As expected, the discussion surrounding the Louisville Regional is dominated by speculation that the University of Louisville and Kentucky will square off in the second round.
UK Coach Gary Henderson is apparently caught up in the conjecture, changing his pitching rotation so left-hander A. J. Reed will start if UofL is the opponent.
Reed was the SEC Player of the Year with an 11-2 won-lost record on the mound. He’s also the Wildcats’ best hitter with an impressive 351 batting average and 23 home runs.
UofL’s Dan McDonnell hasn’t indicated who will be on the mount in the opening game against Kent State. Presumably he will stick with right hander Kyle Funkhouser, who had a 12-2 record.
Kent State, which eliminated UK during the NCAA tournament last season is powered by Alex Miklos and Zarley Zalewski, batting 362 and 355, respectively.
As for UofL’s second game, McDonnell isn’t optimistic that right-hander Jared Ruxer will be available, saying the odds are only 50-50. Ruxer has a 7-1 won-lost record but is plagued with a forearm injury.
McDonnell will think twice about using Josh Rogers if UK is indeed the opponent. The freshman lost both games against Kentucky during the regular season.