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The Call To The Bullpen, March 12th


Gunnar McNeill hit his first homer of the season against Miami on Friday. Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics

Gunnar McNeill hit his first homer of the season against Miami on Friday.
Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics

Kentucky wrapped up their second consecutive weekend sweep today with a 14-2 win over Miami (OH). The BatCats took three games from the Redhawks and went 4-1 over the course of the week. UK scored 14 or more runs in three of this week’s games as they boosted their record to 11-6 on the season. Here is the overview of what you might have missed in the last week before SEC play begins.

Game Recaps

Kentucky 15 Wright State 1- In perhaps their most impressive win of the week, UK scored 11 runs in the 6th and 7th innings combined. Wright State had beaten Clemson and South Carolina earlier this year, but couldn’t hit a lick off Brad Schaenzer. Marcus Carson collected four hits and Zach Reks drove in five runs in the win.

Cincinnati 2 Kentucky 1- The Bearcats snapped UK’s six-game winning streak with a walk-off win in the 10th inning. The Cats got outstanding pitching performances from Zack Thompson, Zach Pop, and Logan Salow. Thompson struck out eight in a no decision.

Kentucky 6 Miami 4- Behind five runs in the first two innings, UK was able to take game one against Miami. Colton Cleary went four no-hit innings to pick up his second save of the season.

Kentucky 16 Miami 3- Six different Wildcats drove in two runs to boost Zach Logue to his third win of the season. The Redhawks hung around until UK scored seven in the 6th and six in the 7th to run away with a series win over the Redhawks.

Kentucky 14 Miami 2- Justin Lewis threw another quality start and Luke Becker drove in eight runs to complete the sweep of Miami. The Cats scored runs in every inning but the 6th and the bullpen allowed only two baserunners in three innings. The win put the Cats at 9-0 at home in 2017.

Notes from the week

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Zack Thompson is pushing for a weekend start- The freshman flamethrower leads the team with 23 strikeouts in only 16.2 innings in three starts. After turning down the Tampa Bay Rays offer this summer, Thompson enrolled at UK and has balled out ever since. Thompson has a 2.74 ERA and has held opponents to a .197 ERA in midweek starts. There is definitely a chance Thompson could start in SEC weekend games if need be. If not Thompson, it could be Brad Schaenzer getting time on weekends. Schaenzer has not allowed a run in 16.2 innings to start the season.

Luke Becker, SEC Player of the Week?- Becker’s eight-RBI game was impressive on Sunday, but he had a solid week as a whole. Becker drove in ten runs, hit .500, stole two bases, and walked twice in three starts.

 

Evan White out with an injury- White missed time against UNC and the week after with a nagging groin injury. While running out a ground ball against Cincy, White pulled up with another injury and was forced to leave the game. White did not play this weekend against Miami.

Tristan Pompey is coming along- While his brother hits leadoff for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, Tristan has been making an impact in the States. Pompey leads UK in walks and has reached base in ten consecutive games, which is impressive because he walked 20 times in all of 2016. The sophomore is hitting .297 with seven RBIs in 19 starts this season.

Andrew Albers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Andrew Albers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Cats in the Pros

Andrew Albers pitched against Team USA today in the World Baseball Classic. Albers struck out two in two innings for Canada. Taylor Rogers is competing for a spot in the Twins’ bullpen this spring. Rogers has allowed two runs in six innings out of the pen. Luke Maile is hitting .400 in Spring Training for the Rays. AJ Reed is hitting .360 in Spring Training, but it is being reported that he will not be on the Opening Day roster for the Astros.

The Week Ahead

Kentucky has four games this week, including the first SEC series of the year. After a game against Murray State at home on Tuesday, UK travels to Texas A&M to take on the #12 Aggies. A&M has an impressive rotation including All-SEC hopeful Brigham Hill. The Aggies have an incredible environment in College Station and will be ready to roll for SEC play.

New Podcast on Tuesday

If you haven’t already, check out last week’s show with Coach Mingione on the building of a program and coaching in today’s world. This week, we will be joined by College World Series Champion Coach Gary Gilmore of Coastal Carolina. Coach Gilmore took the Chanticleers to their first championship last year over Arizona. It will be a fun show, so subscribe on iTunes and send in questions.

 

Article written by Trey Huntsman

Keepin' fresh since '96. I couldn't play baseball, so I write about it to fill the void. Former Tampa Bay Rays Trackman and host of the KSR Baseball Podcast. Follow me on Twitter @TreyHuntsmanKSR.