David Mulloy, the KSRCollege baseball beat writer has a few parting thoughts from last night’s historic game and a preview of the Cat’s matchup against Valparaiso.
Closing the book on last night.
Ten hours and twenty-three minutes ago, the UK baseball team suffered the most grueling loss in the history of the program. Seven hours from now, they will face Valparaiso in an effort to extend their season by one more day.
I don’t know how to put last night’s game into words. How do you sum up a game that lasted six hours and thirty seven minutes and was the equivalent of two and one-third regulation contests? The longest game ever played by an SEC team and the second longest in NCAA Tournament history? A game that featured a combined 680 pitches, 47 strikeouts, 38 players, and 43 runners left on base? Unfortunately, as has been the case over the last six weeks of the season, the Cats could not get a timely hit with runners in scoring position and it cost them dearly.
Like the rest of you, I could not watch the game but rather lived and died with every pitch and on the word of Neal Price and quite frankly, I don’t know if I wanted to see the team that I have covered for the last four months after the game. All you need to know is that the team was delayed from returning to the hotel because of problems with an NCAA mandated drug test. Why? Most of them did not have enough fluid in their bodies complete the test. The temperature was in the 50′s, they simply played that hard and left everything on the field.
UK’s Cat Scratches blog has miraculously found some video of last night’s game. It’s worth a look.
The injury bug has not hit the Wildcats very hard this season but two starters, Luke Maile and Lucas Witt left the game with pulled hamstrings and Coach Gary Henderson said after the game that both players are “unlikely” to play today. In addition to those two, I would be shocked if A.J. Reed were to make an appearance, save for a pinch hitting role. Not only did Reed play all twenty-one innings, he pitched nine of them, the most of any of the 10 pitchers who appeared in the game. Reed also would have been the winning run in the 18th inning but cramped up rounding third trying to score from first on Michael Williams’ double to center. He stayed in to pitch the last three innings of the game and unfortunately, ended up as the losing pitcher.
The Crusaders, who are making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1968, lost to host Purdue last night, 7-2. Valpo took a brief lead before the Boilermakers took advantage of five Crusader errors. Out of the seven runs allowed by the Horizon League regular season and tournament champions, only one was earned.
Kentucky will send Saturday starter Jerad Grundy (5-3, 3.95 ERA) to the mound against the Crusaders. Grundy as has pitched very well as of late and worked six innings and allowed just one run on four hits in against Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament. I know it’s stating the obvious but the Cats will be looking for a very long outing from the southpaw. Alex Phillips, Trevor Gott, and obviously A.J. Reed are off the board, leaving Tim Peterson, Sam Mahar, and Chandler Shepherd would be on the shortlist to pitch in relief.
Once again the game will not be televised but Neal Price will have the radio call on 630 WLAP in Lexington, 1080 WKJK in Louisville and on UKathletics.com. John Wilmoff and I will be at the game providing updates here on KSR beginning at 4pm and on twitter @mulloyksr and @wilmhoffksr. If the Cats win, they will play Sunday aft 4pm against the loser of the Purdue-Kent State game at 8pm tonight.
See you all this afternoon. Go Cats.
[powered by WordPress.]
Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
9 queries. 0.390 seconds