UK Baseball moves into Top 25

Gary Henderson

After winning nine of their first 11 games to open the season, Kentucky has climbed into college baseball's Top 25.

After winning nine of their first 11 games to open the season, Kentucky has climbed into college baseball's Top 25.

The Wildcats earned a No. 23 ranking by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball on Monday. They were also ranked No. 22 by another publication, Perfect Game.

Kentucky rides a seven-game winning streak into play this week. The Cats were scheduled to face Cincinnati in the Queen City on Tuesday, but that game was pushed back to a Wednesday doubleheader in Lexington due to the winter storm that passed through the region Sunday night.

Gary Henderson's club was last ranked by Baseball America, the nation's most widely-recognized poll, on April 29, 2103 after winning a three-game series at Ole Miss.

The Wildcats have gotten strong hitting and pitching to open the 2014 campaign. UK leads the SEC in batting average (.326) after finishing 13th in the category (.255) last season. It also leads the league in slugging percentage (.478), on-base percentage (.439), runs scored (106) and doubles (28).

Individually, junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed ranks as the league leader in homers (seven), RBI (20), slugging (1.024) and total bases (43), while also ranking tied for the SEC lead with three wins on the mound.

Fellow preseason All-America candidate Austin Cousino has also gotten off to a strong start with a team-leading .438 average, six doubles, one triple and one home run. The junior centerfielder is also 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts.

Sophomore outfielder Kyle Barrett and junior third baseman Max Kuhn have also driven in double-digit runs (11 and 10, respectively) for the Cats.

UK's weekend starters -- Reed, Kyle Cody and Chandler Shepherd -- are a combined 7-0 on the mound.

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