It’s time for the week seven weekend preview. Check out storylines to watch in week seven games for Kentucky DI colleges and players below:
Matchup of the week: University of Kentucky @ South Carolina (3)
After being swept by Alabama in week five the Southeastern Conference schedule gets even more difficult in week six for UK with a trip to No. 3 South Carolina. The Cats are 2-4 in SEC play and 15-11 on the season, while South Carolina is 4-2 in conference play and 19-5 on the season. Preseason All-America Jackie Bradley Jr. is batting just .303 for the Gamecocks but has six home runs, 22 RBI and 25 runs scored on the season. Friday starting pitcher Michael Roth is 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA in seven games for South Carolina this season. South Carolina is coming off a series victory against then No. 1 Florida.
Player to watch: LHP Corey Littrell (UK)
UK freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell will make his first Southeastern Conference start this weekend when he takes sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper‘s usual Saturday start. Littrell has excelled as a starter this season, going 4-0 with a 2.89 ERA in five midweek starts. On Tuesday he earned the win after surrendering two hits in three shutout innings while striking out three batters and walking none versus Tennessee tech. Littrell has struggled in a bullpen role with an 0-1 record and 24.30 ERA in three relief appearances.
Stat of the week: University of Louisville already has six shutouts
UofL’s pitching staff has been stingy with runs this season, boasting a 4.17 staff ERA and six shutouts. The six shutouts are already the second most in one season in school history. The Cards have shutout Xavier, Pepperdine, Kent State, Minnesota and Ohio State this season and have at least one shutout in four of the team’s seven series this season. On Tuesday UofL held Western Kentucky University to one run, marking the 17th time in 24 games the team had held its opponent to two or fewer runs.
Out-of-state player to watch: LHP Nick Maronde (Florida, Lexington Catholic)
No out-of-state Kentucky collegians face a Kentucky college this weekend, so we give you an out-of-state player to watch instead. Florida junior left-handed pitcher Nick Maronde, who is a Lexington Catholic alum, has been a valuable weapon out of the Gators’ bullpen this season. In 12 games Maronde has yet to record a decision but boasts a 2.45 ERA and one save. Maronde has struck out 23 batters and walked just three in 14 and two-third innings. Opponents are batting .246 against the southpaw this season. No. 4 Florida is 4-2 in SEC play and welcomes Tennessee to town this weekend.