Series of the week: Eastern Kentucky University vs. Morehead State University
None of the week nine series are marquee matchups, but we do have the first multi-game matchup between Kentucky schools of the season. Morehead State University will travel west to face Ohio Valley Conference foe and in-state rival Eastern Kentucky University. Neither team figures to factor into the OVC title race as EKU sits at 11-22 on the season and 3-6 in conference and Morehead St. sits at 5-25 on the season and 1-5 in conference, so the in-state rivalry series will likely be one of the few highlights for either team in the second half of the season. The two teams will face off in a double-header starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday before playing the series finale at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Player to watch: 1b/RHP Braden Kapteyn (UK)
At times during the 2011 season the University of Kentucky has hit well and pitched well, but it has seldom done those things at the same time. So where can you look for the whole package? Perhaps the Cat who does both: junior first baseman and right-handed reliever Braden Kapteyn. The Cats’ postseason hopes are likely already dead with a 17-17 record and 2-10 conference mark, but if UK were to miraculously end up with 13 or 14 wins in Southeastern Conference play they would have a shot. That means UK would need to win 11 of their last 18 games. For that to happen the teams needs major contributions out of Kapteyn the hitter, who has batted .331 with four home runs 33 RBI and 31 runs scored, and Kapteyn the pitcher, who is 0-1 with a 5.54 ERA and 2 saves to go with 22 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched.
Stat of the week: UofL, WKU within shouting distance of first place
Both the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University could take over first place in their respective conferences if things went perfectly this weekend. UofL is one game behind Connecticut in the Big East Conference and travels to fifth-place St. Johns this weekend. WKU is two games behind Troy in the Sun Belt Conference and welcomes ninth-place Arkansas State to Bowling Green this weekend. The two schools are both in the running for at-large NCAA tournament bids and cannot afford slips ups this weekend.
Out-of-state Ky. collegian to watch: RHP Chad Martin (Indiana, PLD)
There are no out-of-state Kentucky collegians playing in-state schools this weekend, so we will give you an out-of-state player to watch instead. PLD alum Chad Martin will make a Saturday start for Indiana versus Iowa. Martin is 2-1 with a 2.31 ERA on the season. He has struck out 25 batters and walked 10 in 46 and two-third innings and is holding opponents to a .224 batting average. Martin, a junior, is playing his first season with Indiana after spending two years at Vincennes University.