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Former UK baseball stars Connor Heady and Zach Reks begin professional careers

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

On June 21, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signings of former UK BatCats P Zach Popp, OF Zach Reks, and SS Connor Heady to minor league deals.

Just four days later, Heady and Reks were both in the starting lineup for the Ogden Raptors, the LA Dodgers minor league affiliate in the Pioneer League.

The Raptors took on the first-place Orem Owls tonight, where they lost 9-11.

Heady finished the game 0-2 at the plate with a walk, while Reks managed to go 1-1 with two runs and a walk in the loss.

Though the two Wildcats started their professional careers with a loss, it’s great to see them already back on the field.

Here’s to long and successful careers for the former Wildcats!


Kentucky’s Evan White earns his second Gold Glove award

Evan White has another Gold Glove award to go with his other Gold Glove award.

Now a two-time winner, White was named the Rawlings Sports Collegiate Gold Glove First Basemen for the 2017 season. He took in the prize for the first time around this time last year following the 2016 season.

White is considered one of the most accomplished players in Kentucky baseball history and he recently became the fifth Wildcat to be selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft when the Seattle Mariners picked him at No. 17. He’s also a three-time member of the All-SEC Defensive Team in only three seasons at UK, as well as Second Team All-American and two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.

Go Cats.


UK Hoops unveils 2017-18 non-conference schedule

UK Hoops unveils 2017-18 non-conference schedule

Last year, UK Hoops played the second toughest schedule in the country, and this season, Matthew Mitchell isn’t taking his foot off the gas. UK Hoops just unveiled its 2017-18 non-conference schedule, which features seven opponents that finished last season inside the top 100 of the NCAA RPI, four in the top 50. The schedule includes marquee home games against Louisville and California and road trips to Washington State, Baylor, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami (Fla.) and Middle Tennessee.

It all starts with an exhibition game vs. Southern Indiana at Memorial Coliseum on November 5, followed by the season opener vs. Sacramento State on November 10:

For a complete breakdown of UK’s non-conference opponents, head on over to UKAthletics.com.


Future Kentucky track star sets high school record

Future Kentucky track star sets high school record

Future University of Kentucky track runner, and US Olympian, Sydney McLaughlin just made a bunch of girls look like children. Fun fact though, they’re all her age and she dominated them. So much so, that she just set the record for fastest 400m relay split in high school track history with a time of 49.85 seconds. No, not just her high school, a record for any high school track runner ever.

McLaughlin is the one wearing the bright pink shorts that is in second to dead last at the hand off. As the video progresses, watch as she makes up ground in an incredible fashion.

What makes this video even better is the fan commentary in the background as the guy realizes just how fast Sydney McLaughlin can be. This girl is going to make Kentucky Track and Field a spectator sport in the next few years.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


UK Track & Field commit records fastest 400-meter split by a high schooler

Kentucky Track & Field commit Sydney McLaughlin ran a 49.85 400-meter split on the anchor of the Swedish Relay at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals on Friday.

That time is believed to be the fastest one-split by a schoolgirl in track and field history. The previous best split was a 50.78 that was set only byMcLaughlin herself at the Penn Relays in April.

McLaughlin’s relay team finished with a time of 2:05.93, which broke the national record in the Swedish Relay at the event with a time of 2:05.93. The previous record was 2:07.99, which was set by McLaughlin and Union Catholic.

McLaughlin was not done yet. She broke her own national record and world junior record in the 400m hurdles with a time of 54.03. Her previous best was 54.15.

I don’t know about you all, but I’m excited to see her compete at Kentucky.


2019 Kentucky Women’s Basketball Star Commits to UK

@Emma_King34

Lincoln County’s Emma King announced on Twitter she will attend the University of Kentucky, the first person in Matthew Mitchell’s 2019 recruiting class.

In King’s sophomore season, the 5’11” wing averaged 17.9 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Patriots, whose season ended in the 12th Region Championship Game.  Her AAU coach told Jen Smith Wisconsin, Florida, Dayton and Louisville were also contenders, but Mitchell was wise enough to beginning recruiting King at a very young age.

The Commonwealth continues to produce elite women’s basketball talent and Mitchell is cashing in.  He’s building his 2018 recruiting class around Harlan County’s Blair Green, his 2019 class around King and is currently pursuing another Kentucky star in 2020, Ryle’s Maddie Scherk.


Monday Night Notes Presented by Prestonsburg Tourism

 

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.


The Kentucky/Indiana All-Star Series is Sad

After losing 17 straight games, the Kentucky All-Stars defeated Indiana 111-110 in double overtime. Dozens of people went wild after the victory in Frankfort.

Flener Made Golf Digest

Your favorite former KSR Bachelor Recap Writer has taken his fame to a new level.  Now a caddie for Stephan Jaeger on the Web.com Tour, the second win of the season (a win that will promote Jaeger to the PGA Tour) caused Aaron Flener to create a celebration worthy of a Golf Digest article.

Following Jaeger’s two-shot victory at the Rust-Oleum Championship, Flener enjoyed a celebratory beverage from the goblet-shaped piece of hardware. Or rather, some celebratory beverages. The dude can chug.

As a person who’s spent time with Flener in Nashville, I agree, the dude can chug.

An Update on Last Chance U‘s Brittany Wagner

Brittany Wagner is back in the business of helping college student-athletes.  The breakout star of Netflix’s Last Chance U, which returns for season 2 on July 21, left EMCC for a marketing position at Newk’s Eatery.  It didn’t take her long to return to her passion.  Her new venture is called 10 Thousand Pencils, a company that will provide counseling and life skills coaching for at-risk student-athletes.  From Al.com:

“Wagner said her goal is not to take the place of traditional school counselors and advisors, but to enhance what they are already doing. In the same way a private quarterback coach can help a high school player develop into a college prospect, Wagner hopes her service can take an athlete on the verge of failing many of his classes and help him gain academic eligibility for college.”

END PIG WRESTLING!

Normally WDRB viewers are subjected to Bill Lamb and his Point of View, but today they were treated to a guest editorial from a concerned Harrison County citizen.  Ray Wilson is tired of the annual pig wrestling match and he wants the “embarrassment” to be stopped immediately.

Catch Up with a Future Star for UK Hoops

If you listened to today’s radio show, you may have heard Matt mention the talented girls basketball players Eastern Kentucky is producing.  His timing was impeccable.

Larry Vaught caught up with Harlan County’s Blair Green, a top 40 player in the 2018 class that averaged 23.1 points and 7.2 rebounds as a junior for the Black Bears.  Currently committed to Kentucky, the Miss Basketball favorite said she already has an outstanding relationship with a former Miss Basketball from the mountains, Maci Morris.

“Maci is Maci. She is so much fun and her game is just unbelievable,” Green said. “She surprised a lot of people even from her hometown by coming to Kentucky and starting. I don’t think a lot of people thought she could do that but I know how good she is. When we work out together she helps me and gives me faith in my game.”

This is How You End a Baseball Game, Folks

There are two perfect ways to end baseball games.  You can strike out the side, like Sean Hjelle did in the Regional Final against N.C. State, or you can go yard.  Wake Forrest’s Ben Breazeale went yard over the giant scoreboard to end the game and send the Super Regional to a third and decisive game three.  It doesn’t get much cooler than that.

On a semi-related note, the KSR Baseball Podcast will take a week to exhale. Trey and Coach Madison will be back next week to review the historic season and look at the future of Kentucky baseball.

KTR is Back

The Game of Thrones Season 2 review will be on your Kentucky Sports Radio podcast feed before you know it.  Keep your eyes peeled.  If you’d rather hear us stick to sports, Freddie’s Depth Chart Podcast returns tomorrow night.

The KSR Summer Tour Goes to London

Matt Jones and the KSR Crew will spend the second day of the first leg of the KSR Tour at the Sleep Outfitters in London, Kentucky.  Make sure you don’t miss any of the other June stops before Matt takes a brief hiatus in the month of July.

6/12 – Prestonsburg – Stonecrest Golf Course
6/13 – London – Sleep Outfitters
6/14 – Russell Springs – Lawless-Smith True Value
6/15 – Somerset – Ashley Furniture
6/16 – Lexington – Don Franklin Auto on Richmond Road

6/19 – Danville – Dexter Insurance
6/20 – Leitchfield – Future Designs
6/21 – Louisville – Academy Sports on Outer Loop
6/22 – Henderson – Sleep Outfitters
6/23 – Owensboro area – Don Moore Auto

The Hey Kentucky! Casting Call is Saturday

Your chance to make TV magic is here.  Come to Fayette Mall this Saturday, June 17th. Registration begins at 10:00 A.M. Once registered, you will be interviewed by a producer.  The best of the best will be selected to come back later that evening to try out in front of the esteemed panel of judges.

RULES:

MUST BE 18 years or older to try out for the competition.

MUST BE a Kentucky Resident.

MUST BRING a valid driver’s license with you.

MUST have fun.


Nick Mingione was built for the UK baseball program

While the Kentucky baseball team may have lost both games in the program’s first ever Super Regional appearance, it is no question that the program is headed in the right direction. First year head coach Nick Mingione has had an incredible effect on the team and the overall morale surrounding the program.

I remember after the UK men’s basketball team won the 2012 National Championship, Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said that the UK basketball program was built for John Calipari. After seeing what Mingione has done in just one year with the Bat Cats, I’d like to go out on a limb and say that he was built for this program.

Take a look at Mingione’s final statement after yesterday’s loss to Louisville.

A coach who has that much passion about the players on his team and the program in general, is exactly who you want at the helm while the team is on the rise. Pair Mingione’s passion with the most passionate fan base in the country and it is a perfect match.

Starting the petition to sign an extra long contract extension for Mingione very soon.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


UK Athletics

UK Athletics 2016-17 Recap

UK Athletics

UK Baseball’s elimination yesterday brought an end to the year for UK Athletics. It was definitely a memorable one. Here is a recap of how all of the teams did this season!


Fall 2016

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Record: 7-6 (4-4 SEC)

Postseason: Lost to Georgia Tech in Tax Slayer Bowl 33-18

Best Moment: 

Heck this might be the best moment of the UK Athletics season.

Recap: The season could not have started any worse for Mark Stoops and company. The Cats jumped out to an early lead on Southern Miss with Drew Barker having a monster first half. The second half of the game? Well, you know what happened… the season continued with a big loss to Florida and an embarrassing start to the New Mexico State game. Fans immediately began to call for a change in leadership. To say that the Cats proved them wrong is an understatement. The win over Louisville may go down as the biggest win in program history. It changed everyone’s perception of Mark Stoops and those that were not sold on him are now buying back into the program. While the Cats lost the bowl game, the end result does not mean as much as just being there does. Kentucky not only just making a bowl game, but making one of the caliber of the Tax Slayer Bowl is massive for the program. It really does lead us to ask the question, What’s Next?

Via @KentuckyVB

Volleyball

Record: 23-8 (15-2 SEC)

Postseason: Lost to Washington 3-0 in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament

Best Moment: Sweeping Louisville 3-0 at the KFC Yum Center

Recap: UK Volleyball had another impressive season. Craig Skinner’s team finished with 23 wins marking the 9th time in the past 10 years that his team has won at least 20 games. Volleyball players Leah Edmond, Ashley Dusek and Olivia Dailey earned All-America distinction, with Edmond becoming the 11th player in school history to be named to 1st, 2nd or 3rd team All-American. Dusek was also named the SEC Libero of the Year. Next season will bring high expectations for the Cats as they bring in their highest ranked recruiting class in school history.

UK Athletics

Men’s Soccer

Record: 11-5-3 (5-3-0 C-USA)

Postseason: Lost to Creighton 3-2 in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament

Best Moment: Selection Show (Team earned first ever national seed)

Recap: For the first time in team history, the Kentucky soccer team were given a national seed. With this, Kentucky hosted Creighton in the NCAA Tournament. This was the third straight NCAA Tournament bid for the Cats and the fourth in five years. Napo Matsoso was drafted with the 31st pick of the MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution. This selection made Matsoso the highest drafted player in program history. He ended his career with the third most assists in school history, and tied for the ninth most goals. Charlie Reyman also signed with Bethlehem Steel FC of the United Soccer League, which has teams in Louisville and Cincinnati.

UK Athletics

Women’s Soccer

Record: 5-9-4 (1-7-3 SEC)

Postseason: No Postseason

Best Moment: 2-1 Win over #9 Arkansas

Recap: The season was an obvious disappointment for Kentucky fans. Following their loss to Georgia to close the season, head coach Jon Lipsitz was relieved of his duties as head coach. Following a nationwide search, Mitch Barnhart decided to go in house and hired assistant coach Ian Carry to become the next head coach.

UK Athletics

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country

Postseason: Men: 5th in NCAA SE Regional

Women: 3rd in NCAA SE Regional

Best Moment: Katy Kunc finishing 33rd in NCAA Championship

Recap: Cross Country is a sport that doesn’t get nearly the respect it deserves. Both teams had an impressive season. The men’s team finished in 3rd in the SEC which was their best finish since 1992. The women finished 3rd in the region and narrowly missed qualifying as a team for the NCAA Championship. Katy Kunc was still able to represent the team by running a 6K in 20:20.

kentuckywgolf | IG

Men’s and Women’s Golf

Postseason: Men: 7th in NCAA Baton Rouge Region

Women: 16th in NCAA Regional

Best Moment: UK Women winning the Battle of the Bluegrass Tournament

Recap: The UK Men were highlighted by having 3 players finish in the top 20 at the NCAA Regional. Tyler McDaniel led the way for the Cats shooting a +3 over 3 days. The UK Women were led by Isabelle Johansson who finished tied for 22nd place in the region by shooting +9 over 3 days.

 

Be sure to click the more button to read the remainder of the recap and to vote on the best team and moment of the year!

(more…)


Kentucky Women’s Track Team Wins 4×100 National Title

UK Athletics

The Kentucky women’s track team caught Alabama down the stretch to win the 4×100 relay National Title.

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Destiny Carter, Kayelle Clarke and Kianna Gray made up the four-person team that finished the race with a 42.51 time.  Alabama led all the way until the very end of the race.

It’s the second individual gold for the Kentucky women’s track team this weekend.  Olivia Gruver became the first UK track and field athlete to ever win a National Title in the pole vault, clearing 14-feet, nine inches.  The Kentucky Track program now has eight NCAA Outdoor Individual Gold Medals.

Camacho-Quinn added a silver medal in the 100m hurdles.  Her 12.58 performance was .01 slower than the winner from UTEP.

Kentucky is in first place overall through ten of 21 events, leading Georgia by eight points.  Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile is the final runner remaining.  Currently in second place in the triple jump, if she can medal the Cats could win their first ever team National Title.

UPDATE

The Cats came oh so close to reaching the podium.  Edrick Floreal’s team finished fourth overall in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, just three points behind USC.


UK Athletics

Kentucky Defeats N.C. State 10-5 for First Regional Championship

UK Athletics

A Cliff Hagan Stadium record crowd of 5,005 stayed up well past midnight to watch the Kentucky baseball team win the program’s first Regional Championship in head coach Nick Mingione’s first season.

A back-and-forth affair, the Cats took the lead for good in the seventh inning when Kole Cottam’s deep drive to right-centerfield hit the top of the raised wall.  The double drove in two RBIs to give UK a 7-5 lead.

After a rough start, a wild fourth inning filled with confrontation peaked when Kentucky’s Marcus Carson doubled down the rightfield line to put two runs on the scoreboard.  Connor Heady and Evan White each added an RBI to tie the game at 4-4.  The Cats fell behind in the fifth before the explosive seventh inning put Kentucky in the driver’s seat.  They topped it off with three insurance runs in the top of the ninth for the 10-5 final score.

Sean Hjelle shut the door on the Wolfpack.  Entering with two outs in the sixth inning, the SEC Pitcher of the Year needed only 35 pitches, good for three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth, to retire the last 10 batters and secure the win.

Kentucky advances to play in the Super Regional next weekend at Louisville where the winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the College World Seris.


WATCH: Marlana VanHoose Sings the National Anthem before the Regional Final

WATCH: Marlana VanHoose Sings the National Anthem before the Regional Final

The biggest stage UK Baseball has ever played on required an intro from the biggest voice from the Commonwealth.

Marlana VanHoose did not disappoint the fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium.  Somewhere Drew Franklin is crying.


There’s a Rain Delay at Cliff Hagan Stadium Tonight’s First Pitch is at 9:20

@KrystalsWebb

If you’re wondering why it’s not yet baseball time in the Bluegrass, blame Mother Nature.

Scheduled to start at 7:04, the grounds crew at The Cliff put rolled out the tarp about 15 minutes ago in preparation for incoming storms.  It’s a small line that should pass through the area quickly, but right now it doesn’t look too good out there.

@keithtaylor21

If you’re in the area, take shelter.  For the rest of us, remain patient.  This should not last too long.

UPDATE: 7:48

The skies are starting to clear up, but there’s still no official time for the first pitch.  Meanwhile, the people in control of the PA system are showing off.

UPDATE: 8:08

While the grounds crew prepares for play, Mitch Barnhart is pitching in by helping dry seats in the stands.


UK Athletics

Tonight At 7:00, Kentucky vs NC State

UK Athletics

Today has been full of talk about the BatCats. For someone that has covered every UK Baseball game for the last three years, I couldn’t be happier. Now it’s time to look ahead to the game. The build up is over, and now it is time to execute. Coach Mingione made a plea that the people of Lexington would come out to help break another attendance record in tonight’s Regional Championship. But as for Mingione and his team, they will be taking the field in the biggest game in UK Baseball history.

Think that is an exaggeration? It isn’t. Kentucky has never advanced to a Super Regional, much less the College World Series. The closest comparisons would be the 2014 Regional Championship against Louisville or 1988 Regional Championship against Stanford. Waiting for them in the Super Regional will be Louisville for a best of three series. A win tonight would turn the program into an unprecedented direction. Louisville looked beatable towards the end of their season, so they could definitely slip up against UK.

“You look up and you have the greatest fans in the country cheering us on. The fans tonight were phenomenal, they poured into us so much and they helped us out so much. We’re so grateful for them, we hope we get all those people back tomorrow and more.” -Riley Mahan after last night’s game. 

Before the Super Regional, UK needs to get past NC State tonight. The BatCats will use a committee of pitchers to get the job done against the Pack. Mingione said that everyone but maybe Zack Thompson will be available tonight. Zach Logue, Logan Salow, Chris Machamer, and perhaps Sean Hjelle will likely see time in the elimination game. NC State is in a little bit of a better spot in terms of pitching. Johnny Piedmonte should be ready to go for the Pack along with a full bullpen behind him. But as UK showed last night, a rested bullpen means nothing if they can’t stop a team from scoring. The BatCats roughed up NC State’s staff last night with eight runs in the first six innings.

For updates, follow @TreyHuntsmanKSR on Twitter. Here is some info for tonight’s game:

First Pitch: 7:00 ET

Television: SEC Network

Radio: Neil Price on iHeart Radio

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UPDATE: Tonight’s game will be shown on the SEC Network

Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

Excellent news! The SEC Network just picked up tonight’s game between Kentucky and NC State, which will begin at 7 p.m. ET. Previously, the only way to watch was ESPN3/WatchESPN.com, and I think we can all agree that watching on a bonafide TV channel instead of a stream is a much better option (although it will still be available online if that’s your thing).

If TV’s not your thing either, you can also listen to Neil Price’s call on 630 AM or UKAthletics.com. Or, if you’re able, you can do the best thing and get down to The Cliff to cheer the Cats on in person. General admission tickets are still available.

Stay tuned for Trey Huntsman’s preview, which is coming to this here website in just a bit.


Let Nick Mingione pump you up for tonight’s game on KSR

With his team taking on NC State tonight for a spot in the Super Regional, today’s a busy day for Nick Mingione, but the first-year head coach made time to come on the radio show this morning. Mingione discussed his team’s big day yesterday, which included wins over Indiana and NC State to force tonight’s Game 7, and his emotional postgame comments about Marcus Carson. The senior centerfielder had four hits between the two games yesterday, including two home runs, and Mingione said his success was especially gratifying given how hard he’s worked this season, both on the field and in the classroom.

“He was just phenomenal. I just told him I couldn’t miss this opportunity to brag about him because in our program, you’ve heard me say this over and over, I evaluate our guys everyday in three different areas: as a student, person, player,” Mingione said. “I’m just so proud of him because his career hasn’t gone the way he wanted the first three years of his baseball career and now here he is, on the biggest stage, just doing awesome and I’m just so proud of him.”

Check out Mignione’s call around the 23-minute mark of hour two, including the latest on UK’s pitching situation. Then, go to Ticketmaster and secure your tickets for tonight’s game (reserved grandstand and outfield decks seats are sold out, but general admission is still available). As Mingione said, the fans really do make a difference.

I really believe with my heart that the crowd last night got us at least two or three more runs and I believe that was the difference in the game. We got their pitchers in a tough stretch, the fans started cheering, they started throwing balls, they started celebrating. Matt, this is awesome! This has never happened at The Cliff. The warm-up pitcher is throwing balls and our fans are celebrating!”


John Calipari will be at The Cliff tonight to cheer on the Bat Cats

John Calipari will be at The Cliff tonight to cheer on the Bat Cats

How big is tonight’s game between Kentucky and NC State? John Calipari is cutting his vacation short so he can be in the stands at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

“Okay, #BBN, I’m leaving vacation early to see UK Baseball battle!” Cal tweeted a few minutes ago. “Rain or shine, let’s pack this place!!! LET’S DO THIS!!! #PackTheCliff”

Last week, Calipari recorded this pep talk for Nick Mingione and his team during a break at the SEC Spring Meetings:

Another good omen for tonight: Marlana VanHoose is singing the national anthem. As we’ve learned over the years, no one does the anthem justice like Little Marlana. Obligatory Marlana anthem video:

To secure your ticket for tonight’s game (which will only be shown on ESPN3/WatchESPN), click here. Go get ’em, Bat Cats.


UK Athletics

Recapping An Historic Day At Cliff Hagan Stadium

UK Athletics

The BatCats battled for 18 long innings on Sunday and came away with two wins in elimination games. Kentucky and NC State will meet for the third time tonight at 7 ET to determine who plays Louisville next weekend in the Super Regional. Before we get set for tonight’s game, here is a look back at the yesterday’s doubleheader sweep for the Cats.

Kentucky’s Offense Woke Up Against Indiana

UK poured it on Indiana to move out of the loser’s bracket. The Cats reached base 25 times and scored 14 runs against a tired Indiana team. Marcus Carson, Kole Cottam, and Riley Mahan all hit home runs as UK’s offense began to capitalize in big time moments. Mahan’s home run was a grand slam that was effectively the dagger in the Sunday afternoon game. Kentucky went 8/14 with runners in scoring position and 12/21 with runners on base against Indiana after leaving a combined 24 men on base in the first two regional games. The offense really needed a game like this to start a streak as it gave them some confidence moving into the night game.

Kentucky Fought Off Elimination Twice 

After the win over Indiana, UK had to come back and play less than two hours later against NC State. The Pack jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Cats’ offense woke up once again. After tying the game in the third, Marcus Carson gave UK their first lead of the night with a solo home run. Mahan added a RBI single in the fifth before UK scored four in the sixth to take an 8-2 lead. The big sixth inning was evidence of how hard UK had fought to stay in this tournament. Zach Reks and Mahan both drove in runs with singles to start the onslaught. Luke Becker dug out an infield single with two outs and Kole Cottam came around to score on a wild pitch as UK added four runs in a hurry. The gritty performance in the sixth inning helped UK to pull away in an 8-6 win.

Mingione Handles The Bullpen Well On Sunday

Sean Hjelle and Justin Lewis both had high pitch counts in the first two games, so the bullpen needed to step up if the Cats were going to have a chance to win three games in two days. Zack Thompson went seven innings against Indiana to save as much of the bullpen as possible for Sunday night. Thompson was electric as always against the Hoosiers. The freshman struck out seven in his postseason debut. After Thompson, Colton Cleary and Alec Maley managed to record the final six outs of the game despite Cleary allowing five runs in the ninth. In the second game, Brad Schaenzer went the first four innings before handing the ball to Chris Machamer. Schaenzer didn’t have his best stuff, but he saved UK a few innings out of their bullpen. Machamer went 2.1 innings but a Joe Dunand home run chased the freshman in the seventh. Logan Salow was brilliant in the final 2.2 innings. The senior closer struck out four and did not allow a hit as he slammed the door on the Pack.

“Get ready for chaos. Get ready for the most messed up bullpen situation you can possibly think of,” Mingione said about tonight’s game. 

Mingione will have a full, semi-rested bullpen on Monday night. He noted in the press conference that everyone will be available except Zack Thompson. If I had to make an educated guess on how the pitching situation will go tomorrow, I would say Logue for three innings, Machamer for two, and then Salow for as long as he can go. If things get interesting, Hjelle should be available for an inning or two.

Mingione Gets Emotional In the Postgame Press Conference

After the media asked the players questions, Coach Mingione asked for a moment to speak on Carson. He got choked up talking about the student, the person, and the player that Carson has developed into this year. (Top video by Joe Mussatto on Twitter)

Riley Mahan Is Playing Outside Of His Head

The junior second baseman has stepped up in a big way in the regional. Mahan has driven in 11 runs and hit two home runs in only four games. His defense has been pretty solid and he has made some nice throws on the run. “Our offense all year has been relentless, I’m just so proud of these guys, the way they battled,” Mahan said.

Kole Cottam Is Kentucky’s Hottest Hitter

After a great showing in Hoover, Cottam has carried over his hot hitting to the regional. Cottam is now 15 of his last 30 at the plate and has collected a hit in nine straight games.

The BBN Was Heard Tonight 

As Mingione said in the press conference, over 18,000 people have come to see this team play in the regional. The fans at the Cliff were loud and proud last night.


Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics

Tonight’s UK Baseball game will only be on ESPN3/Watch ESPN

Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics

Need another reason to head down to The Cliff for tonight’s Kentucky/NC State game? We just found out that the game will only be streamed on ESPN3/WatchESPN, not televised on one of ESPN’s many channels, which is a bummer, but more incentive to get down there and cheer the Bat Cats on in person. The game will start at 7 p.m.

Coach Mingione is slated to come on KSR here in about 15 minutes, so tune in. I’ll have the clip on the site later today in case you miss it.


@ShawnMcKenzieSN

Game Four’s Monday Morning Wakeup

@ShawnMcKenzieSN

Greetings, friends. Long time no type. I’m back from my two-week adventure in Italy, during which I ate lots of pasta, drank lots of wine, and generally did my best to forget about UK Sports for a while…until Ryan Lemond’s creepy laugh woke me up one night to tell me Hamidou Diallo was coming back to school. (As you might imagine, going back to sleep after that was impossible.) I’ll share bits and pieces from my trip over the next week, but right now, a much more important matter is upon us: Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Being abroad when the Nashville Predators won the Western Conference Finals was tough, as was getting home just in time to witness their humiliating loss in Game Two; that’s why Saturday’s 5-1 win was so sweet. I’ve lived in Nashville for 11 years now, and I’ve never witnessed a more amazing day in the city. Over 50,000 fans flooded the streets downtown, forcing police to close down two additional blocks of Broadway all the way to the river. For once, there were more locals than tourists downtown as Preds fans pushed out bachelorette parties and staked their claim to hear Alan Jackson’s free concert and swap guesses as to who will sing the national anthem (Martina McBride) and how many catfish would hit the ice (by my count, three). The Preds responded, turning in a crucial 5-1 win to move the series to 2-1. Even though it’s a Monday, I expect the atmosphere will be equally as rabid leading up to an essential Game Four. I got my fill of the chaos downtown on Saturday, but will be cheering from my lucky seat here in East Nashville. Join me at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports. We got this.

In the meantime, here’s what we’ll be talking about today:

1. UK Baseball will play NC State for a spot in the Super Regional tonight

The Bat Cats got back on track in the Lexington regional with two huge wins yesterday, the first over Indiana and the second over NC State to force a final showdown with the Wolfpack tonight. The winner will advance to the Super Regional in Louisville to face the Cardinals. The game starts at 7 p.m. at The Cliff, and while you should do absolutely everything you can to be there to cheer them on in person, it should be televised, although the channel has yet to be determined. We’ll keep you updated.

2. Coach Mingione got a little emotional in the postgame presser

How much would a spot in the Super Regionals mean to this program and its players? Nick Mingione teared up when talking about his senior centerfielder Marcus Carson last night:

How can you not love Mingione? Speaking of baseball…

3. How about my Davidson Wildcats?

My other Wildcats knocked off 2-seed North Carolina last night to win the Chapel Hill Regional in what D1 Baseball’s Aaron Fitt called one of the biggest upsets in college baseball history. Between the Preds winning Saturday, both sets of Wildcats winning Sunday, and Steph Curry doing his thing in the NBA Finals, it was certainly a great weekend to be a Wildcat. Watch the awesome winning moment below:

4. Calipari was in NYC this weekend

After stops in Destin for the SEC Spring Meetings and Pittsburgh for Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals, Calipari was in NYC this weekend to take his son Brad to a Mets/Pirates game:

Something tells me Cal will be back in Pittsburgh for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals Thursday night.

5. 17 Days until the NBA Draft

Believe it or not, there are only 17 days until the NBA Draft in New York, and while I was gone, it seems buzz continued to grow around De’Aaron Fox. Fox impressed at the Catalyst Sports Pro Day this weekend, prompting some to suggest that the Lakers may pass on Lonzo Ball and take Fox instead with the second pick. We saw this as the season went on, but Fox’s shooting continues to improve, as you can see in this video from his Pro Day workout via Draft Express:

After the workout was over, Fox was back in the weight room to put in more work:

Make the right choice, Magic.

6. I had the best risotto in the world in Burano

Should you ever find yourself in Venice, Italy and overwhelmed by the crowds, do yourself a favor and hop on the ferry to Burano, a small fishing island about 40 minutes outside the city. Known for lace and brightly painted buildings, Burano is an amazing oasis, made even more so by the seafood risotto at Da Romano. My husband and I first heard about the dish on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” and made the trek solely to try it; we were not disappointed. Prepared delicately with “go,” a local fish, it was simply perfection, especially when paired with the house white wine and this view:

Sigh. Before I hop on a plane back to Venice, let’s keep going.

7. The Governor’s Cup Luncheon is tomorrow

For some reason, the Governor’s Cup luncheon is still held in June even though the rivalry showdown takes place in November, but alas, this year’s version takes place tomorrow afternoon at the Frankfort County Club. That means awkward photo opps between Mark Stoops and Bobby Petrino, plenty of pictures of the trophy, and hopefully a little bit of swaggy trash talk. Usually, this event is a bore, but it sure is nice to come in as the winner after last season’s upset for the ages.

Speaking of…

8. The UK Football Women’s Clinic is set for July 22

Period jokes aside, last year’s women’s clinic was a great way to get ready for football season, and from what I hear, the folks at UK have even more tricks up their sleeves for this year’s event, which will go down in the Woodford Reserve Club at Kroger Field on Saturday, July 22. The registration fee is $75, which includes a gift, t-shirt, lunch, and all the pictures with Freddie Maggard you could dream of. For more information, visit ukathletics.com/camps.

9. Wonder Woman was awesome

I’m not a huge superhero/comic books fan, nor do I expect a lot from Hollywood when it comes to females in leading roles, but I absolutely loved Wonder Woman. I came in not knowing a lot about the character other than her accessories have powers, but director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot brought a story many have struggled with to life. I left the theater ready to rumble and happy that finally, little girls have a heroine that’s just as badass as Batman, Superman, or the countless other male superheroes. Do yourself a favor and go see it.

10. One hour until the gang discusses Shannon’s win over Tony Vanetti in OVW

If you haven’t seen the pictures and videos of Shannon wrestling in a speedo, consider yourself warned:

Tune in to hear the gang break it down one hour and six minutes from now.