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Regina Rickert

Kentucky Sweeps Austin Peay with a Dominating 11-1 Victory

Regina Rickert

The winning in the Lexington keeps happening as Kentucky baseball opens their season with a sweep over Austin Peay with an 11-1 victory today in Clarksville, Tennesee.

The Cats busted the game open in the 8th inning in this one. Holding a 5-1 lead already, Kentucky batted all the way around scoring six runs in the inning, due in most part to the errors made by the Austin Peay defense. With one out already in the inning, Ryan Shinn got on board due to a throwing error then Kessler got a hit that put Shinn and himself in scoring position. Austin Peay would load the bases to get a double play, only to hit Breydon Daniel and allow a run to walk home. From there Kentucky’s bats would do the talking as Cam Hill had an RBI single, followed by Jaren Shelby and TJ Collett who both had RBI singles.

TJ Collett has kept his hot streak up to start the season as he was the only offense for Kentucky in what was a pitcher duel through the first five innings. Collett had three hits, an RBI and a double today; he finishes the weekend with seven hits, seven RBIs, four runs, and two home runs.

Another guy who kept his big weekend up was JUCO transfer, Dalton Reed. After hitting a home run on the first DI pitch he saw, and hitting a double yesterday, Reed went yard again today. This time it was a three-run blast that got the scoring started for the Cats and his second home run in the blue and white.

Jaren Shelby had a big day as well, going for two RBIs and he had a double. The middle of Kentucky’s lineup has proved to be a problem this weekend, and you can only look forward to more production coming from these three going forward.

It was a Johnny All-staffer today for the Wildcats as they sent seven different pitchers to the mound against the Governors. Freshman Dillon Marsh got the nod to start the game and went four solid innings, only giving up two hits and a run. From there, the bullpen shut down Austin Peay as they didn’t allow the Governors to put another run on the board.

Lexington native, Carson Coleman was the winning pitcher.

The Bat Cats will be back in action next week, at Texas Tech. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 pm. This Kentucky’s first road sweep since they Swept Texas A&M back in March of 2017.


@BrentW_KSR


UKBaseball

Kentucky Takes the Series against Austin Peay with a 12-5 Victory

UKBaseball

Kentucky’s bats were hot today in chilly Clarksville, Tennesee as the Cats hang 12 runs to beat Austin Peay, and take their first series in the 2019 season.

Kentucky busted the game open early with half of their runs coming in the third inning. Two of Kentucky’s six runs in the third inning came on the big bat of TJ Collett who hit a line drive two-run home run that extended Kentucky’s lead to five. Collett has hit two home runs in as many games this season, and he had three RBIs on the day after an RBI single in the 7th. That gives him six RBIs this weekend.

Before the big swing of Collett, the Cats utilized small ball. After Alex Rodriguez walked, Zeke Lewis bunted him over in order for the lineup to roll over, then the big inning was sparked by a Breydon Daniel single that scored Rodriguez. Daniel would score on a double from Cam Hill, as hill advanced to third. Then Jaren Shelby would knock in Hill with an infield single. To cap the big inning off, Dalton Reed scored on a past ball after he hit a double and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice.

Zeke Lewis, who has been utilized as a sacrifice this weekend, fittingly got his first RBI on the season with an RBI groundout that scored Ryan Shinn in the sixth. The rest of Kentucky’s runs were set up on the poor play of Austin Peay’s defense, as Alex Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, and two runs came off of errors in the 9th.

Kentucky’s defense was just as sloppy though, as they gave up four errors in the game and an unearned run. But, it’s worth mentioning the two amazing plays that took place in the outfield in the first frame. Cam Hill had a leaping grab at the wall to start of the ball game on the defensive end for the Cats, and Rayn Shinn got down and dirty to make a diving grab to leave two Austin Peay runners stranded in the first.

It was a solid day on the bump for Jimmy Ramsey as he only allowed three hits through and two runs through five innings. He also had eight strikeouts on the day. Lexington Catholic Alum, Trip Lockett, gave up a hit and a run through two innings.

Braxton Cottongame, the freshman from Perry County Central, made his collegiate debut this afternoon. Although it wasn’t a stellar outing, giving up four hits and two runs through five batters faced, Cottongame did get his first career strikeout in the blue and white. He’s got plenty of more games under his belt to improve.

Brett Marshall would bail Cottongame out, shutting the door in the ninth as the Cats would hold off Austin Peay to take the series.

Jimmy Ramsey was credited the winning pitcher in this afternoon’s contest.

The Cats will go for the sweep tomorrow at 2 PM. Same drill as today, the only way to catch the game will be on 98.5 Lexington FM.

That makes one Kentucky team to beat a Tennesee team today, now let’s make it two.


@BrentW_KSR


Four Home-Runs give Kentucky an Opening Day Victory over Austin Peay

The Bat Cats start their season 1-0 as they defeat Austin Peay 8-4 on a rainy day in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Home-Runs seemed to be a common theme today for Kentucky as the Cats hit four home runs in their season opener, the biggest one coming from TJ Collett in the eighth inning. In the bottom of the seventh Kentucky had just given up their two-run lead on a two-RBI triple from Austin Peay’s Garrett Spain. Needing to rally quickly, the first four hitters in the eighth inning scored, three of them off the three-run home-run from Collett as the Cats regained the lead 6-4. In the ninth, UK would put two more on the board after a home-run from Breydon Daniel, and an RBI single from Tates Creek product Jaren Shelby.

It was a big day for fresh faces in UK’s lineup today, as three JUCO transfers playing in their first D1 game today hit home-runs. The first one came off the bat of Dalton Reed, who led all of junior college in home-runs as he wasted no time getting his first career home run at this level, sending the first pitch he saw over the center field wall. Reed also had two more hits on the day, keeping him one triple short of the cycle. A big day for Dalton Reed and it’s clear he will be a big bat in Kentucky’s lineup going forward. His teammate from Seminole State Junior College, Breydon Daniel got his in the top of the ninth and Tates Creek Alum, and State College Florida transfer Jaren Shelby hit his home-run in the top of the sixth to give UK a 2-0 lead at the time.

Zack Thompson had a solid opening day outing on the hill. He only went four short innings, which is understandable so early in the season, but those four innings were stellar. Nine of Thompson’s 12 outs were strikeouts through 16 batters faced, and he only gave up one hit in his outing as well. Dillon Harper, however, had a rough go of things as he just went two and a third, while giving up four runs in the sixth and seventh, but after Cole Daniels got Kentucky out of their jam with four pitches, Carson Coleman came in and shut the door to seal the Cats opening day victory. Carson Coleman also got credited with the win in relief.

Kentucky will play game two of the weekend series tomorrow at 2 PM. You can catch the game on 98.5 FM Lexington as a nice appetizer before Kentucky basketball takes on Tennesee tomorrow night in Rupp Arena.

Follow me on Twitter: @BrentW_KSR


WATCH: UK Baseball shows off stadium in World Series commercial

WATCH: UK Baseball shows off stadium in World Series commercial

If you watched Game 1 of the World Series last night, you might have seen a familiar face and heard a familiar voice during one of the commercial breaks.

Nick Mingione and John Calipari teamed up to show off UK Baseball’s new stadium in an ad that played in the Lexington TV market:

Kentucky Proud Park really is a Field of Dreams. Earlier this week, UK Baseball released its 2019 schedule:

On Monday, the KSR Baseball Podcast crew brought in J.T. Riddle, Doug Flynn, and Austin Kearns to preview the World Series and discuss that beautiful new ballpark. Give it a listen:

The KSR Baseball Podcast’s 2018 World Series Preview


The KSR Baseball Podcast’s 2018 World Series Preview

The KSR Baseball Podcast makes its triumphant return with a guest list that is packed with celebrities to prepare you for the 2018 World Series between the Dodgers and the Red Sox.

Trey Huntsman and Keith Madison are joined by a trio of Big Leaguers — current Miami Marlin J.T. Riddle, and former Cincinnati Reds Doug Flynn and Austin Kearns.  They give their World Series predictions and talk about the evolution of Major League Baseball.  Highlights:

— First impressions of Kentucky Proud Park.

— J.T.’s experience with Marlins Man.

— How the Manny Machado situation would’ve been handled in the old days.

— Austin’s excellent instant replay solution.

— Trey doesn’t even believe in his own team.

— The Red Sox are due for a slump.

— Wigwam Village.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to Kentucky Sports Radio on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Five Things To Know Before Kentucky Baseball’s Scrimmage Against Xavier

Yep, tomorrow’s Caturday. The Cats take on South Carolina tomorrow at 7:30 in what will be the second biggest game of the weekend on the campus of the University of Kentucky. Eight and a half hours before the Cats kick off, the BatCats will host the Xavier Musketeers in a fall scrimmage. The exhibition will be the first game played at UK Baseball’s new stadium. There will plenty of buzz around campus tomorrow, and the opening of the BatCats’ new stadium should only add to the excitement. Here are five things you need to know before you head to tomorrow’s scrimmage.

This is the First of Two Fall Scrimmages

The NCAA blessed baseball fans across the country when it was announced earlier this year that teams would be allowed to scrimmage two opponents each fall. UK took advantage of this new rule and scheduled games against Xavier and Michigan. The Wolverines will travel to Lexington on October 14th for the second scrimmage of the fall. There is always a level of excitement when the team begins intrasquad scrimmages, but the concept of playing competition outside of your team is fantastic. Nick Mingione and his staff will get an early look at how their new group handles live competition with these scrimmages.

Fans Will Get Their First Look at the New Stadium

It feels like just yesterday that UK Baseball broke ground on their new home. Flash forward a year and a half and the stadium is ready to roll for Saturday’s scrimmage. The game will be free and seating is on a first come, first served basis. Check out the video of Kentucky’s players seeing their new home for the first time in August.

 

We Will Get a Look at UK’s 2018 Recruiting Class

Nick Mingione put together an impressive recruiting class in his second year in Lexington. The 2018 class was ranked 24th by Baseball America thanks to Cole Ayers and Will Gambino coming to campus and turning down pro contracts. Unfortunately for UK fans, they will have to wait to see Jaren Shelby and Dalton Reed. Derek Terry announced that the two JUCO transfers will miss Saturday’s scrimmage against Xavier. It will be interesting to get an early peek at the guys at the newcomers that will fill the spots left by the 13 players that signed pro contracts this summer.

The Return of UK’s Fireballers

Last season ended with plenty of questions. The biggest question was “If Kentucky’s pitching staff were healthy, how far could the team have gone?” UK had several prominent arms go down late in 2018 as the Cats’ season crumbled down the stretch. Saturday’s scrimmage will allow fans to see a couple of those pitchers return to the mound for the Cats. Zack Thompson and Carson Coleman should see time on the mound tomorrow after missing parts of last season with arm injuries. Saturday could be the first time that we see some of the talented freshmen from the 2017 class that missed last season due to Tommy John Surgery. Ben Jordan and Brad Dobzanski will be ready for the 2018 regular season and we could see them this weekend against Xavier.

It’s Coltyn Kessler Time

I have been a huge Coltyn Kessler fan since his first start last spring. The sophomore catcher/first baseman started nine games as a freshman and collected five hits. The ball jumps off Kessler’s bat and he has the ability to hit for power. The Missouri-native drove in 21 runs and hit .292 this summer in the Texas Collegiate League. Kessler will take over for Kole Cottam and Troy Squires as a sophomore. If Kessler gets a consistent number of at-bats, I think he will be a special player at the plate.

The scrimmage will start tomorrow at 11 ET at the new home of Kentucky Baseball. Before you start tailgating, take an early look at this year’s UK Baseball team. 

 

 


UK Baseball will play an exhibition at the new stadium Saturday

UK Baseball will play an exhibition at the new stadium Saturday

In a bit of news that slipped under the radar yesterday, the Kentucky Baseball team will play a pair of exhibition games at their new $49 million stadium this fall. This Saturday, the Bat Cats will host Xavier at 11 a.m. and on October 14, they’ll host Michigan (time TBD).

Both exhibitions are free to the public. Tickets are not needed for entry and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis in the main seating bowl. Gates for Saturday’s first exhibition will open at 10:45 a.m. Fans with football gameday parking permits are encouraged to park in their permitted lot and walk to the new baseball stadium. For those wishing just to attend the baseball game, they may park in the Purple Lot on a first-come, first-served basis until full or nearby non-permit parking structures two, three and six. All vehicles that do not have a football parking pass or are not in their correct lot must be moved by 3:30 p.m.

Baseball exhibition in the morning, tailgating in the afternoon, huge football game vs. South Carolina at night. Even Mother Nature’s smiling at that combo, with temperatures forecasted to be in the low 70s and not a raindrop or cloud in sight.

The south side of campus sure is looking pretty:


via UK Athletics

LOOK: UK Baseball Unveils New Space to the Team

via @UKBaseball Twitter

Yesterday, Head Baseball Coach Nick Mingione, Former Coach Keith Madison and UK’s Baseball Team took a special walk-through of the new and very improved baseball facilities. Construction on the $49 million new stadium is still ongoing but according to these pictures – I’d say so far, so good.

Take a look for yourself:

Here are some highlights:

 

via UK Athletics

“This place is unbelievable. It’s going to be great for the program. It’s really awesome,” Sophomore Pitcher Carson Coleman told UK Athletics in an article outlying all the details of the new space.

For a full gallery of pictures, you can go here. 


Photo: UKAthletics.com

UK pitcher among 10 best college players in 2019 draft class

Photo: UKAthletics.com

Kentucky’s Zack Thompson had an outstanding freshman season on the mound for the Wildcats in 2017 and followed it up with another good year in 2018, despite being injured through much of the conference slate. In his two seasons in Lexington, the lefty has a 10-4 record with a 3.88 earned run average and 138 strikeouts in 106.2 innings. His opponents are hitting just .195 against him and he ranks second on the program’s career hits allowed per nine innings with just 6.24.

Looking ahead to his third season, Thompson is garnering some national attention and is projected to be a serious MLB prospect. In fact, MLB.com lists him as one of the 10 best college players in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Here’s what the website had to say:

7. Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky: Thompson may have at least partially answered some questions about his elbow, which forced him out of action for a chunk of his sophomore season, while pitching for Team USA this summer. He tossed 8 2/3 scoreless innings over three appearances and while he did walk five, he only allowed three hits and struck out seven. Yes, he’ll have to show he’s durable for a full season in the spring, but this was a nice finish to a disappointing season. [MLB.com]

Thompson was the only SEC player on the list, surprisingly.

[MLB.com: 10 best college players in the 2019 Draft class]


KSR Baseball Podcast E39: Doug Flynn

It’s time for another exciting edition of the KSR Baseball Podcast!

In episode 39, coach Keith Madison and KSR baseball aficionado Trey Huntsman discuss the following:

-Update on former UK players in the pros
-Early preview of next year’s UK roster
-Coach Madison’s thoughts on the championship changing play in the College World Series
-Coach Madison talks Mississippi State coaching change and how they feel for Coach Henderson after leading the team to CWS.

Then, former Major League Baseball infielder and Lexington native Doug Flynn joins the show to talk about:

-Update on the Reds, what’s standing out
-Thoughts on their draft picks
-Does he think they’ll make any moves at the All Star break?
-Likes way Reds are playing but making crucial mistakes costing them games
-Change in players in current era of baseball
-Players he likes around the league
-3rd annual Bluegrass World Series coming up in early August in Louisville — big-time former MLB stars playing in the event
-Coach Madison plays his lightning round game with Doug Flynn

And to close, the trio gives a special tribute to Kentucky legend Frank Ramsey — did you know he was also an All-SEC baseball player at UK for two years?

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to Kentucky Sports Radio on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Two Kentucky Pitchers Sign Pro Contracts

UK Athletics

Kentucky pitchers Chris Machamer and Andrew Miller have agreed to professional contracts according to Jim Callis of MLB.com. With the signings of Machamer and Miller, all 13 UK draft picks have inked professional contracts.

UK had to feel confident about Machamer returning in 2019. The former UK closer was drafted in the 16th round after leading the Cats in saves as a draft-eligible sophomore. Machamer had reported to the Cape Cod League and pitched in two games before signing with the Boston Red Sox this week. By pitching in the Cape, it appeared that Machamer had made the decision not to sign with Boston. But nearly a month after the draft, Machamer put pen to paper and signed with the Red Sox for $213,000.

There was no bigger surprise than Andrew Miller signing with the Miami Marlins. Miller sat out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules and Tommy John surgery, but the Marlins must have seen something they liked in Miller in his time at Maryland. Miami selected Miller in the 40th round and gave him a $150,000 signing bonus.

Next season might be tough on the starting rotation. Miller and Machamer were expected to compete for starting spots in a rotation that does not return a pitcher who threw 50 or more innings last season. Nick Mingione and Jimmy Belanger will have their work cut out for them as they look to replace six pitchers from last year’s team.