2016 UK Baseball schedule released – WKYT
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – The Kentucky baseball 2016 schedule will feature 32 games at Cliff Hagan Stadium as part of its 56 game regular-season schedule, announced by UK head coach Gary Henderson on Friday.
Kentucky will host 32 home games at Cliff Hagan Stadium, will venture on the road for a pair of season-opening invitational events, and will face the rugged 30 game Southeastern Conference schedule as part of its 2016 slate. UK will have 17 games against teams that enter the season ranked, including eight games against top-three foes.
The Wildcats will begin the 2016 season in a familiar location, traveling to Spartanburg, S.C., for a season-opening tilt at Wofford on Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. ET. UK will then travel across town to face George Mason on the campus of USC Upstate on Feb. 20, before concluding opening weekend vs. Dayton on the Spartans campus on Feb. 21.
Kentucky will then participate in the inaugural Tony Gwynn Classic in San Diego for its second weekend of competition. UK will open the tournament, which features co-hosts San Diego State and San Diego, and a field of Arizona, Bryant, Nebraska, Tulane and UC Santa Barbara. Henderson played with Gwynn and San Diego coach Rich Hill at San Diego State (1982-84). Recently, Henderson and Hill joined forces on the USA Collegiate National Team coaching staff for series wins over Cuba and Chinese Taipei in 2015.
“I am excited about the Tony Gwynn Classic in 2016,” Henderson said in an August announcement of the event. “We are honored to participate in the inaugural event and join in the celebration of a great man. Besides the opportunity to honor Tony and his ever-lasting impact on baseball and the community of San Diego, the event will showcase of some of the top college baseball programs and players in the nation. It will be a good test for our team, early in non-conference play, to help us prepare for the Southeastern Conference.”
The tournament will feature 12 teams in a true championship style format, with Baseball America assisting in the formation of the bracket. UK will open with UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 26 at 4 p.m. ET at SDSU.
After a six-game road swing to both coasts to open the 2016 season, UK will return to Cliff Hagan Stadium for a season-long 11 game homestand to open its home slate. UK will host Austin Peay in a home opened on March 2 at 4 p.m. ET, before welcoming Buffalo (March 4-6) for the first home weekend of 2016.
UK will host midweek tilts with Cincinnati (March 8) and Murray State (March 9), before welcoming USC Upstate (March 11-13) for a three-game series in a final non-conference weekend test. The homestand will conclude with non-conference tilts vs. Western Kentucky (March 15) and Dayton (March 16).
Kentucky will open SEC play on March 18 with a three-game set at Georgia at revamped Foley Field in Athens, Ga. In league play, UK will host the nation’s preseason No. 1 Florida (March 25-27), Alabama (March 8-10), Arkansas (April 21-23), South Carolina (May 6-8) and Missouri (May 19-21). UK will travel to Georgia, Tennessee (April 1-3), Vanderbilt (April 15-17), Auburn (April 29-May 1) and Ole Miss (May 12-14).
UK will twice be featured as an SEC Thursday Night game of the week, at Ole Miss and vs. Arkansas, which will adjust the series to a Thursday-Friday-Saturday schedule. Complete television information has not yet been announced.
The Wildcats will host several midweek tilts throughout its schedule, including Austin Peay (March 2), Cincinnati (March 8), Murray State (March 9), Western Kentucky (March 15), Dayton (March 16), Morehead State (March 22), Northern Kentucky (March 29), Xavier (March 30), Louisville (April 6), Eastern Kentucky (April 12) and Miami [Ohio] (April 27). UK will travel to Louisville (April 19), Indiana (May 10) and Murray State (in Paducah, Ky., May 17).
In the first preseason poll of the 2016 season, Kentucky was ranked No. 29 by Collegiate Baseball. UK returns preseason All-America third baseman JaVon Shelby, who belted nine homers and ranked ninth in the SEC in on-base percentage in 2015, as well as standout first baseman Evan White, who earned SEC All-Freshman accolades last season. Kentucky’s entire weekend rotation returns, including seniors Dustin Beggs and Kyle Cody, and junior Friday-night starter Zack Brown. UK also welcomes back bullpen stalwarts Bo Wilson, Zach Logue, Dylan Dwyer, Zach Strecker and Logan Salow, and position starters Riley Mahan, Connor Heady, Storm Wilson, Zach Arnold and Dorian Hairston.
SEASON TICKETS NOW ON SALE
Fans can begin purchasing new season tickets for the 2016 Kentucky baseball season and single-game tickets will go on sale in February.
For more information on UK baseball tickets, contact the Kentucky ticket office at (859) 257-1818 or visit UKathletics.com/tickets.
2016 Season Tickets:
$55 – Reserved Seating
$35 – General Admission
2016 Single-Game Tickets:
$5 – General Admission – Adults (18+)
$2 – Youth/Seniors (65+)
**Children ages 5 and under are admitted free