I spoke with Kentucky assistant coach Brad Bohanon this morning, and he reported that it was raining in Mobile, Ala., where the Wildcats are scheduled to open their season against Xavier in the Coca-Cola Classic, hosted by South Alabama. Assuming the weather clears up today, fans in Mobile will not be treated to a Scott Green-Charlie Leesman duel, as the Wildcats plan to save Green for Saturday and throw Chris Rusin against the Musketeers. The rationale is that the physical Green is more likely to pitch deeper into the game, so if the Wildcats have to go to the bullpen earlier they would rather do it on Friday and Sunday than on Saturday.
Bohanon also cleared up the status of touted freshman catcher Dan Killian, a Michigan native who left the Wildcats just before the spring semester began. Killian opted to transfer back to his home state, landing at Kellogg (Mich.) Community College.
"it was a really odd deal," Bohanon said. "He’s a great kid, great work ethic, great academically, he seemed really happy, but he called Coach (John) Cohen two days before the kids came back from the break and said he didn’t feel comfortable, and he didn’t come back. It really caught us by surprise. Talking to his roommate, it sounds like he was concerned he wasn’t going to catch 50 games. It was really odd, I didn’t even get a chance to talk to Dan."
This is a major loss for Kentucky. Killian was the jewel of their solid 2008 recruiting class, ranking as the nation’s No. 35 prospect in the freshman class. Senior Tyler Howe (.241-1-22 a year ago) can step from last year’s backup role into the starting job this year, at least giving UK solid defense behind the plate, so Killian’s loss hurts the Wildcats more over the long term than it does in 2008.
"Generally we haven’t gotten a ton of the really high-end talent guys like Dan, so when you do get them you want to hang onto them," Bonahon said.
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