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Kentucky Wildcats Baseball: UK vs Auburn Preview and Gamethread

The Kentucky Wildcats open the 2015 SEC Tournament with a single-elimination game against their fellow NCAA bubble team Auburn Tigers. The winner moves on to play #1 Seed LSU in the double-elimination phase of the tournament while the loser nervously waits for Selection Monday.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

It's a potential knockout game for Kentucky and Auburn.  Both squads are on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament and need to win this game, not only for the intrinsic value of another 'W', but also for the opportunity to play at least two more games.

Time and Expected Starters

  • 5:30 PM ET, could be later if Missouri-South Carolina goes late
  • Wildcats Starter: RHP Zack Brown, 6-5, 3.31 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 1.29 WHIP
  • Auburn Starter: RHP Cole Lipscomb, 7-2, 2.38 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 1.14 WHIP

Team Comparison

UK Auburn
Record 30 – 24 34 – 22
SEC 14 – 15 13 – 17
Last 10 5 – 5 4 – 6
RPI 56 22
Warren Nolan 85 68
Ken Massey 49 29
Boyd's World 60 31

UK Auburn
Runs /G 5.3 4.9
Runs Allowed/G 5.2 3.9
SEC Runs /G 4.9 4.0
SEC Runs All./G 4.9 4.4

Kentucky has the superior offense while Auburn's pitching/defense has been better over the course of the season.  The computer rankings like Tigers more than the Cats and the conference records aren't too dissimilar.  This is likely to be a closely contested game, but if Kentucky can score 3 or more runs I like their chances with Zack Brown on the mound.  The trick, of course, is scoring 3 or more runs off Tiger ace and All-SEC 2nd Team Cole Lipscomb who has been really, really good this year.

Programming Note: I'll have gamethreads/previews for as long as UK is playing, but I'll probably skip postmortems for individual tournament games this year.

UPDATE: Lineup posted