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CATS (#3) and VOLS (#2) Meet in Marquee Series

photo by Brendon D. IMiller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

The top two teams in the SEC East will play three games at Kentucky Proud Park.

LEXINGTON – April 19, 2024

For the first time in program history, a top-three series will take place in Lexington, as No. 3 Kentucky hosts No. 2 Tennessee for a three-game set between the top two clubs in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference. Action from Lexington will commence on Friday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. ET, before continuing on Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. ET, and closing on Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m. ET. All three games will be streamed live on the SEC Network +, with the UK Sports Network providing an audio-only broadcast as well.

Kentucky (31-5, 14-1 SEC) enters the weekend in sole possession of first place in the league table, two games clear of West Division leader Arkansas; the Cats hold a four-game advantage in the East Division standings. After sweeping Ole Miss, Alabama, and Auburn in consecutive weekends, Kentucky closed the first half of the conference season with five series wins and four sweeps. The Cats most recently saw the field on Tuesday evening, closing a five-game road trip by dispatching Louisville in a 17-13 slugfest.

The Wildcats’ 14-1 start to league play, the best in program history, has been fueled by stellar performances on both sides of the field, leading the conference in batting average and holding the second-lowest ERA among SEC games only. In conference games, the Cats also lead the league in on base percentage, runs scored, hits, sacrifices, stolen bases, fewest offensive strikeouts, and opposing batting average. Graduate INF Ryan Nicholson has been leading the offensive charge as of late, raising his batting average by nearly 100 points and clubbing seven home runs in the last six games.

The Volunteers (31-6, 10-5 SEC) enter the weekend as winners of their last four league series, knocking off Ole Miss, Georgia, and Auburn, before sweeping LSU. Tennessee brings a prolific offense to Lexington as the Vols lead the SEC in overall batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored. Six regular Volunteer starters are averaging over .320, led by Tennessee career home-run leader Blake Burke, who is hitting a blistering .422 clip. On the mound, Drew Beam has led the starting rotation for the Vols, owning a 5-1 record with a 3.16 ERA from the Saturday slot.

Kentucky and Tennessee have split the series the past two years, with the home team winning on both occasions. Tennessee won the first two games in Knoxville last season, before a five-home run barrage from the Cats salvaged game three with a 10-0 win. The last time the two squads met in Lexington, Kentucky toppled the number-one ranked Volunteers, two games to one. The Cats took the opener in 13 innings before clinching the series in a middle game that spanned two days. Kentucky and Tennessee also met in the 2022 SEC Tournament Semifinals, with the Vols claiming victory on their way to the tournament title.

Following the series against Tennessee, the Cats will continue SEC play at South Carolina next weekend. After an idle midweek, Kentucky will head to Columbia for a three-game set from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28. Two games, Saturday and Sunday, will be aired live on the SEC Network.


Friday, April 19 vs. Tennessee  

6:30 p.m. ET; Lexington, Ky. (Kentucky Proud Park)

Radio: UK Sports Network | Live Stream: SECN+ 

UK – RHP Trey Pooser (3-0, 4.11 ERA); UT – LHP Chris Stamos (3-0, 3.45 ERA)

Saturday, April 20 vs. Tennessee  

2:00 p.m. ET; Lexington, Ky. (Kentucky Proud Park)

Radio: UK Sports Network | Live Stream: SECN+ 

UK – LHP Dominic Niman (7-2, 3.40 ERA); UT – RHP Drew Beam (5-1, 3.16 ERA)

Sunday, April 21 vs. Tennessee  

1:00 p.m. ET; Lexington, Ky. (Kentucky Proud Park)

Radio: UK Sports Network | Live Stream: SECN+ 

UK – RHP Mason Moore (7-0, 3.45 ERA); UT – LHP Zander Sechrist (1-0, 3.34 ERA)

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