Kentucky Wildcats Baseball Preview: Cats Eat Hogs, Right?


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2023 Week 4 AP Poll Top 25: Every SEC team’s highest, lowest spot on ballot /

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  • The Kentucky Wildcats Baseball team will be rolling into Fayetteville this weekend to try to salvage what most people would call a down year. The ‘Cats have limped around this year during SEC play posting just a 4-7 record in four series. The Bat Cats were swept by South Carolina, took two out of three against Mississippi State and LSU, but then dropped both games to Texas A&M. With a sweep over Arkansas Kentucky would then be able to continue their pursuit over the number one team in the nation and the East Vanderbilt. 

    Now the same could be said about Arkansas. The Hogs have also started out slow, posting an almost identical record to the Cats at 5-7. The Razorback’s have started out slow in SEC play by being swept by Vanderbilt and losing two out of three to LSU. The Razorbacks then retaliated and took two out of three against Ole Miss and Auburn. Arkansas is also trying to make up ground in the SEC West which is led by the number 2 team in the nation Texas A&M.

    Offense Vs Defense: Kentucky

    The Bat Cats have truly lived up to their name this season averaging 5.1 RPG during SEC play. Kentucky could use a little help on defense though, allowing opponents to average 6.6 RPG over 11 SEC games. Remember the old saying defense wins championships? Well, Kentucky better up the ante a little if the want a shot at winning the East.

    Offense Vs Defense: Arkansas

    The Razorbacks are also in the same boat as Kentucky. Their offense has surprised many people, scoring 4.8 RPG over the first 12 SEC games. But just like the ‘Cats the Hogs are having a tough time playing defense. The Razorbacks are allowing 5.5 RPG to other SEC teams. If Arkansas does not improve on their defense, then they may be slow roasting over an open fire in the West.

    Players to Watch: Kentucky

    Some people may be asking the question of which players should we watch in this series? Since the series will be held in Fayetteville, how about we start with the visitors, Kentucky. My three players to watch in this series are Ka’ai Tom, Kyle Barrett, and JaVon Shelby. These three players are the leaders in batting average for the ‘Cats. All three of these players are hitting above .330 (Tom .384; Barrett .382; Shelby .330) with over 120 at-bats per player. Tom and Shelby also lead the team in RBIs with 30 and 23 respectively. These three are the leaders of this Kentucky team on the field and in the dugout. I expect these young men to have a great series in Fayetteville and help get the ‘Cats out of the SEC slump.

    Players to Watch: Arkansas

    Now for the Razorbacks, a few players you should watch and take notes on are Bobby Wernes, Andrew Benintendi, and Tyler Spoon who are all also leading the Hogs in BA. Wernes has posted a .353 average while Benintendi and Spoon have posted a .350 and .342 mark respectively. Werner is not known for his power, but more for his ability to get on base. Wernes has an on base percentage of .453 to go along with his 13 RBIs for the team. Unlike Wernes, Andrew Benintendi and Tyler Spoon are more know to Razorback fans as the run producers. Benintendi has batted in 36 runs this season while Spoon has 29. It wouldn’t surprise me if you were to see Bobby Wernes on the bases with Benintendi or Spoon trying to bring him home.


    Ah, now for the moment most of you have been waiting for. Prediction time. I am predicting for this series to be a high scoring affair between the two teams. It would not surprise me if the final scores were all above five runs for either team. I am sure all three games will be close, but I am going with Kentucky to sweep Arkansas by over two runs per game. If Kentucky sweeps Arkansas they will move to 7-7 in SEC play and 21-13 on the year. This is a very good chance for the Bat Cats to gain ground in the SEC East.

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