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Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

10 Things To Look Forward To Now That Basketball’s Over

now-what

The first few days after the season ends are always an adjustment. Not only is there the sadness that Kentucky’s run is over, there’s a gaping void left by the one thing you’ve spent the past five, almost six, months focusing on. What do we do now that basketball’s over? I’ve spent the entire day asking myself that and have ten suggestions, starting with the obvious and most important.

1. The Spring Game

Friday, April 14, 7:30 p.m., Commonwealth Stadium, SEC Network

Hey, remember spring football? Freddie and Nick have done a great job holding down the fort for us while we’ve been wrapped up in roundball, and what better way to recalibrate than check in on Mark Stoops’ squad? The spring game is two weeks from Friday, giving you plenty of time to catch up. From what I gather, Stephen Johnson’s been doing really well and has been asked to eat 5,000 calories a day, which sounds like a dream life to me. Stay tuned on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for practice and scrimmage updates, and in between for our analysis as we slowly shift our focus to the gridiron. With enthusiasm for the program at maybe an all-time high, it’ll be an easy transition.

2. Basketball recruiting

McDonald’s All-American Game: Wednesday, 7 p.m., ESPN; Jordan Brand Classic: Friday, April 14

If you haven’t seen Nick’s coverage on the site the past two days, the McDonald’s All-American Game is tomorrow night and features (at least) four future Cats: Quade Green, PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Nick Richardson. If those four have their way, they’ll seen be joined by Mohamed Bamba and Kevin Knox soon, who have yet to decide on a school (both are targeting mid-late April decisions). Jumping right into the next team just as we are saying goodbye to the current one is always a tough transition, but watching the future Cats relentlessly go after Bamba and Knox has been entertaining. This tweet alone gave me a bit of a thrill:

The spring signing period starts April 12, so expect a LOT of coverage on Bamba, Knox, and UK’s latest target, shooting guard Mark Smith (read more about him here), in the coming weeks.

keeneland

3. Keeneland

Spring meet runs Friday, April 7 through Friday, April 28

For a lot of you, this probably ranks #1. The spring meet starts next weekend, which means your office will be pretty empty on Friday afternoons for the next month. Nothing says spring like Keeneland, and nothing says Keeneland in the spring like girls in sundresses and wedges even if it’s still 55 degrees out. As someone who lives three hours away, I can’t wait for you all to rub it in on Instagram and Facebook.

4. Derby

Saturday, May 6

See above and multiply it by 1,000. Also, if you’ve missed it the past two weeks, we now have a horse racing writer, Chad Lashbrook, contributing to the site to prepare you for this year’s Run for the Roses. Each Wednesday leading up to the Derby, he’ll break down the top eight contenders. Click here to check out his most recent column.

Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

5. UK Baseball

After losing the first four games, UK Baseball has gone 18-3, 5-1 in the SEC, UK’s best conference start since 2012. In his first season, Nick Mingione has his team rolling. The Cats are now ranked in all five baseball polls (who knew there were five polls?). I’m not a big baseball person, but the excitement around the program is palpable, and you can get in on it by checking out our KSR Baseball Podcast with Trey Huntsman and former UK Baseball Coach Keith Madison. Also, get out to the Cliff to watch UK take on Vandy this weekend.

6. The Masters

April 6-9

Is there anything more comforting than The Masters theme music? The Masters has been my go-to “get over basketball” event for years, and even though I’ve struggled to reconnect with the sport now that Tiger’s out (and may never be back), I try to get back into it every year. Nothing is better than watching Sunday at Augusta from the couch with the windows open, and the inevitable nap that follows.

7. Patio weather

Drinking and eating outside beats drinking and eating inside any day. It’s scientifically impossible to turn down an invitation to happy hour on a Friday afternoon when it’s 75 degrees and sunny out. Similarly, it’s scientifically impossible not to grill on a Sunday afternoon when it’s 75 degrees and sunny out. I’ll be doing a whole lotta both this weekend.

8. NBA Finals

April 15 – June 18

The playoffs begin in a few weeks, and right now, a handful of former Cats are on teams in contention:

Western Conference

  • Trey Lyles, Utah Jazz
  • Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Andrew Harrison, Memphis Grizzlies

Eastern Conference

  • DeAndre Liggins, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • James Young, Boston Celtics
  • John Wall, Washington Wizards
  • Patrick Patterson, Toronto Raptors
  • Terrence Jones, Milwaukee Bucks

With eight games left, the Nuggets (Jamal Murray) and Bulls (Rajon Rondo) still have a shot as well.

KSR-9684

9. NBA decisions/autograph tours

Early Entry Deadline: April 23; Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline: June 12

Who will stay and who will go to the Draft? De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo, and Isaiah Briscoe seem to be the safe bets on going, while the rest of the team seems likely to stay. Wenyen Gabriel may test the waters, but I would imagine the only feedback he’ll get will be to return to Kentucky and get stronger. Those who do test the waters have until June 12 to make the final decision on staying/going, but will probably make their decisions shortly after the NBA Draft Combine May 9-14.

Those that decide to stay in the draft will start their autograph tours around the state and appearances on KSR, along with Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, and Mychal Mulder. Once those dates/locations are available, we’ll pass them along to you.

10. Calipari’s 30 for 30

Thursday, April 13, ESPN

Sure, Cal’s 30 for 30, “One and Not Done,” may have had more oomph behind it had Kentucky made it to the Final Four, but I’m still looking forward to it. Also, it’s no coincidence that the documentary premieres the day after the spring signing period begins. I’m hoping to get my hands on an advanced copy to review next week, but in the meantime, this trailer will do:


UK Athletics

BatCats Win Series Over #14 Ole Miss

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Justin Lewis went seven inning of one-run ball to lead Kentucky to a series win over Ole Miss. After a 4-2 victory last night, the BatCats won 4-1 in today’s rubber match. UK now sits at 18-7 on the season after winning five of their first six SEC games.

Recap

It can’t be underestimated how important it is to have a great Sunday starter in the SEC. With so many series coming down to the final game, the Sunday start can be the deciding factor in whether or not a team wins a series. Lewis has been excellent on the final game of each series the last few weeks. UK’s offense got Lewis run support early when Tristan Pompey doubled and Zach Reks brought him home with an RBI single in the first. Lewis was in cruise control early as Ole Miss did not put a man in scoring position until the fourth inning.

Tyler Marshall flew out to center to score Riley Mahan to give UK a 2-0 lead through four innings. The Cats got to Ole Miss’ bullpen in the fourth as Will Ethridge exited after only three innings. Lewis set the tone through five as the Cats quieted the SEC’s lowest ranked offense. The Rebels lone run came in the sixth inning when Colby Bortles (brother of Jaguars QB Blake Bortles) singled home Ryan Olenek.

Lewis exited after the seventh inning with a line of seven innings, seven hits, one run, no walks, and eight strikeouts. UK got Lewis two more runs of support in the bottom of the seventh. Marshall doubled to lead off the inning and the Rebels booted the ball around enough to get Marshall home on a wild throw. Connor Heady reached second on the error and later scored on a wild pitch to give UK a 4-1 lead through seven.

Zach Pop entered in the eighth and shut down the Rebels in order. Logan Salow would follow suit in the ninth with two strikeouts to end a 4-1 win for the Cats.

Notes

Logan Salow filling into the closer role- Salow has retired 24 consecutive hitters in relief. UK has searched for a reliable closer since Trevor Gott graduated in 2014, and it appears Salow may be the guy. Salow has not allowed an earned run in 19 innings this season.

Justin Lewis solid again- After picking up the win last Sunday at Texas A&M and a dominating Ole Miss, Lewis is now 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. Lewis has allowed only six runs in his last four starts this season.

UK is now 5-1 in the SEC- The Cats have won their first five SEC games against ranked teams from the West. For the time being, UK is #1 in the SEC and will at least be tied for the top spot headed into next weekend’s series against Vanderbilt.

 


Kentucky Drops Game One To Ole Miss

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

#14 Ole Miss dropped an offensive bomb on #19 Kentucky in a 9-6 win on Thursday. The Rebels scored six runs in the sixth inning to down Sean Hjelle and the BatCats. T.J Collett hit a grand slam for his first career hit to get UK back in the game late, but Ole Miss shut down the Cats in the ninth.

Recap

Fresh off winning national pitcher of the week, Hjelle motored through the first two frames with three strikeouts. Grae Kessinger got the ball rolling off Hjelle in the top of the third. The nine hole hitter hit a ball to right that carried out to the Cliff to give Ole Miss a 2-0 lead. After Will Golsan singled, Connor Heady and Riley Mahan turned one of the slickest double plays of the season to get Hjelle out of the inning.

The Cats got one back in the bottom of the fourth on a sac fly by Kole Cottam. In a game that projected as a pitcher’s duel, Ole Miss was able to open up their offense against UK. The Rebs were hitting .242 as a team entering today, but they recorded 14 hits against UK on Thursday. Ole Miss had seven consecutive hitters collect hits off Hjelle, Colton Cleary, and Alec Maley in the sixth inning. Golsan and Tim Dillard drove in a pair of runs a piece as Ole Miss jumped out to an 8-1 lead.

Ole Miss added one more run in the eighth before UK made a push in the bottom half of the inning. Tristan Pompey, Storm Wilson, and Luke Becker all reached base with no outs to load the bases for Riley Mahan. The junior second baseman walked for his team-high 25th RBI. Collett pinch hit following Mahan and delivered in a big way. The freshman hit a bomb to left center just under the scoreboard for a grand slam. The home run was Collett’s first career hit in only his second official at bat. Evan White also pinch hit in the eighth in his first appearance since March 8th.

UK could not add another run in the eighth and eventually fell 9-6 to #14 Ole Miss. The BatCats are now 16-6 (3-1) on the season. The series continues tomorrow at 7 ET on SECN+.


The KSR Baseball Podcast: Episode 4

The KSR Baseball Podcast: Episode 4

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Join Trey Huntsman and Keith Madison on the fourth episode of the KSR Baseball Podcast. The guys recap a huge weekend sweep for the BatCats over Texas A&M, preview the next series against Ole Miss and much more, including:

—  What’s happening at the World Baseball Classic.

—  How the team is exceeding early expectations.

—  An enlightening mound visit from UK baseball’s winningest coach.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes, streaming on Podbayor via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Matthew Mitchell will help you get out of work Friday to cheer on UK Hoops

Matthew Mitchell will help you get out of work Friday to cheer on UK Hoops

matthew-mitchell

Need another reason to love Matthew Mitchell? He’s ready to help you get out of work on Friday. Mitchell posted this letter on Twitter that you can print off, fill your name in, and give to your boss in hopes it gets you out of work on Friday in time to watch UK Hoops take on Belmont at noon at Memorial Coliseum:

C6_B31dXAAw7AHW

Only one thing left to do: get your tickets at .


Photo by Jason Lee, The Sun News

The KSR Baseball Podcast: Episode Three

Photo by Jason Lee, The Sun News

Photo by Jason Lee, The Sun News

In the third episode of the KSR Baseball Podcast, Trey Huntsman and Coach Keith Madison are joined by Gary Gilmore, head coach of the 2016 College World Series Champion Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.  They discussed the title run and…

—  How Gilmore built the program from scratch.

—  What was difficult and what was fun on the road to Omaha.

— Reviewing the BatCats’ 4-1 week and previewing their SEC series against Texas A&M.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes, streaming on Podbayor via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Full women's basketball bracket. NCAA.com

Hoops will stay at home for NCAA Tournament

Full women's basketball bracket. NCAA.com

See the full bracket here

While men’s basketball had their day yesterday, the women’s team learned their fate tonight.

The Cats have drawn a four-seed in the Lexington region and will stay at home to play through potentially the Elite Eight.

Kentucky will play No. 13 Belmont on Friday inside Memorial Coliseum at noon on ESPN2. If the Cats advance through the first round, they will play either N0.5 Ohio State or No. 12 Western Kentucky. Both teams have former Cats on them with Linnae Harper of Ohio State, who left before the beginning of last season, and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers of Western Kentucky, who left after the start of last season.

Staying put in Lexington means Makayla Epps could play four more games in the Commonwealth, which is good news for the senior.

Notre Dame earned the top seed in the bracket, with Stanford and Texas behind them. The other one seeds are UConn, South Carolina and Baylor.

Stay tuned for more women’s basketball tournament coverage this week.


Gunnar McNeill hit his first homer of the season against Miami on Friday.

Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics

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.

 


Kentucky Runs Away From Miami To Lock Up A Series Win

Kentucky Runs Away From Miami To Lock Up A Series Win

logueMiami

Following a 6-4 win over Miami (Ohio) last night, Kentucky (10-6) ran all over the Redhawks in a 16-3 win on Friday. UK led 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth when the Cats blew it open with seven runs in the sixth and five in the seventh. Gunnar McNeill hit his first home run of the season and Marcus Carson collected three hits in the Cats’ tenth win of the year.

Recap

Early on, Miami kept the BatCats quiet. Zach Spears worked out of a couple early jams before UK finally got on the board in the fourth. Luke Heyer doubled and scored on an error to give UK the 1-0 lead. McNeill followed later in the inning with a two-run home run off the scoreboard to give Zach Logue some insurance.

 

Logue was excellent once again on the mound. The junior went six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk. Logue lowered his ERA to 1.93 after today’s performance. Miami touched Logue twice on Friday. Hayden Senger responded to Kentucky’s three-run fourth with a solo shot to lead off the fifth inning. The Redhawks would add another run in the sixth on an RBI double by Adam Yacek.

Leading by one, UK pulled away in the sixth inning. Eight consecutive hitters reached base in the seven-run sixth inning for the Cats. Zach Reks drove in a pair of runs to boost UK’s lead to 10-2 through six innings. 

The Cats wouldn’t waste any time to add to their lead in the seventh inning. After Marcus Carson drove in his second run of the game, Storm Wilson, Heyer, Riley Mahan, and Tyler Marshall all brought home runs on base hits.

After Logue exited before the seventh, UK used a host of bullpen arms to finish off the game. Alec Maley, Austin Keen, Chris Machamer, and Jake Hamilton combined to retire the final nine Redhawks on Friday. Hamilton finished the game off a groundout to second to clinch the series win for UK.

Notes

The offense dominated once again- UK scored double digit runs for the seventh time this season on Friday. Six different players drove in two runs as the Cats collected 15 hits and walked ten times in the win. Carson has six games with three or more hits in his first 16 games. Mahan extended his team lead in RBIs with two more tonight to put him at 19 for the season. UK’s on base percentage as a team is nearing an astronomical .450 as the team prepares for SEC play next week. The Cats have outscored their opponents 136-49 in their first 16 games.

 

Logue wins his third game- After a rough start against UNC, Logue has settled down in his last three starts. Logue is now 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 23.1 innings in 2017.

Luke Heyer has added a spark to the lineup- The JUCO transfer has proved he can be a contributor early. Heyer has eight extra base hits out of ten total base knocks in 11 games. He is second on the team with six doubles and two home runs.

Kentucky is undefeated at home- Nick Mingione and the Cats are now 8-0 at Cliff Hagan Stadium in 2017. Mingione said on the KSR Baseball Podcast that he wants the Cliff to be a place that opponents are scared to play at this season. The Cats have only allowed 13 runs in home games in 2017.

Due to incoming weather, the series will continue on Sunday rather than Saturday. The finale of the game will by on SECN+ at 1 ET. Justin Lewis will take the ball for UK looking to continue his string of quality starts.

 


Photo: ESPN

Hoops could play NCAA Tournament through Elite Eight in Lexington

Photo: ESPN

Photo: ESPN

Just like men’s basketball has Joe Lunardi, women’s basketball has Charlie Creme for bracketology. Last season, Matthew Mitchell and his squad played the first two rounds and the Sweet 16 in Memorial and Rupp Arena. Unfortunately, the women fell short to Washington and Kelsey Plum (the new all-time scorer in NCAA women’s history) before they reached the Elite Eight.

This year, Hoops could see the same fate. The selection show isn’t until Monday at 7 p.m., but Mr. Creme currently has UK back in the bluegrass for the Lexington Region. This means the Cats would have the home court advantage through the Elite Eight.

The bracket for this year is remarkably similar to last years. Notre Dame and Maryland held the one and two spot, but Washington has moved up from a seven to a three-seed. Kentucky also remains a four-seed.

Another interesting note is that if Western Kentucky prevails over DePaul, the Cats will be facing one of the 11 players that transferred out of the program last season, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers.

T-minus three days until we know the women’s fate. Stay tuned.


Groundbreaking photo by UK Athletics

The KSR Baseball Podcast: Episode 2 with Nick Mingione

Groundbreaking photo by UK Athletics

Groundbreaking photo by UK Athletics

Kentucky baseball  head coach Nick Mingione joined Trey Huntsman and coach Keith Madison in the second episode of the KSR Baseball Podcast to discuss an historic week for UK Baseball.  The Cats went 5-0, swept a team from last year’s College World Series, Riley Mahan was SEC Player of the Week and they broke ground on the new baseball stadium.  The trio discussed it all in the 30-minute interview, including:

—  Madison’s reaction when Mitch Barnhart handed him a shovel at the groundbreaking.

—  The new stadium’s amenities and what it will do for the program.

—  Why Mingione change the schedule to front-loadit with a difficult road trip to North Carolina.

—  What it meant to get Evan White back in the lineup.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes, streaming on Podbayor via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


UK Athletics

Kentucky Beats Wright State 15-1 For Sixth Straight Win

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Marcus Carson collected four hits and Brad Schaenzer extended his scoreless streak to 15.2 innings in Kentucky’s 15-1 win over Wright State. The Cats led 4-0 before a rain delay hit in the bottom of the sixth inning. After a 12-minute break, UK scored six in the sixth and five in the seventh to roll over WSU on Tuesday night.

Recap

Zach Reks got the ball rolling in the first inning when he drove in Carson with an RBI groundout. It was the first of five RBIs for Reks on Tuesday. Reks would drive in his second run of the game in the second inning along with Evan White both who both plated runs off Trevor Swaney.

The offense gave Schaenzer more than enough in the first two innings. The junior lefty threw six scoreless frames with eight strikeouts and only three hits allowed to pick up his second win of the season. Schaenzer has not allowed a run in his first 15.2 innings of the season with 18 strikeouts and only seven hits allowed in six games. “When you have a pitcher who can throw multiple pitches for a strike in the zone, it makes it really hard on an offense,” said Nick Mingione. “He’s made it really hard because he can throw multiple pitches for strikes and he challenges the bottom of the strike zone and it’s hard to elevate balls against him.”

UK’s offense was on point once again tonight. Carson went 4/6 with four runs and three RBIs from the leadoff spot while Reks drove in five runs on two hits and a walk. UK walked 11 times compared to 13 hits off WSU pitchers. At one time, UK walked four consecutive at bats.

Schaenzer exited after the sixth inning and gave the ball to Colton Clearly. The transfer from Cincinnati allowed UK’s only run of the day but struck out three in the 7th. Mark Doerries and Josh Smith took the 8th and the 9th to finish off a 15-1 win for UK. WSU had beaten Clemson twice and South Carolina once, so this win is no pushover. UK struggled in midweek games last season, but have outscored their opponents 44-3 in their last three midweek games.

The Cats have now won six straight games to raise their record to 8-5 in 2017. There won’t be much off time for UK as they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats tomorrow at 4 ET. 

 

 


@UKBaseball on Twitter

Mahan Wins SEC Player of the Week

@UKBaseball on Twitter

@UKBaseball on Twitter

Riley Mahan took home SEC Player of the Week after going 9/18 with 11 RBIs at the plate in five games. The junior infielder is on a ten-game hitting streak since beginning the season o/8. Mahan had four RBIs in each of UK’s midweek games before hitting a big home run n Saturday’s game against UC Santa Barbara. On defense, Mahan has not committed an error since the second game of the season. Mahan is tied for third in the SEC with 17 RBIs and he is tied for second in the SEC with six doubles. Mahan is now batting .347 on the season and has risen up the SEC stat boards early in the season.

 


UK Athletics

The Call To The Bullpen, March 5th

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

It was quite a week for UK Baseball as they went 5-0 with three wins over #23 UC Santa Barbara. The Cats outscored their opponents 46-4 as they improved to 7-5 on the season. UK dominated from start to finish this week as they never trailed in any of their five wins. Let’s look back on a big week for Nick Mingione and the Cats.
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BatCats Sweep #23 UCSB Behind Lewis’ Dominant Pitching Performance

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Justin Lewis flirted with a perfect game in Kentucky’s 12-1 win over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. The redshirt sophomore was perfect entering the eighth inning and got his first win of the season. The Cats swept UCSB and sit at 7-5 on the season. 

Recap

While Lewis was shutting down the Gauchos on offense, the BatCats were busy blowing out UCSB Steven Ledesma. Kentucky’s offense torched Ledesma for five runs over 1.2 innings and got to the UCSB bullpen early. Evan White had a solo home run in the first to get the offense rolling. In the second, Zach Reks, Kole Cottam, and Tristan Pompey all brought in runs to give UK a 5-0 lead through two. Santa Barbara’s bullpen couldn’t quiet the Cats’ offense for the rest of the game. UK scored three in the fourth and four in the sixth to extend their lead to 12-0 with Lewis on the hill.

Lewis retired the first 21 Gaucho hitters on Sunday. UCSB was not able to touch Lewis until the 8th inning when Austin Bush homered to right to end the perfect game. Lewis stayed out to finish the eighth and ended the game with a line of eight innings, one hit, one run, no walks, and eight strikeouts. There were some dominating pitch sequences by Lewis today. The Gauchos were completely fooled by the 6’7″ righty’s fastball and changeup on Sunday.

 

Chris Machamer entered in the 9th to close out a 12-1 win over UCSB. The sweep of the Gauchos was UK’s first three-game sweep since taking a weekend series against USC Upstate last season. 

Notes

Tristan Pompey picked up three hits- For a guy that has smashed balls early this season, Pompey has seen few hit the outfield grass. That changed today as Pompey went 3/4 with two RBIs and a double.

Riley Mahan didn’t cool down- We mentioned yesterday that Mahan was on another level for the last week or so. He continued to mash today with two hits and an RBI.

Justin Lewis has been ridiculous the last two weeks- After struggling at UNC, Lewis has developed into a fantastic Sunday starter. The Atlanta-native has spun 15 innings with only four baserunners allowed in his last two starts. For those counting at home, that is a WHIP of 0.27.

We will have more from this game in tonight’s Baseball Notebook post. The Cats will back at it against Wright State on Tuesday at 4 ET.