A 2-1 series victory against LSU this past weekend pushed Kentucky's baseball team back to No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. The Cats were also ranked No. 2 by Baseball America and No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll.
The Southeastern Conference-leading Wildcats, who were ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball earlier this season, are fourth in the NCAA RPI, and have a 10-5 record against top-25 foes.
Kentucky (35-6, 13-5 SEC) will play Tuesday night at Louisville, the Cats' 14th ranked opponent in their last 16 games. UK freshman southpaw Sam Mahar (3-1, 1.71 ERA) will face Louisville sophomore right-hander Chad Green (2-0, 1.99 ERA).
Mahar made his first career start last week against Cincinnati and pitched six shutout innings for his third win of the year. Green, who has appeared in 15 games in relief, has pitched 22 innings and allowed 20 hits and 12 walks. He has 27 strikeouts.
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The Cardinals defeated the Cats 12-0 in the teams' earlier meeting on April 10. That ended UK's 21-game non-conference winning streak to open the season.
The Cats' offense leads the SEC in nearly every offensive category. UK has hit .316 as a team, with 47 home runs in 41 games.
Freshman Austin Cousino leads UK with a .351 average. He has 17 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 34 RBI and nine steals. Thomas McCarthy is batting .329 with 15 doubles and 25 RBI, while A.J. Reed has hit .311 with nine doubles and 39 RBI.
The Cats' bullpen has also been stellar. Trevor Gott (1-0, 1.35 ERA) has already set a UK single-season record eight saves. Alex Phillips (5-1, 2.33 ERA) has four saves in 18 relief appearances.
Louisville (28-12, 10-5 Big East) also hits the ball well. The Cards are batting .313 with 25 homers in 40 games. They are ranked 26th in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
Maile earns SEC honor
After hitting two home runs and batting .462 in four games, UK junior catcher Luke Maile was named Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder from Crestview Hills was 6-for-13 with one double and five RBI.
His 11 home runs lead the SEC. The 2009 Mr. Baseball winner is batting .331 with 10 doubles and 41 RBI.