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Scouting Louisville’s Brendan McKay

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The BatCats have faced top arms all season. Whether it be LSU’s Alex Lange or North Carolina’s J.B Bukauskas, UK has seen some nasty stuff on the mound in 2017. But they haven’t faced Brendan McKay. He was recently named Baseball America’s Player of the Year as both a hitter and a pitcher. McKay is 9-3 with 131 strikeouts in 97.1 innings. As a hitter, McKay is one of the best power hitters in all of college baseball. His ability to hit for a high average and drive the ball has him as one of the two candidates for the number one overall pick next Tuesday. But what makes him so special on the mound?

The Fastball

MLB.com notes that McKay will sit low 90s early in games and will lose the velocity throughout the middle innings. The fastball may even drop into the high-80s if McKay is on the mound deeper into games. But even without throwing gas, McKay just needs to locate the pitch. He has other plus pitches he can use to get swings.

 

 

The above video really shows what he can do with that fastball. He is locating it well despite not having a ton of life on the pitch. Scouts and insiders love his command. When you aren’t hitting mid to high 90s, you have to command the fastball. McKay locates well and it makes that pitch just as effective late in games as it does early.

The Curveball

McKay has a plus breaking ball with his curveball. It gets a lot of vertical drop and will get around 81 MPH. The video below shows how it can be used on the outer half of the plate, but it is also a fantastic pitch in against right-handers. MLB.com gave his curve a 60 grade (out of 80) in their newest Draft preview.

McKay will also throw a changeup, but it is not as effective as the fastball or changeup. He may not have the velocity of Bukauskas or the crazy hook of Lange, but he is extremely effective with those two pitches. He gets a lot of swings and misses and will locate well.

How can UK beat McKay?

The Cats have never faced McKay in his three years at Louisville, so they don’t have much of a feel for him coming into today’s game. The Cats had faced Kade McClure several times and it didn’t seem to help them in yesterday’s loss. McKay locates well, but UK needs to work good, long at-bats on the All-American. Florida State and Duke proved that he can be touched, but his mistakes are few and far between. In both of the aforementioned games, Louisville’s opponents put up crooked numbers in the fifth inning. When that velo begins to drop, UK may be able to strike. The Cats will also need to capitalize on defensive mistakes and any pitches McKay leaves up in the zone. With Sean Hjelle on the mound, UK will not need to put up ten runs to win. Even with Hjelle not being as effective recently, he is still the top pitcher in the SEC. The offense needs to give him some support and let him settle in. That will be easier said than done against McKay. The BatCats need to jump on any mistakes and rattle McKay in the middle innings.

Kentucky hasn’t faced someone with a makeup like McKay this season. But they have faced some of the top arms in the country. They roughed up projected #1 overall pick Kyle Wright and Vanderbilt. The forced Lange to walk eight batters. For me, it will be about UK’s approach at the plate. Can they get free passes and get guys in scoring position? If they can, they will make it interesting tomorrow. 

 


UK Athletics

Visit Prestonburg’s KSR Top 10

Discover Prestonsburg, the “Star City of Eastern Kentucky”. Whether you’re into outdoor adventure, musical entertainment, theatre, history or science, Prestonsburg has a little something for everyone.  Located along U.S. 23, the country music highway, Prestonsburg offers an array of musical entertainment.  The Mountain Arts Center is a performing arts venue that hosts the Billie Jean Osborne’s KY Opry.  Be mesmerized by the local talent on stage that will leave you understanding why we say, “There’s something in the water”.   The KY Opry kicks off June 17.  If you’re looking for just a relaxing music evening, checkout some of our local restaurants such as McGuire’s Brickhouse or Lizzie B’s on Friday and Saturday Nights that have local bands performing into the night.

Catch an outdoor theatre show at the Jenny Wiley Theatre this summer.  This year’s summer shows will include Tarzan and Madagascar.  Shows start June 23 for a magical experience under the stars.   For history buffs, educate yourselves at the Battle of Middlecreek, the largest Civil War battle in Eastern KY or tour through the Historic Samuel May House.  Explore the East Kentucky Science Center & Varia Planetarium one of the most technologically advanced planetariums in the nation.  You also don’t want to miss out on the Hubble Exhibit on display until September.

For the outdoor enthusiast, enjoy Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.  The park features plenty of hiking, biking, fishing, birding, boating opportunities and even elk tours during the fall & winter season.  Check out our newly created Sugar Camp Mountain Trails that add an additional 26 miles of mountain biking that are like no other in the region.  Like Kayaking? Experience our Levisa Fork PaddleFest, the fourth Saturday May – Sept., and kayak up the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River into Paintsville.  Of course no trip to Prestonsburg is complete without a trip to StoneCrest Golf Course, whether an avid golfer or just there to take in the views, this reclaimed strip mine is a beauty like no other.  Call Prestonsburg Tourism at 800-844-4704 or visit prestonsburgky.org for more information.


1. Win or Go Home

The Kentucky baseball team is playing for its life.  After their ninth inning rally ended prematurely, the Cats must avenge their 5-2 loss to the Cards or their season will end in Louisville two wins short of the College World Series in Omaha.

2. One Bad Inning

Kentucky surrendered two runs in the first inning, but remained in game one until a disastrous fifth.  The first two UK batters reached base, but Marcus Carson’s bunt went right back to the pitcher, who made the force out at third.  A passed ball appeared to wipe away the bad bunt, but Carson got tagged out before sliding into second.  Instead of getting two runs to tie the game, they gave away a three-run homerun in the bottom of the inning.

The Bat Cats continued to fight until the tying run arrived at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.  Erase one bad inning and we might be telling a different story this morning.

3. A Pitching Duel

Brendan McKay vs. Sean Hjelle is a college baseball nerd’s wet dream.  A National Player of the Year vs. the 6’11” SEC Pitcher of the Year.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Neither team got a ton of offense going yesterday, they simply capitalized off the other team’s mistakes; Louisville only needed four hits to score five runs.  There will not be as many mistakes today.  The Cats must take advantage of every opportunity to put McKay against the ropes.

UK Athletics

4. Where to Watch/Listen

5. KHSAA Softball/Baseball Playoffs Continue

The Super Regional isn’t the only action on Kentucky dirt diamonds.  The first leg of the state baseball tournament is underway in Lexington at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, while the softball tournament is nearing the end in Owensboro.

Baseball/softball tournaments are weird.  Double elimination, pool play etc. creates tournament chaos.  Yesterday, things got too crazy in Owensboro.  Mercy was eliminated in the losers bracket 2-0 in 14-innings. Their fourth game of the day ended just before midnight.  If they would’ve won, their semifinal game would start right now.  Certainly there’s a better way to do this, KHSAA.

Softball Final Four

  • South Warren vs. Owensboro Catholic
  • Male vs. Madisonville-North Hopkins

Baseball Results

  • Scott County 4, Caldwell County 0
  • Highlands 3, Johnson Central 1
  • PRP 4, Franklin-Simpson 3
  • McCracken County 1, Trinity 0

Baseball Quarterfinals

  • Simon Kenton vs. Muhlenberg County at 11:00 a.m.
  • Knox Central vs. Marion County at 1:30 p.m.
  • McCracken County vs. Scott County at 6:00 p.m.
  • Highlands vs. PRP at 8:30 p.m.

6. Kentucky Football Camps Begin

The Kentucky football team is beginning camp season with their biggest recruiting weekend of the summer.  Headlined by quarterback Jarren Williams, defensive linemen Alex Reigelsperger and Tyler Bentley, there’s a TON of talent in Lexington today.  I’ll preview the visitors in a little while before heading to the event under the Kroger Field lights.

7. Enlightenment from a Champion of Life

Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop doesn’t use social media often, but when he does it’s for the greater good.  Few words are more inspiring than these.

@RedditCFB

8. The Cavs Won

This are three words I did not expect to type during the NBA Finals.  Facing elimination, the Cavs played like they needed to play four games ago.  They prevented the Warriors from becoming the first team to ever go 16-0 in the playoffs, but they’ll need another crazy offensive performance to extend the series to six.

9. Belmont Saturday

Even though a Triple Crown isn’t on the line, there’s still some good racing happening at Belmont Park.  A few Kentucky Derby favorites — Irish War Cry, Gormely and Patch — return to the track, ensuring an eventful mile and a half race.

Post time is at 6:37 on NBC.  For more racing coverage throughout the day, hit up NBC Sports Network.

10. Game of Thrones is Almost Here

That’s why T.J. Walker and I have restarted Kentucky Thrones Radio.  In the six weeks leading into the show, the hour-long podcast is reviewing all six seasons and connecting their stories to where we are now.  The first one is pretty fun and can be found here.  Any and all feedback is appreciated.  For more, keep that podcast feed prepared to see new episodes each Monday before the July 16 premiere.


UK Athletics

News And Notes From Today’s Super Regional

UK Athletics

Today was a weird day for the BatCats. The offense looked dead for the first eight innings of a 5-2 loss and they killed most of their rallies with uncharacteristic mistakes. It was a frustrating afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium, but the season is not over yet. Tomorrow will be UK’s fourth elimination game in the last week, so they are well versed in how important every pitch can be.

Takeaways from today’s press conference

Tomorrow’s matchup should be fun- The Cats will face up against Brendan McKay at the plate and on the mound. McKay will face up against Sean Hjelle on the mound. Coach Mingione said “it’s going to be a very special game” with those two guys going against each other.

The dust-up in the fifth inning- After Drew Ellis pimped a three-run home run the teams had an exchange of words along the first base line. Kole Cottam and Zach Logue both got fired up and had to be pulled back by the home plate umpire. Before anyone could stop him, Riley Mahan was screaming at the Louisville players walking back to the dugout. “Just a bunch of guys competing in the heat of the moment,” Cottam said afterward.

The Cats aren’t scared of an elimination game- The Cats played in three win-or-go-home games in the Regional, and they are in the same spot once again.  “We’re trusting each other and the same thing we’ve done all year,” Cottam said. “Just believe in each other and trust the process.” The three elimination games will play a huge role in how the players look at tomorrow’s game. “One of the biggest things is we have done it before,” Cottam said. “That’s going to help us, motivate us, we know what we have to do. We have to play one inning at a time and one pitch at a time.”

Another great story?- Coach Mingione has said all season that he came to UK to do things that had never been done before. He believes that the next thing to do is to win the next two games and get to Omaha. Coach Mingione said that “we’re going to have to try and do something that’s never been done before tomorrow”. The Cats will be looking to win their first Super Regional game in school history against Louisville.

My takeaways from today

Today was one of the more frustrating and obscure losses in my time covering this team. UK looked dead when they needed big time hits. They made mistakes in the biggest situations and it came back to bite them. By ruining the huge opportunity in the top of the fifth, UK gave Louisville all the momentum in the bottom half. After the bad bunt and caught stealing, UK’s offense did not get anything going until the ninth. The final inning does give fans hope that the team can wake up. Evan White hit a solo home run and Tyler Marshall singled home a run in the waning moments. UK was taking more pitches and creating run scoring opportunities. If the BatCats play tomorrow like they did in the ninth inning, they will be able to score early on McKay and give their pitching staff some room to breathe.

Looking Ahead

The season once again rides on a single game. Hjelle will get the ball for the BatCats as they take on Player of the Year Brendan McKay. Baseball America named McKay the best player in college baseball after he went 9-3 with a 2.31 ERA in 15 starts. He struck out 131 batters in 97.1 innings this season. All of this is in addition to McKay hitting .351 with 17 home runs as the team’s DH. The whole game tomorrow will circle around McKay vs. Hjelle.

How can Kentucky make another comeback?

I wrote a story a week ago about how UK could win three games in two days. The BatCats pulled it off and they can win two games against Louisville. The gameplan should be fairly simple for how UK can win the series. Sean Hjelle will need to dominate tomorrow. Yes, it is easier said than done. But Hjelle will need to attack the top of the order and not put anyone on in front of Drew Ellis and McKay. Louisville won today because of Ellis’ big swing. Hjelle will need to keep the ball in the ballpark if UK wants to win tomorrow.

On the other side of the ball, UK needs to get better at-bats than they did today. Mingione said the team swung at 12 pitches outside of the strike zone in game one. UK’s approach at the plate tightened up in the ninth, so that will need to continue into tomorrow. If the team can make it to Sunday, I would feel good about their circumstances. Justin Lewis and his nasty changeup would be on the mound for UK. Lewis is a competitor that has been lights out in a good portion of his starts this season. He could be the guy that pitches UK into Omaha if they reach that point.


Nick Mingione is Tight-Lipped on How to Beat Brendan McKay

UofL Athletics

Today’s 5-2 loss to Louisville hurt.  Nick Mingione cannot deny it.  “At this point in the year, all the losses hurt a lot.”  But there’s very little time to dwell on the bad.

The Cats did some good things.  After Zack Thompson surrendered two runs in the first inning, Louisville only had two more hits the rest of the game.  The Cats ended the game with hot bats, scoring two in the top of the ninth.  They will need it tomorrow against Brendan McKay.

McKay has already won a few college baseball player of the year awards.  The heavy hitter and ace left-handed pitcher is 9-3 with a 2.31 ERA and allows opponents to hit just .178.  On the other side of the field, Kentucky’s 6’11” SEC Pitcher of the Year Sean Hjelle will do his best to shut down the Cards, creating one of the best pitching duels in all of college baseball.

“It’s going to be a very special game with two high-quality arms,” Mingione said after the game.

When the UK head coach was asked how you can combat McKay’s arm, he refused to give anything away.  “I’m not ready to tell you that.  I’ll tell you after the game.  Is that okay?”

It is okay, but only if it works.


The Large Magnitude of the Kentucky-Louisville Super Regional

Even though Kentucky didn’t get the win, today was an amazing day for baseball in the Bluegrass. In the middle of a work day 6,235 people attended a college baseball game in Kentucky.

“I’m glad we could help with that,” Nick Mingione said with a chuckle about Jim Patterson Stadium’s new attendance record.

The first Super Regional game received the national spotlight, highlighted in the postgame media room.  Aaron Fitt of D1 Baseball has been to plenty of college baseball games, but has never seen anything like this.

“I tried to count the reporters in this UK/UofL presser, lost count at 60. Some people hiding in the back I can’t see,” Fitt Tweeted. “This is bonkers.”

It’s only going to get crazier if Kentucky can force a game three with a win tomorrow.


Cards Beat Cats 5-2 in Game One of the Super Regional

Cards Beat Cats 5-2 in Game One of the Super Regional

UK Athletics

The Kentucky baseball team’s first Super Regional appearance looked completely different from the Bat Cats’ first Regional Championship win.

On Monday Kentucky scored ten runs on just six hits.  Today UofL scored five runs on just four hits.  The Cats rattled N.C. State into submission to start the week.  Today the tables turned after Drew Ellis’ three-run homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Kentucky catcher Kole Cottam was not a fan of Ellis’ celebration and he let him know about it.  The teams had to temporarily be restrained before resuming play.

At the time the Cards had a two-run lead thanks to an obscure rule they had to print out in order to share with the world.  With runners on second and third and one out, Cottam was called for catcher interference on a slow chopper to the short stop.  The umpires initially stopped play to load the bases, but the rule gives UofL an option to accept or decline the penalty.  The opted to decline, bringing in their second run in exchange for an out.

Louisville’s Kade McClure pitched a shutout for five and a third and surrendered just three hits.  Evan White’s lead-off single in the third inning gave the Bat Cats an opportunity, but McClure shut the door by striking out the side.  Their next best opportunity came with two leadoff hits in the fifth.  A botched bunt, a pickoff at second and a strikeout let Louisville leave the inning unscathed.

At least the game ended with some good news for the Cats.  Evan White hit a solo shot to right field to prevent a shutout.  They weren’t done.  The Bat Cats scored another run with a two-out rally off Louisville-native Tyler Marshall’s single.  T.J. Collett pinch-hit as the tying run but struck out swinging to end the game.

Tomorrow SEC Pitcher of the Year Sean Hjelle will take the mound to keep the Kentucky season alive at noon on ESPN.


Baseball Update: Kentucky in desperate need of late offense

Baseball Update: Kentucky in desperate need of late offense

@UofLBaseball

Game 1 of the Louisville Super Regional hasn’t gone well for your University of Kentucky Wildcats. After going down 2-0 early, the Cats flirted with a comeback in the fifth inning but couldn’t bring in two baserunners with no outs. Then in the bottom of the fifth, Louisville’s Drew Ellis hit a three-run bomb that still hasn’t landed.

Louisville currently leads 5-0 in the top of the eighth inning and it’s not looking good for the Cats.

It’ll take a miraculous turnaround or this one is over.


Today’s starting lineup…

Photo by UK Athletics

Who gets the starting nod in Kentucky’s showdown with Louisville in the Super Regional today? Here’s Kentucky’s starting lineup, along with their uniform combination:

@UKBaseball

The game starts in 20 minutes on ESPN2, or you can listen on 630 WLAP or your streaming devices.


Blue is getting in to Jim Patterson Stadium

Blue is getting in to Jim Patterson Stadium

We are one hour from Kentucky’s Super Regional showdown with Louisville, and by early accounts, blue is getting in to Jim Patterson Stadium. As you can see above, UK Athletics captured the crowd waiting to get in with a special SnapChat filter made just for the occasion. Here’s another view from Ben Roberts:

An overhead angle from Keith Taylor:

And ESPN’s Tom Hart:

Watch the good guys get off the bus an hour ago:

And don’t worry — the rally cup hat made it:

Soon…


Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Friday’s Top 10: Beat Louisville

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Let’s not mess around. There’s one story and one story only right now: Kentucky’s showdown with Louisville in the Super Regional. We’re about three hours from the first pitch, so let’s get to it.

1. You can watch the game on ESPN2

The game is completely sold out (although tickets have been available at weird hours because UofL is shady), but you can see it on ESPN2 at high noon. In the meantime, keep refreshing. Trey Hunstman has had about fifteen cups of coffee and is already waiting outside the ballpark to bring you the latest. This is his Super Bowl.

2. Zack Thompson will be UK’s starting pitcher

The freshman left-hander will get the nod today. He’s got an 80% win-loss percentage in his first year in Lexington, the best on the team this season, and a 3.52 earned run average. He started both games vs. Louisville this season, one win, one loss, and allowed seven earned runs in 7.2 innings while striking out 11 batters and walking nine. Most recently, he led the Cats to the win over Indiana in the Lexington regional last weekend, giving up four earned runs and striking out seven players in seven innings.

Meanwhile, Louisville will start Kade McClure, setting up a Sean Hjelle/Brendan McKay showdown for Saturday.

3. Here’s everything Nick Mingione, Connor Heady, and Riley Mahan had to say yesterday

4. The UofL Foundation audit is out

And, not surprisingly, the foundation found ways to hide millions of dollars of spending. Drew had a good rundown of the juiciest parts of the audit last night, but here’s a very quick summary:

  • Tom Jurich was paid $19 million (!!) over seven years
  • For some reason, his son (who did not work for the foundation) was paid almost a million
  • The foundation paid $300,000 for Captain Suntan’s terrible radio show, which was created to counter KSR
  • The UofL IT department erased and repurposed James Ramsey’s hard drive just before the audit
  • Ramsey’s former aide Kathleen Smith basically did everything she could to hide their shady dealings
  • The foundation spent more than $800,000 on season football and basketball tickets just to turn around and sell them

And that’s just the tip of the corrupted iceberg. Check out Drew’s post for more. WDRB’s Eric Crawford also has a good, in-depth summary.

5. Three Cats will try out for Calipari’s U19 National Team

The final list of players invited to try out for John Calipari’s U19 National Team came out yesterday and three Wildcats are on it: Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, and PJ Washington. Four of Kentucky’s top targets in the 2018 class also made the list: Romeo Langford, Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Reddish and Bol Bol.

The group of 28 will compete against each other at training camp in Colorado Springs June 18-25. From there, a group of 12 will travel to Cairo, Egypt to compete in the FIBA World Cup July 1-9.

6. Calipari’s excited

Cal has waited for years to get into USA Basketball and couldn’t help but share his excitement when the training camp invitations went out yesterday.

“I wanted to take a moment to reiterate how excited I am to be a part of USA Basketball. I’m excited about the opportunity on a lot of fronts. To be able to coach a team that represents the United States is a true blessing. And then to be able to do it with Danny Manning and Tad Boyle, who I coached at Kansas and have great respect for, will be an amazing experience. I can’t wait to have an opportunity to teach and coach some of the best young talent in our country. I want this to be an experience that is impactful for these young players.”

7. Calipari is also excited about the Penguins

Sadly, my Preds crapped the bed last night in Pittsburgh, and John Calipari was in the house to witness it:

If “amazing” means turning the game off in the third period because you can’t watch any more in fear of puking, then yes, it was amazing, Cal.

Alas, today’s a new day, and the series comes back to Bridgestone Arena for Game 6. There’s no way the Preds will lose at home on what will possibly be the most insane day in Nashville’s history. The gods of Broadway and 2nd Avenue just won’t let it happen.

8. The team’s making themselves at home in the gym

 

Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo uploaded pictures from the Joe Craft Center late last night and this morning, so they’re making themselves at home, which I’m sure makes the “get in the gym!” part of our fanbase very happy.

9. Ohio State is hiring Chris Holtmann

Holtmann, a Nicholasville, Kentucky native, has coached Butler the past three seasons. He’ll replace Thad Matta, who was fired earlier this week.

10. Ryan and Amanda Lemond are hosting KSR today

Which means it will be awesome. Tune in an hour from now to hear Amanda drop some truth, Ryan drop some uncomfortable bedroom talk, and Drew Franklin play referee.


Photo by UK Athletics

It’s time to rally behind Kentucky Baseball’s Rally Cup Hat (and make your own!)

Photo by UK Athletics

There are several obvious contributing factors to UK Baseball’s historic run to the Super Regional: the relentless enthusiasm of first-year head coach Nick Mingione; talented pitchers like Sean Hjelle and Logan Salow; All-Americans Evan White, Tristan Pompey, and Riley Mahan; and the team’s remarkably quick transition to Mingione’s system. Yet, there is one unsung hero in this bunch that deserves some recognition: Austin Keen’s rally cup hat.

Constructed entirely of paper Powerade cups and tape, Keen’s creation is modeled after a Viking hat. It first drew attention when Kentucky faced elimination vs. Indiana on Sunday of the Lexington Regional. Desperate times called for desperate measures, so Keen, a redshirt freshman pitcher, crafted the hat out of the materials available and it worked. Kentucky went on to beat Indiana and, a few hours later, NC State to advance to the final showdown with the Wolfpack Monday night.

“Of all the guys and everything that happened in our program, who and what from the University of Kentucky got on ESPN?” Nick Mingione joked today. “The cup hat! The guy that poured himself into the team the most. I want you to think about that. It wasn’t the grand slam, it wasn’t the dog pile, it wasn’t any of that. The guy that got on ESPN was the guy that had the cup hat.”

Heading into Monday night’s big game, the hat was bigger and bolder then ever, gaining new accessories like a propeller so that it resembled a giant flying blue and white traffic cone. Its shining moment came at the top of the sixth inning when, with the Cats down one, a foul ball rolled into right field near the dugout and Keen took off a sprint to retrieve it. His hat magically staying in place, Keen flipped the foul ball into the crowd and dutifully sprinted straight back to the dugout.

Mingione has embraced the hat as a metaphor for his team’s selfless, one brick — err, cup — at a time mentality.

“By the way, what was [Keen] doing? He was chasing a foul ball to serve his team. That’s the guy that got on SportsCenter. Oh and by the way, that just happened to bleed over to our team and we just happened to win a championship and do something that’s never been done before. I’m about to share this with our team. That’s how life works. Who’s the guy that everybody wants to pull for? The guy that’s the most selfless person. How do you not want to root for that guy?”

You can’t. It’s impossible. Today, senior Connor Heady and junior Riley Mahan credited the rally cup hat and the rest of the dugout for keeping the team loose during the stressful postseason.

“Fortunately for us this weekend, it was pretty loose,” Heady said. “You guys saw some of the things we had going on in the dugout with the rally cap, the cup hat that Austin Keen made. Just guys wearing sunglasses the whole game in the dugout for the night game, backwards hats. They had it all going on. Our dugout was really loose this weekend and they brought a lot of energy, a lot of positive reinforcement for us that are out there playing the game.”

“When you have stuff like that going on in the dugout, it keeps everybody loose,” Mahan said. “That really helps from both ends and keeps everybody loose and reminds everyone it’s just a game and go out there and control what you can control and have fun playing the game.”

To answer the question you surely have by now, yes, the cup will travel to Louisville for tomorrow’s Super Regional showdown with the Cards.

“It’s ready to go,” Mahan assured reporters today. “I think he might have some more tape on it to make it more stable, but it’s ready to go.”

Want to make your own? Hopefully we won’t need it, but it’s best to be prepared.

How to make your own Rally Cup Hat

Materials needed

  • Paper cups (preferably blue, white, and/or black)
  • Scissors
  • White tape

Step 1: Cut several paper cups down the side and remove bottoms

Step 2: Tape cups together to form initial ring

Step 3: Layer and tape rings until you form a cone

Step 4: Add horns

Step 5: Add other accessories at will

Go ahead, get crazy. It’s Louisville, and the rally cup hat hasn’t failed us yet.


HURRY! More Tickets have been Released for the Super Regional

UK Athletics

You probably didn’t get a chance to buy tickets before all of the Louisville fans swiped them up.  Don’t worry, you have one more chance.

The UofL Ticket office has released a limited number of all session tickets on the outfield berm for this weekend’s Super Regional.  Click here and grab them before more Cardinals can.


Mingione starting his freshman pitcher in Game 1

Zack Thompson, let’s go.

Thompson struggled in his two regular season starts against Louisville, but the stakes are much higher this time around and he’s a gamer. He’ll be ready.

This also means we get the marquee Hjelle-McKay showdown on Saturday for Game 2. Buy the big bag of popcorn for that one.

Beat Louisville.


Cats preview Super Regional in Louisville

Cats preview Super Regional in Louisville

Nick Mingione and two of his players held a press conference on Thursday to look ahead to the best-of-three series against Louisville. Mingione spoke for almost 20 minutes, hitting a wide variety of topics about his team and his opponent.

Hear for yourself:

Connor Heady and Riley Mahan also discussed the Super Regional matchup against Louisville:


UK has three Baseball America All-Americans

Baseball America released its three All-America teams and three Kentucky Wildcats received honors.

Up first, first baseman Evan White was named to the second team after hitting .368 in 51 games with 75 hits, 47 runs, a team-high 24 doubles, a triple, nine home runs, 40 RBI and five stolen bases.

Outfielder Tristan Pompey and second baseman Riley Mahan made Baseball America’s third team. Pompey led the conference with a .410 batting average in league games, while also getting the most hits and finishing top three in runs, on base percentage and total bases. Mahan ranked top three in runs (second), doubles (third), triples (first), home runs (first) and slugging percentage (second) during the regular season.

Congrats to all three and to the program.

Now beat Louisville.