Kentucky announces challenging 2016 baseball schedule – Lexington Herald Leader

The University of Kentucky baseball team announced a 56-game 2016 schedule on Friday that includes 32 contests at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The Wildcats open the season Feb. 19-21 with games in Spartanburg, S.C., against Wofford, George Mason and Dayton.

After a weekend trip to San Diego, Calif., for the inaugural 12-team Tony Gwynn Classic, Kentucky returns to Lexington for its home opener March 2 against Austin Peay.

Kentucky’s non-conference schedule also includes visits from Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Morehead State and Northern Kentucky in addition to home-and-home sets against Louisville and Murray State.

The Cats open their Southeastern Conference schedule March 18-20 at Georgia. UK also plays on the conference road against Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Auburn and Ole Miss.

Kentucky’s first SEC series at home is March 25-27 against Florida. The Wildcats’ other home league series are versus Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina and Missouri.

The SEC Tournament is scheduled for May 24-29 in Hoover, Ala.

In the first preseason poll of the 2016 season, Kentucky was ranked No. 29 by Collegiate Baseball.

Kentucky faces several teams ranked in the preseason poll, including No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Louisville and No. 3 Vanderbilt.

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.

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