansas, which is enough runs to win most games, but not yesterday thanks to shaky pitching and defense.  A.J. Reed should not suffer from any of the nerves that seemed to affect Kyle Cody yesterday and the Cats desperately need a strong start from their ace.

The best possible scenario would be for the Wildcats to score big early, A.J. to get in an easy 5 or 6 innings, and allow the back end of the bullpen to finish off the game.  This would give Gary Henderson some flexibility in bringing A.J. back in a potential Monday game if the Cats can make it that far.  In all honesty though, the Cats advancing is a significant long shot.  Their best bet to advance was to overcome the lack of depth in quality starters by playing in as few games as possible in the regional, which is three if they win them all.  Now they will have to play five total if they are to advance and I don't see where they are going to find the starters.  Someone unexpected will have to have a 2012 Chandler Shepherd-esque game.  If you recall, Shepherd - then a freshmen - came out of the bullpen in the Gary, IN regional that year on Sunday afternoon to throw 7 terrific innings against Kent State.  Kentucky eventually lost the game, but Shepherd gave them a chance to win and that is what someone will have to step up and do for the Cats this weekend if they are to advance.

First pitch is at 1:00 PM

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