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Into the Wild: A preview of LSU’s series against Kentucky

LSU looks to avoid its first series loss against No.12 Kentucky after avoiding a scare against South Carolina last week.

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Kentucky’s Devin Burkes lays down a bunt during the game with Alabama at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Wildcats lead the SEC in sacrifice bunts.


  • Thursday, April 13 @ 6 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
  • Friday, April 14 @ 6:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
  • Saturday, April 15 @ 1 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)


  • Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La. (10,326)


  • LSU – No. 1 in all college baseball polls
  • UK – No. 11 Collegiate Baseball, No. 12 Baseball America, No. 12 D1 Baseball


· LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates, including 98.1 in Baton Rouge

· Live audio for LSU games at; Live stats for LSU games at

No.1 LSU will have its fourth straight weekend series against a ranked opponent when it will take on No.12 Kentucky.

Kentucky will come to Baton Rouge sitting with a 28-5 overall record and a 10-3 conference record. The Wildcats are coming off an upset series loss to Georgia, where they lost two out of three games to the Bulldogs.

LSU leads the series 55-31-1 all-time against Kentucky. The Tigers have won 13 out of the past 19 series against Kentucky, including a 2-1 series win over the Wildcats last year.

LSU and Kentucky split two games between each other in last year’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama. The Tigers won its opening match against Kentucky 11-6 before being eliminated by the Wildcats 7-2 in a “win or go home” game just two days later.

Kentucky may not be killers in terms of hitting the ball, but they make up for it with excellent baserunning as the Wildcats lead the SEC in stolen bases. The Wildcats’ pitching is one of the best in the SEC as well.

“Kentucky has a really good identity – they know who they are, and they play to that well,” said LSU head coach Jay Johnson. “I’ve known (Kentucky coach) Nick Mingione a really long time, and he’s a very thoughtful guy in how he puts together his program, his roster. They bunt as well as any team that we’ve played since I’ve been at LSU. They do a good job with the running game; there are literally no holds barred on that end. So, we have some things we need to do to control what they do well.”

Although Kentucky has been one of the top teams in the SEC this season, they do not hit the ball with power as they are dead last in the conference in home runs with just 22 homers on the season. However, they lead the conference in sacrifice bunts with 30 and are fifth in the conference in batting average (.299).

First baseman Hunter Gilliam has been Kentucky’s best batter this season. Gilliam, who is a Longwood transfer, is batting .379 on the year with eight doubles, one triple, six homers and 42 RBIs.

Second baseman Emilien Pitre has been great as well as the Canadian is hitting .349 with 10 doubles, one triple, one homer and 31 RBI.

Catcher Devin Burkes is another name to watch. Burkes has 10 doubles, one triple, four homers and 40 RBI.