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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.

 


UK Athletics

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.
(more…)


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.

 


Your 48-time SEC Regular Season Champs’ Sunday Morning Wakeup

 

Troy Taormina | USA Today

Troy Taormina | USA Today

Sure, the Cats locked up at least a share of the SEC Regular Season title with their comeback win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday…

But who wants to share a championship, am I right?

The “comeback” theme continued on Saturday, when UK overcame an early deficit of 15 points to take down Texas A&M in College Station, locking up sole possession of the championship. The Aggies stymied Kentucky’s offense early, but a certain player spurred the Wildcats back into the game.

Dominique Hawkins brought the Cats back from the brink.

The entirety of Dominique’s points, 8, and assists, 3, including two smooth alley-oops to Bam Adebayo, came in the first half, setting off a 28-9 run that put the Cats in the lead going into the half. Billy Kennedy’s squad kept nipping at UK’s heels, but to no avail, as The Comeback Cats 2.0 got the win, 71-63. Dom’s efforts did not go unnoticed, either. Coach Cal after the game teased Hawkins earning a starting position: “So, maybe Dom starts. Then, which one of you three is coming off the bench?” Cal said, laying down the challenge to the rest of his backcourt in Fox, Briscoe, and Monk.

Can’t argue with Hawkins’ efforts as of late.

As of now, it seems 5 SEC teams will go dancing.

Ever pesky Vanderbilt managed to take down the 12th ranked Gators in Nashville, 73-71, pushing them into Joe Lunardi’s Last Four In. If everything holds, Vandy will join Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, and South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.

But before then… the SEC Tournament bracket is now set.

Kentucky will meet the winner of Georgia/Tennessee on Friday at 1pm ET

2016 SEC Basketball Tournament Bracket.indd

The UK Hoops team couldn’t overcome South Carolina, falling 89-77.

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

The ladies gave USC another good shot, but couldn’t pull off the upset, despite 31 points from Makayla Epps coupled with 24 points and 11 boards from Evelyn Akhator. The remainder of the UK Hoops season is now in the hands of the NCAA selection committee.

The Bat Cats picked up a W against #23 UC Santa Barbara, clinching the series.

Saturday’s 3-2 win gave Nick Mingione an early feather in his cap, clinching a big series win over a quality opponent. The Cats go for the 3-game sweep today at high noon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

 

Wednesday. The SEC Tournament. See y’all in Nashville.

@JayWinkKSR

 


Photo by UK Athletics

Cats fall to South Carolina despite third period comeback 89-77

 

 

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

The third time was almost the charm for the No. 4 Cats tonight against No. 1 South Carolina in the semi-finals of the SEC Tournament.

In the Cats third meeting with the Gamecocks this season, a late third period spark was not enough to hold off South Carolina in a 89-77 loss.

Kentucky’s seniors were key for the Cats in the semi-final loss, picking up extra ground with sophomore guard Taylor Murray out for whiplash after a vicious collision yesterday against Alabama. South Carolina was also without their star center Alaina Coates for a majority of the game with an ankle injury. The center entered the game during the second period and exited in the third after tweaking the ankle.

Things shook out fairly between the Cats and the Gamecocks during the first period. Kentucky was able to get defensive stops when needed, but just couldn’t keep up with South Carolina on the offensive end. Kentucky shot well, 62.5% from the field, but that was nothing compared to South Carolina’s 72.2% leaving the Cats trailing at 27-20.

The second period was when things got ugly. Kentucky went on a scoring drought of 4:20 while making only one of 10. The Cats were finally able to get some momentum moving, ending the half making five of six, but South Carolina had a response to each Kentucky basket.

By the end of the first half, Makayla Epps had already scored as many points as she had the previous day and then some. Her 16 points and Evelyn Akhator’s 10 points in the first two periods are what kept the Cats in the game.

Those are the same two who also led the Cats on a 13-3 run to close the third period that coincided with a 4:20 scoring drought for the Gamecocks. Down 14 originally, Kentucky was not shaken and was able to get the game within two with a chance for the lead on a missed Jadia Roper three-pointer. The Cats entered the final 10 minutes of play down two at 62-60.

“I feel like every position or situation we get in with every team, it’s nothing new to us. We’ve been there before. Us being down 14, we’ve been there before. You could tell our team wanted to win today so we could play tomorrow,” Epps said.

South Carolina fought back, however, going on a 8-2 run early in the fourth quarter to pull away. Kentucky was able to fight back and get within 2 at 75-73 with four minutes left to play thanks to a put-back from junior center Alyssa Rice. The junior would foul out just after making the basket, which allowed South Carolina to take it in the paint with far more ease.

The Cats went on a two and a half minute scoring drought late in the third quarter that would put the icing on the cake for Gamecocks.

This loss mimics a 95-87 loss that happened less than a week ago in Columbia against South Carolina. While this puts the Cats at 0-3 this season against the Gamecocks, head coach Matthew Mitchell does not believe it’s anything to hang their heads about.

 

“We were right there. We were a possession or two away. I thought the team had great confidence,” Mitchell said. “I’m proud of our team for executing. We were a confident bunch, fired up. Everybody wanted to win. Just proud of how they competed.”

Epps led all scorers with 31 points, tying her career best in the SEC Tournament and the third-best mark by any Kentucky player in the tournament. Akhator recorded yet another double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Kentucky attempted to take their game outside to avoid the brick wall that South Carolina’s inside game is, but made just two of their 19 three-point attempts. However, with Coates out, the Cats were able to work the inside a bit. South Carolina scored just two more points in the paint than Kentucky, with 48 compared to UK’s 46. The Cats did manage to out rebound the Gamecocks 42 to 26.

The Cats had an attacking mentality tonight, shooting almost putting up almost 20 more shots than South Carolina. However, it didn’t matter that Kentucky put up 72 shots compared to the Gamecock’s 56 because UK shot just 42% from the field while their opponent shot 57%.

With Murray out, both freshman Jadia Roper and senior Jessica Hardin were able to put in significant minutes for the Cats today, contributing 15 and 10 respectively. Roper did leave during the fourth quarter after taking a hard hit and having an apparent head injury which is currently under evaluation according to Mitchell.

This loss ends Kentucky’s run in the SEC Tournament, but it is looking all the more likely that the Cats will be playing in Lexington Region in the NCAA Tournament. While we won’t know for another week, the possibility is exciting for seniors Epps and Akhator.

“It’s a big home-court advantage, especially with all the Kentucky fans that will pack Memorial if that does happen. Evelyn and I had a memorable Senior Night. The opportunity to play in Memorial again is something we’re looking forward to, if the opportunity comes our way,” Epp said.


Kentucky’s Comeback Bid Falls Short Against South Carolina, 89-77

@SEC

@SEC

The Kentucky women’s basketball team ran out of ammunition against South Carolina.

Playing without Taylor Murray, Kentucky trailed by as many as 14 in the third quarter, but they refused to relent.  Kentucky closed the third quarter on a 13-3 run.  They hung around and made it a 75-73 game with 4:10 to play, but it was not enough upset South Carolina.

As usual, Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps were terrific.  Epps led all scorers with 31 points, Akhator had 24 points and 11 rebounds, but Kentucky simply couldn’t knock down enough outside shots to win, just 2 of 19 on the night (10.5%).

More from Greenville is on the way.


Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Kentucky Takes Series Over #23 UCSB

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Nick Mingione got a signature win early in the season with a 3-2 victory over #23 UC Santa Barbara. Zach Logue’s seven shutout innings led Kentucky (6-5) to a series win over the Gauchos on Saturday. Riley Mahan homered and Zach Reks went 2/3 with an RBI double to lead the way for the Cats.

Recap

Logue set the tone on the mound early for UK. Colton Burns led the game off with a single, but Logue got two groundouts and a strikeout to end the frame. Logue was able to work out of every jam that he got into against UCSB. The offense was able to back up Logue early, just like they did last night for Sean Hjelle. Connor Heady singled to lead off the third inning, and was brought all the way around to third. Reks delivered a two-out double to bring in Heady and give UK the first lead of the day.

The one run would be all that Logue needed through seven innings. The closest the Gauchos came to touching Logue came in the 5th inning when Kenny Corey reached on an error and Burns walked. Logue caught the runners off the bag and was able to get Corey out in a run down to end the threat.

Logue would go two more innings of shut out ball before being lifted to start the eighth inning. The seven innings were a career high for the junior starter. Logue allowed four hits and two walks while striking out three in a dominating performance. 

Kentucky’s offense gave Logue more run support in the sixth. Riley Mahan crushed a ball to the Cliff off Kyle Nelson to extend the lead to 3-0. Mahan now leads the team in home runs (3) and RBIs (16) through 11 games.

 

Zach Pop entered the game for Logue to start the eighth. With a fastball sitting in the low to mid 90s and a plus slider, Pop shut down UCSB in his first frame. The Gauchos were able to get to Pop early in the 9th inning. Austin Bush doubled and Billy Frederick singled to force Nick Mingione to go to Logan Salow with no outs in the 9th. Salow got Sam Cohen to hit a sac fly to score Bush before striking out Michael McAdoo for the second out of the inning. Armani Smith doubled in Frederick to cut the lead to one. With the stadium rocking, Salow struck out Thomas Rowan to end the game and give UK the series win.

Notes

Riley Mahan continues to rake- The junior infielder is slugging at a ridiculous rate early in the season. After going 0/8 to start the season, Mahan has a nine-game hitting streak. In that streak, Mahan hasn’t committed an error and has two four RBI games.

Logue has been solid the last two weeks- UNC roughed up Logue in his first start, but he has been fantastic in his last two starts. Against Old Dominion and UCSB, Logue has allowed one run in his last 13 innings.

A big series win early in the season- It can’t be underestimated how big of a win this was for Mingione and the Cats. Santa Barbara has been in Omaha the last two years with several high draft picks. Hjelle and Logue completely shut down their offense the last two days while the offense has capitalized in some big situations.

Kentucky goes for the sweep tomorrow at noon with Justin Lewis on the mound. The high tomorrow is 66, so come out and watch the BatCats take on Santa Barbara at the Cliff.


Saturday’s Top 10: The Regular Season Finale at College Station

Saturday’s Top 10: The Regular Season Finale at College Station

It's t-shirt time in Texas!

It’s t-shirt time in Texas!

In five hours, the Kentucky basketball team’s regular season will be over.  It feels like just yesterday we were watching Malik Monk bring down the house at the Blue/White game.  Now it’s (almost) tournament time.  Here’s what lies ahead in the Cats final regular season tune-up against Texas A&M.

The Last Time UK Played Texas A&M

It was an absolute blowout.  Kentucky rolled over the Aggies 100-58 at Rupp Arena.  A&M’s large lineup simply couldn’t keep up with the Cats’ pace.  Four Kentucky starters scored ten points or more, led by Malik Monk’s 26.

The last time Kentucky visited College Station, it was a much different story.  The back-and-forth battle should have ended with a Kentucky win, but the tables turned on one unfortunate, emotional reaction.

isaac-slam

Looking for a Complete Game

The Cats are using today’s game to work on a few things before postseason play.  Most importantly, John Calipari is searching for 40 minutes of good basketball.  His point guard echoed Calipari’s call for desperate basketball earlier this week.

“Sometimes we just have slow starts,” UK freshman guard De’Aaron Fox said. “We just gotta learn how to play desperate the whole 40 minutes.”

A (Kinda Sorta) Homecoming for De’Aaron Fox

Throughout the season most of Kentucky’s players have played a game in or near their hometown.  Fox will get his chance when friends and family make the 80-mile trek journey from Katy, Texas to College Station.  The best news is that Fox is feeling better.  If he’s not 100%, he’s awfully close to it.

The Return of Verne

You thought you saw Verne Lundquist sign off for the final time at this year’s Army-Navy game, but you thought wrong.  That was Lundquist’s final college football game.  He’s still doing some college basketball work during NCAA Tournament time.  He gets a tune-up today with Jim Spanarkel when the Cats and the Aggies tip-off at noon on CBS.  The Aggies are 7-point home underdogs.

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Bye Bye, Kaylee

Kaylee Hartung has spent the last two basketball seasons parked on the Rupp Arena sidelines.  After next week’s SEC Tournament, Kaylee’s time reporting on the Cats will come to a close.  The Big Lead reported yesterday that Hartung will leave ESPN for CNN in April.  First Musburger, now Hartung.  Who’s next, Vitale?

Combine Results for Former Cats

Jon Toth performed as expected: not great, not bad.  Boom Williams’ combine story is much more complex.  He started impressively, with 18 bench press reps and a 4.51 40-yard dash that improved to 4.44.  He was one of the day’s top performers, until they disqualified his second, much faster attempt.  Boom didn’t reach the desired numbers, but he’ll have another opportunity at Wednesday’s Pro Day.

UK Advances at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament

It was a battle, but Kentucky left the court with a 63-55 quarterfinal win over Alabama thanks to Evelyn Akhator’s 23-point, 9-rebound performance.  They’ll play one-seed South Carolina today at 5:00 on ESPNU.  Kentucky has already lost to the Gamecocks twice this season.  Hopefully the third time’s the charm for the Cats.

Tyler Ulis Hits a Career-High

The Phoenix Suns’ point guard dropped 14 points and 7 assists on Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder.  His most impressive points came at the hands of Enes Kanter, but it wasn’t as crazy as this pass through Steven Adams’ legs.

Check out the full highlights here.

Shannon the Dude Enters the Wrestling Ring

America’s favorite Ohio Valley Wrestling commentator was thrust into action on February 11.

Now, Shannon is ready for revenge.  He called out Tyler Matrix on yesterday’s radio show.  “I guarantee it.  I’m going to win.”  Tonight at 7:30 he’ll enter the ring at 4400 Shepherdsville Road.  Will he leave triumphant or on a stretcher?  Pack the house to see if he survives.

College Basketball on TV

  • Noon: Indiana at Ohio State on ESPN
  • 2:00: Florida at Vandy on ESPN
  • 2:00: Georgia at Arkansas on ESPN2
  • 2:00: No. 19 Notre Dame at No. 8 Louisville on CBS
  • 4:00: No. 11 Baylor at Texas on ESPN
  • 4:00: No. 25 Miami at No. 15 Florida State
  • 4:00: Memphis at No. 14 SMU on ESPN2
  • 6:00: No. 6 Oregon at Oregon State on ESPN2
  • 6:00: No. 1 Kansas at Oklahoma State on ESPN
  • 8:15: No. 17 Duke at No. 5 North Carolina on ESPN
  • 10:15: Washington State at No. 3 UCLA on ESPN

The KSR Pregame show begins in 30 minutes at 9:30 on 630 WLAP.  Stream it here to get ready for the Cats and the Aggies.