LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 50th and final season at Cliff Hagan Stadium will open earlier than expected with Kentucky set to host Xavier on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. The game has been moved up a day due to the forecast of wet weather on Wednesday.
The Cats (4-0) are coming off a successful opening weekend where they knocked off Wofford, USC Upstate and Evansville in Spartanburg, S. Carolina behind strong pitching and an offense that used extra-base hits to harass the opposing pitching staffs. It is the first time UK has started 4-0 on the road since the 2007 season and first 4-0 overall start since 2012.
The pitching was led by Sean Hjelle and Justin Lewis, who each earned a win with a combine 12.0 innings, four hits, one run, three walks and 12 strikeouts. Lewis punched out a career-high nine hitters in his 6.0 innings of work. The bullpen was terrific too, earning a pair of wins and allowing the Cats to rally from a 5-0 deficit to win Saturday’s opener of a doubleheader vs. USC Upstate.
The offense was led by preseason All-American Tristan Pompey, who had four extra-base hits and hit .471 while extending his consecutive reached base streak to 41 games. Ben Aklinski, Luke Becker, T.J. Collett, Kole Cottam and Luke Heyer all had impressive opening weekends as well.
Kentucky also will host Oakland this weekend in a three-game series beginning Friday.