The No. 8 Kentucky baseball team will kick off its home Southeastern Conference schedule by welcoming No. 14 Mississippi State for a three-game series. Friday's opener at Cliff Hagan Stadium begins at 6:30 p.m.
Kentucky (16-4, 2-1 SEC) opened conference play with a series win at Florida, its first in Gainesville since 1999.
UK will send its regular weekend rotation of sophomore southpaw A.J. Reed (2-2, 2.84 ERA) to the mound on Friday, senior lefty Jerad Grundy (4-1, 1.93 ERA) on Saturday and junior left-hander Corey Littrell (3-0, 2.84 ERA) on Sunday.
Mississippi State will counter with dynamic sophomore southpaw Jacob Lindgren (2-0, 1.85 ERA) on Friday, junior righty Evan Mitchell (0-1, 2.75 ERA) on Saturday and senior right-hander Kendall Graveman (2-1, 2.36 ERA) on Sunday.
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Last Friday night at Florida, Reed turned in one of his best starts in a hard-luck loss. He worked 61⁄3 innings and allowed six hits and four runs — one earned — while striking out five. Reed took a 1-1 game into the seventh before UK committed three errors to allow the three unearned runs to score in the 4-1 Florida win.
Lindgren has made five series-opening starts, working 241⁄3 innings and allowing only 15 hits, four walks and striking out 29.
In UK's bullpen, junior Trevor Gott (2-0, 0.79 ERA) has appeared in 10 games with six saves.
On offense, the Wildcats have hit .297 with 152 runs scored in 20 games, belting 14 homers and stealing 31 bases.
Individually, junior second baseman J.T. Riddle has hit .378 with five doubles, one triple, one homer and 16 RBI.
Catcher Micheal Thomas has batted .341 and All-America center fielder Austin Cousino has hit .305 with four doubles, four homers and 15 RBI.
Mississippi State (20-4, 1-2 SEC), which has hit an SEC-leading .322, is coming off a series loss in its SEC opener to No. 3 LSU.
All-America shortstop Adam Frazier — a teammate with Cousino on the USA Collegiate National Team — has hit .415 for the Bulldogs. Slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe has a .408 average with seven doubles, two triples, six homers and 30 RBI.
In State's bullpen, closer Jonathan Holder (1-0, 3.65 ERA) has seven saves in 10 outings, tossing 121⁄3 innings with 22 strikeouts.
Mississippi State at Kentucky
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Noon Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cliff Hagan Stadium.
TV: Saturday's game is on Fox Sports South. No TV for other games.
Radio: WLAP-AM 630