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KSR Baseball Podcast: Week Seven with Austin Kearns

The seventh episode of the KSR Baseball Podcast is live! Trey Huntsman and Coach Keith Madison are joined by former-MLB outfielder Austin Kearns to talk about the Reds’ hot start and share stories of his twelve years in the big leagues. Also look for:

— Kearns talks about cutting up in the outfield with Ken Griffey Jr., hitting off Pedro and Randy Johnson and much more.

— A recap of Kentucky’s tough week against Louisville and Mississippi State.

— A preview of the Missouri series this weekend in Columbia

— Segments include Mound Visit, Trivia, and the Dude of the Week.

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


Reminder: The Forum with AppHarvest and a performance by Sundy Best tomorrow night at Memorial Hall

Reminder: The Forum with AppHarvest and a performance by Sundy Best tomorrow night at Memorial Hall

SundyBest

Tomorrow night, head out to Memorial Hall at the University of Kentucky to hear AppHarvest speak and Sundy Best perform from 7-11:30 p.m. ET.

Last month, we told you about former Wildcat Ramel Bradley investing in AppHarvest, a $50 million greenhouse on 70 acres of reclaimed mining land in Pikeville, Kentucky. Bradley is one of three individuals, AppHarvest CEO Johnathan Webb, and chief operating officer and fellow UK alum Seth Norat, who plan to hire 130 workers in Appalachia ($12/hour or more) to grow several types of vegetables in the greenhouse. For an area with an unemployment rate of 8.7%, compared to the statewide average of 4.5%, AppHarvest is putting food on the table both literally and figuratively for countless people in Eastern Kentucky.

The 45-acre hydroponic greenhouse will produce up to 2.6 million pounds of vegetables annually.

To help inform the public about the initiative to secure jobs and put food on the table for an area of need, AppHarvest wants to speak to college students and the surrounding Lexington area about their movement.

On top of hearing an unbelievable presentation on the great work being done in the state with Ramel Bradley and AppHarvest, the incredibly entertaining Sundy Best will also there to put on a show for those in attendance.

Check out more information on AppHarvest below, and head to Memorial Hall tomorrow for an awesome night:

[Courier-Journal]


Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

Cats Use Nine Walks To Beat #22 Mississippi State

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

#8 Kentucky needed only three hits on Friday night to take down #22 Mississippi State 5-2 in Starkville. The Cats used nine walks to put guys in scoring position and break through late against the Bulldogs. Tied at two, Zach Reks delivered in the ninth with a two-out, two-RBI triple to give UK the lead. The Cats sit at 22-9 (8-2) on the season.

Recap

Mississippi State worked out of their first jam of the night in the top of the first as Evan White’s double was wasted. Jake Mangum and the Dogs came to work in the bottom of the first inning. Mangum doubled and came around to score on a passed ball to give MSU a 1-0 lead. Konnor Pilkington kept the powerful UK offense at bay through four innings. The Cats didn’t get their second hit of the day until the seventh inning, but they used small ball to tie the game in the fifth.

Marcus Carson was hit by a pitch to open the inning, and White and Connor Heady were walked to load the bases. Tristan Pompey got his first of two RBIs with a sac fly to score Carson and tie the game at one.

Pompey paced UK’s offense on Friday night. The sophomore right fielder drove in two runs and walked three times in the two-hole spot. Pompey’s second RBI of the night gave UK a 2-1 lead in the seventh. Heady and White both walked with two outs to bring Pompey to the plate. After a pitching change, Pompey delivered with an RBI single to center. 

UK seemed to have all the momentum headed into the bottom of the seventh. MSU would not go away without a fight. The Bulldogs got a break when Reks rolled his ankle chasing after a fly ball in left. The ball dropped and Cody Brown came all the way around for an inside-the-park home run to tie the game. UK starter Sean Hjelle exited after 6.1 innings and a runner at first. Zach Pop came on and wiggled his way out of big time jam in the seventh to keep the game tied.

Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

The UK bullpen was able to get out of two tough situations in the last three innings. Logan Salow entered the bottom of the eighth with two runners in scoring position and one out. Salow, a D1 Midseason All-American, got Brown to pop up and Elijah MacNamee to strike out to end the threat.

Walks and free passes were UK’s path to success on Friday. Heady walked for the third time to start the ninth before advancing to second on a wild pitch. After Pompey was walked, Reks delivered his biggest hit of the season. With Spencer Price on the hill, Reks roped a triple into the gap in right to score two runs. Reks would score on a wild pitch to give UK a 5-2 lead in the ninth. 

Salow finished off the game with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to wrap up a 5-2 win for Kentucky over the Dogs on Friday.

Notes

Cats look more disciplined than ever- Nine walks is absolutely insane. UK had a great approach from everyone in their lineup and it showed tonight. Despite only collecting three hits, the Cats found a way to win using the mistakes of MSU.

Sean Hjelle throws another good game- Hjelle has been excellent in three of the four SEC series this year. Tonight, Hjelle went 6.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned), on three hits, three walks while striking out four.

Salow is the closer- End the debate, the Cats have a closer. Salow has been fantastic midway through the season. Salow has allowed one run in 23.1 innings in 2017.

Mingione wins in return to Starkville- In the battle of Kentucky coaches, Mingione took game one over Gary Henderson. In his first game against his former school, Mingione got a 5-2 win.


Get on board the UK Tennis bandwagon

Get on board the UK Tennis bandwagon

uk-tennis

Some of you may not know this but there are other sports outside of basketball and football at the University of Kentucky. (For real!) And one of those sports is doing very, very, very well this season.

Both the men’s and women’s teams currently rank inside the top 25 as the season winds down. Cedric Kauffmann’s guys are ranked 23rd in the ITA rankings, while Carlos Drada’s women rank 23rd in their ITA rankings.

You have a couple more opportunities to catch each team in Lexington before they begin their postseason play here in a few weeks. The women host Florida next Friday (Apr. 14) and South Carolina next Sunday (Apr. 16); the men have one last home match with Alabama coming to town this Sunday (Apr. 9).

You can and should attend one of those at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on campus. It’s a lot of fun.

Go tennis.


UK Athletics

BatCats Fall To Louisville 5-3

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

#2 Louisville stymied #8 Kentucky’s powerful offensive attack for the first eight innings of a 5-3 win on Tuesday night. A ninth inning rally was not enough for the BatCats to complete the comeback after falling behind 5-0 through three frames.

UK appeared to look a little tense early on. The Cats put runners in scoring position in the first three innings but never could get a big hit to bring them in. Louisville did not have that problem. With seven runners reaching base with two outs, Louisville hung four early runs on Kentucky starter Zack Thompson. The freshman starter retired the first two batters in both the first and second innings before Louisville got to him. Thompson struck out the first two batters of the game but an error forced him to remain on the mound in the first. Louisville capitalized on the unforced error and hung two quick runs on a Drew Ellis double. Devin Hairston drove in two more runs for the Cards in the second inning on a double to the wall.

Thompson allowed a fifth run in the third inning as Brad Schaenzer took over. Schaenzer shut down Louisville for 2.1 innings to keep Kentucky in the game. Following another productive performance by Schaenzer, Austin Keen, Colton Cleary, and Chris Machamer pitched an inning a piece to shut out Louisville over the final three frames.

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Louisville used five different pitchers to shut out UK over the first eight innings. The Cats had plenty of opportunities to score in run-producing situations. Evan White doubled twice but was never brought home from second. It wasn’t until the ninth inning that UK found their clutch gene.

With one away in the ninth, Marcus Carson and Gunnar McNeill both singled and Connor Heady walked to load the bases. Tristan Pompey drove in UK’s first run with an infield single that reloaded the bases. Zach Reks collected his 21st and 22nd RBIs on a hard single past Brendan McKay at first base to get UK within two. With Storm Wilson up, Kentucky had the go-ahead run at the plate. UK decided to send Reks to second and he was caught stealing to end the game.

The Cats are now 21-9 after falling to Louisville 5-3. The going doesn’t get any easier as UK travels to Starkville to take on #22 Mississippi State this weekend. 


The KSR Baseball Podcast: Rivalry Edition

The KSR Baseball Podcast returns with a full slate of guests to prepare you for this week’s Bluegrass Showdown between the No. 8 Cats and the No. 2 Cards.  UK’s Nick Mingione and UofL’s Dan McDonnell join Coach Madison and Trey to preview the game.  They also discuss…

—  Kentucky’s monumental series win over perennial powerhouse, Vanderbilt.

—  How difficult it is to bounce back from a tough series into an intense mid-week rivalry.

—  MLB’s Opening Day.

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 or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


UK Athletics

Mahan’s Two Homers Not Enough For Kentucky Against Vanderbilt

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

The BatCats (21-8, 7-2) held a lead in the middle innings against Vanderbilt (18-11, 4-5) but could not hold on in a 6-4 loss on Sunday. Riley Mahan went 3/5 with two home runs and four RBIs today. Despite the loss, Kentucky took the series by winning the first two games. UK has now won their first three SEC series of the season.

Recap

Vanderbilt jumped out to their first lead of the series in the first inning. Jeren Kendall walked and stole second to lead off the game for Vandy. Julian Infante got his first of three hits with a single to score Kendall and give Coach Tim Corbin’s crew an early advantage. Through the first couple innings, it appeared that Justin Lewis was struggling with his command for the first time this season. Lewis wiggled out of a couple jams to contain Vanderbilt’s offense early.

UK answered the Dores with a run of their own on a Mahan RBI double in the first inning. Much like Lewis, Vandy starter Drake Fellows struggled with command in the first three innings. Through three frames, the two starters tallied five walks and two hit batters.

Lewis worked out of jams in the second and fourth to keep the game tied at one. Mahan broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth with a bomb that traveled over 400 feet into the parking lot in right field. UK looked to add to the lead in the fifth when Evan White tripled to left, but the Cats couldn’t find a big two out hit in the inning.

Lewis allowed a run to start the sixth inning to end his day. The sophomore allowed two runs over five innings on eight hits and five walks. Every time he got in a serious jam, he was able to wiggle out with minimum damage. Zach Pop entered the game and got two strikeouts and a pick-off to end the threat in the sixth and keep the score at 2-2.

The momentum from tying the game carried over in the seventh for Vandy. Infante singled to lead off the inning and Will Toffey homered to give Vanderbilt their second lead of the series. Pop gave way to Logan Salow after walking the next batter. Salow allowed an inherited run to score but kept the damage down in the 7th and keep UK within three runs.

The strikeout of Connor Kaiser to end the top of the seventh gave UK a little juice heading into the bottom half. Mahan hit his second home run of the game, this time a two-run shot to cut Vanderbilt’s lead to one. Mahan drove in four runs on three extra base hits on Sunday. Maddux Conger settled down and struck out two to end the inning.

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Much like he had all series, Infante continued to kill UK’s pitching in the ninth. The sophomore first baseman homered off the batter’s eye to start the eighth inning. It was the first hit Salow had allowed in the last ten inning and his first earned run of the season.

Zach Reks singled with one out in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Luke Becker. Matt Ruppenthal allowed a deep fly ball from Becker that hung up a little too long for out number two. Mahan had a chance to tie the game with two outs but Ruppenthal got the second baseman to pop up in the infield to end the game.

Kentucky still sits atop the SEC East with a 7-2 record in conference. The BatCats have won all three of their SEC series and haven’t lost a series since the first week of the year. Next up for the Cats is a trip to Louisville on Tuesday night. The KSR Baseball Podcast will have Coach Mingione and Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell on the show tomorrow morning previewing the game.


Sunday’s Top 10: Final Four, spring football and more

Sunday’s Top 10: Final Four, spring football and more

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Good morning, Wildcats. Start your Sunday morning off by catching up on the latest sports news. There’s plenty to cover, so let’s get started

Gonzaga defeats South Carolina

Gonzaga beat South Carolina with a 77-73 victory Saturday night, and the Zags are officially going to their first championship game in program history. Just as basically everyone predicted, the game was fairly uneventful… that is, until the final minutes. Throughout most of the game, the Zags had a sizable lead. But, just like they’ve done multiples times throughout the tournament, the Gamecocks fought their way back.

After trailing by more than 10 for much of the second half, South Carolina found themselves down by just three with under a minute remaining. In the end, it came down to free throws, and when Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie sank two with :02 left on the clock, South Carolina’s hopes of advancing vanished.

North Carolina hangs on against Oregon

The Tar Heels edged out the Ducks 77-76. The ending felt a little too familiar: down by six with under a minute left, Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey hit a three-point jumper that shouldn’t have gone in, but did, followed by a layup that put the Ducks back in the game. Just like the Gonzaga vs. South Carolina game, the last several seconds were dictated by free throws.

UNC had plenty of opportunities to expand their lead in the final seconds of the game, but the Tar Heels could not seem to hit one from the line. Kennedy Meeks missed two in a row with :05 remaining; Joel Berry missed two with :04 remaining. What they could do, however, was grab offensive rebounds, and by continuing to maintain possession of the ball, North Carolina is going to the championship game.

I mean seriously, how did this go in?

National Championship Game

Gonzaga and North Carolina will play for the national title Monday, April 3 at 9:20 p.m. ET on CBS. I’m too much of a sports fan to completely refuse to watch it, and it’s our last chance to watch college basketball for several months. Whether you decide to watch the game or not, I have a feeling most of the BBN has one thing we can agree on: Go Zags.

Women’s Tournament

After a stunning Mississippi State upset over UConn Friday, the No. 2 Bulldogs will take on No. 1 South Carolina in an all SEC national championship game tonight. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. ET and can be watched on ESPN. Bring on the “SEC” chants.

Impressive info

Kentucky’s men’s and women’s basketball teams both defeated a team playing in the national title game. I’m sure you remember UK’s December victory over UNC, and UK Hoops upset Mississippi State on senior night back in February with the help of seniors Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps, who scored 27 and 22 points against the Bulldogs, respectively.

Speaking of women’s basketball…

Makayla Epps has announced the information about her autograph tour. The fan favorite will be in Lexington Fayette Mall on Tuesday, April 4 from 6-7:30.Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 9.49.28 AM

 

And, speaking of autograph tours…

In case you missed it, Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis will also make an appearance at the AllSports in Fayette Mall today at 1pm. They also have dates set for stops in Elizabethtown, Cold Springs and Ashland.IMG_0111

ICYMI: Spring Football

Yesterday, the Wildcats took part in their second scrimmage of the spring, and KSR’s got you covered on all the takeaways. In addition to uploading the latest installment of the Depth Chart Podcastthere were also plenty of articles to fill you in on the team’s progress as the spring game quickly approaches. Be sure to check those out if you haven’t already. But, if you’re feeling especially lazy this Sunday morning, here’s an even quicker recap:

  • Drew Barker returned to practice. According to Mark Stoops, the QB took 10 snaps and led the offense to a touchdown.
  • Benny Snell really doesn’t want to get tackled. “At times I have to reason with him,” said Stoops. He gets frustrated when he gets tackled. He’s gonna get tackled.” Does he have to?
  • Ball handling has improved from last season. Yesterday, there were no turnovers; in the first scrimmage, there was just one, and it was quickly recovered by the offense. Additionally, the wide receivers performed consistently, dropping only one pass during the scrimmage. According to Eddie Gran, there were even some “money catches.”

Kentucky Baseball

Beginning Tuesday morning, college basketball will officially be over for the season, leaving fans bored and without cause for the next several months. If this sounds like you, and you need a new sport to occupy your time with until football begins next fall, look no further. Kentucky baseball is having a heck of a season so far under first-year coach Nick Mingione, and they defeated a strong Vanderbilt team (No. 22, 17-11) 7-4 Saturday. The No. 11 BatCats are now 7-1 in the SEC and 21-7 overall. For a full recap, check out Trey’s coverage here. 

Kentucky will go for the series sweep today at 1 p.m. at the Cliff. It looks like the rain is going to hold off until later tonight, so come out and cheer on your Cats this afternoon.

Draymond Green is a child

After the Golden State Warriors’ 107-98 victory over the Houston Rockets, Draymond Green admitted he punched James Harden’s injured wrist, but only because “he pinched me.” Fair enough?


Well, that’s all I have for the day. Have a great Sunday, and, as always, Go Cats.

@MaggieDavisKSR


Zach Logue Leads UK to Series Win Over Vanderbilt

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

#16 Kentucky (21-7, 7-1) wrapped up a series win over Vanderbilt (17-11, 3-5) with a 7-4 win on Saturday. Zach Logue set the tone on the mound over eight strong innings. Six different players drove in runs as the BatCats jumped out to a 7-0 lead through two innings. Logue’s dominating performance pushed UK away from Vandy in the win.

Recap

Kyle Wright and Logue were locked in a pitcher’s duel for the first two innings. Wright, a candidate for a top five pick this summer, was hitting mid to high 90s with a nasty curveball early in today’s start. UK’s offense began to torment Wright in the third inning. Marcus Carson walked and Evan White shot a hard groundball past Will Toffey at third. Ro Coleman juggled the ball and both runners moved into scoring position. Zach Reks drove in the first run of the day on a grounder to shortstop for the second out. 

The Cats’ offense really attacked with two outs in the third. Luke Becker singled home a run before Riley Mahan tripled off the wall in deep left-center. With the bases loaded and two outs, Kole Cottam delivered a single through the left side to score two and give UK a 5-0 lead through three innings. It was the third straight game that the Cats had scored at least five runs in one inning.

Logue silenced the Dores on the other side of the ball. Vandy went over two innings without a hit and allowed only two extra-base hits in eight innings. Kentucky pitchers went 16 innings without allowing an earned run this series.

Kentucky added two more runs in the fifth on RBI singles by Tristan Pompey and Tyler Marshall to chase Wright.

Wright labored through the third and fifth innings today. Meanwhile, Logue completely silenced the Vanderbilt offense. Logue allowed six hits and struck out seven in a career-high eight one-run innings in his fifth win of the season. Vanderbilt only got to Logue once when Jeren Kendall homered to lead off the eighth. Logue tied his career with seven strikeouts in a career performance.

Kendall made things interesting in the late innings. After he homered to leadoff the eighth, he followed with a three-run shot off Colton Cleary in the 9th. Cleary got a pop-up to third to shut the door on a 7-4 win for the Cats. 

Notes

First series win over Vanderbilt since 2009- It was a statement win for Mingione as the Cats wrapped up a series win over Vanderbilt for the first time in eight years. The Dores are known killers in the SEC East every year and usually contend for the title. UK is now four games ahead of Vandy in the East.

Logue sitting atop the rotation with a 2.22 ERA- Eight innings of one-run ball tends to lower a guy’s ERA. Logue now leads the weekend rotation with a 2.22 ERA in six starts.

 

UK is the hottest team in the league- The BatCats have won 13 of 14 and 19 of 21 since starting 2-5 this season. UK is now 15-1 at home and 21-7 overall.

The Cats will go for the series win tomorrow at 1 ET. Justin Lewis will take on Drake Fellows and Vanderbilt at the Cliff. The weather is going to beautiful and a win tomorrow could propel UK into the top ten, so come out and see the Cats.

@TreyHuntsmanKSR


UK Athletics

Cats Take Game One Over Vanderbilt

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

The #16 BatCats (20-7, 6-1) continued their streak of hot hitting with a 10-3 win over Vanderbilt (17-9, 3-3) on Friday night. Sean Hjelle did not allow an earned run in seven innings as Tristan Pompey went 3/4 with a three-run home run in the win. Kentucky has now won 12 of their last 13 games.

Recap

For years, Vanderbilt’s pitching has been their mainstay. This year is no different as the Dores brought a great rotation to Lexington. Patrick Raby came into the game with six earned runs allowed in over thirty innings this season. The Cats hung six earned runs and seven total in the first three innings against Raby. Kentucky’s offense attacked early in the second by loading the bases with a heavy left-handed lineup. Troy Squires got an RBI hit by pitch to give UK their first lead of the game. Marcus Carson and Evan White followed with RBI singles as Raby labored to get the second out of the inning. Zach Reks delivered a fielder’s choice ground out to score one as a second run jogged home on an error. The Cats lead 5-0 through two frames.

Kentucky added two more runs in the third on a pair of RBI sac bunts by Tyler Marshall and Connor Heady. The seven early runs were more than enough run support for Hjelle. The sophomore did not allow a hit until the sixth inning of tonight’s game. Hjelle tied his career high with nine strikeouts over seven innings. All three of his runs were unearned in his fourth win of the season.

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Tristan Pompey made sure that Vanderbilt was buried late in the game. Pompey hit an absolute bomb over the left field wall in the sixth inning to give UK a 10-1 lead. It was an impressively long shot by Pompey, so much so that he stood in the batter’s box and admired the dinger. It was his third hit of the game and his third home run in 2017.

The Dores added two runs in the seventh on a Jason Delay home run off the left field foul pole. The seventh was Hjelle’s final inning as he handed the ball to Chris Machamer for the final two innings. The former Vanderbilt commit struck out three in two innings to close out a 10-3 win for the BatCats. 

Notes

The offense is on another level now- Seven different players drove in runs in tonight’s win. The Cats did everything right at the plate and on the basepaths. Tonight’s six runs bumped Raby’s ERA up by a full point as he doubled his runs allowed in the loss.

Evan White is the glue of this team- Everything seems to flow a lot smoother when White is in the lineup. He made a couple of fantastic plays at first base to save errant throws. White also went 2/5 with an RBI as he is now batting .417 in 14 games.

The Cats are first in the East- With South Carolina falling to Auburn, UK (6-1) is in sole possession of first in the SEC East. Kentucky will look to add onto their lead tomorrow at 2 ET against Vandy. UK has not won a series against Vandy since 2009, so it could be a huge day for Coach Mingione and the Cats.

https://twitter.com/KYwildcatsTV/status/847990340766375936


Getty Images

Five Things To Know About Vanderbilt

Getty Images

Getty Images

The BatCats sit atop the leaderboard in the SEC and have climbed to #16 nationally. UK hosts Vanderbilt at the Cliff this weekend in what could be the biggest series to this point for Kentucky. The Dores have been a one seed in the NCAA Tournament the last several years and won the title in 2014. Here are five things to watch for this weekend from a guy that has seen this team play nearly 20 times the last three years.

The Dores Bring Two Top Prospects to Lexington- Kyle Wright and Jeren Kendall are both candidates for the number one overall selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. Both guys have been playing below their potential early in their junior seasons, but the combined talent is ridiculous. Kendall is one of the tooliest players in the game. He can beat you on the basepaths just as well as he can with the bat. And with that left-handed pull power, he might put one over the short wall at the Cliff. Kendall was last week’s SEC Player of the Week. Despite his 4.50 ERA, Wright is still the third most talented college arm in the SEC in my book. Known for his hard fastball, Wright impresses with a solid curve as well. Look for Wright on Friday night.

Vanderbilt had four players suspended last weekend- For those that follow Vandy Baseball, it is surprising when players act out. Coach Tim Corbin suspended Drake Fellows, Alonzo Jones, Zach King, and Harrison Ray last weekend against Texas A&M for failing to meet team standards. All four players will return this weekend against UK.

Playing for a purpose- Last year, Vanderbilt went through one of the hardest times imaginable. Freshman Donny Everett drowned the night before the NCAA Tournament began. A top prospect, Everett died on a fishing trip after practice. Several guys on the team have tattoos to remember Donny. So if you see the number 41 on uniforms or in the dugout, it is for the teammate who was taken too young. Here is an excellent article on what Donny means to the program.

Getty Images

Getty Images

The offense hasn’t been as strong- Before last weekend, even Kendall was struggling. Jones is hitting .192 after being All-Freshman Team last year and 2016 standouts Ethan Paul and Connor Kaiser have struggled early this season. The Dores are 11th in the SEC in batting average and sixth in strikeouts. Unfortunately for the Dores, Dansby Swanson and Zander Wiel are not walking through the door to help in the infield.

Per usual, the pitching talent is crazy- Tim Corbin has produced the likes of David Price, Sonny Gray, and Carson Fulmer. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he reloaded for 2017. After Wright, Vandy brings in Fellows and Patrick Raby for the weekend. Both guys post ERAs below two and have shown excellent command through six starts. The bullpen is where it gets interesting. If Kentucky can dive into the pen early and force Corbin to burn Matt Ruppenthal and King early, a series win becomes easier.

Oh and one more thing, they have a dude who sits in the stands and whistles the whole game. So enjoy that this weekend. 

This weekend’s series is going to be huge for the Kentucky Program. The BatCats have a chance to win a series over an SEC East opponent that they haven’t won a series against since 2009. The series starts tomorrow night at 6:30 ET followed by Saturday at 2 and Sunday at 1.

Check out this week’s KSR Baseball Podcast on iTunes, Podbay, or the KSR app for a full preview of the weekend.


The KSR Baseball Podcast: Episode 5

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With basketball season wrapping up, it is time to turn your attention to the #16 UK Baseball team. The KSR Baseball Podcast talks about the big series win over Ole Miss and the Kentucky bullpen before previewing this weekend’s series against Vanderbilt and more, including:

—  The World Baseball Classic win for the United States.

—  Tim Tebow vs. the Lexington Legends.

—  A prefect trifecta: Dude of the Week, trivia and your weekly Mound Visit.

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.


Photo by @AJCassavell

Padres catcher loses bet to former Kentucky baseball great, has to warm up in full Kentucky uniform

Photo by @AJCassavell

Photo by @AJCassavell

Earlier today, I shared of picture of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in a North Carolina letter jacket, the result of a bet he lost with teammate Marvin Williams, a UNC alum. To negate the pain of seeing MKG in Tar Heel blue, we’ve got this story from MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell about San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges and Padres manager, Andy Green, a former Kentucky baseball great who holds the program’s all-time hits record.

Hedges, a UCLA fan, bet Green, also a Lexington native, that the Bruins would beat the Cats on Friday night. As we know, that didn’t happen, and as a result, Hedges had to warm up for yesterday’s workout in a full Kentucky basketball uniform, checkerboard and all:

Awesome. Also, well done, Andy on getting a complete uniform so quickly. The Kentucky Wildcat socks are a nice touch.

[MLB.com]


Kentucky Overcomes Early Deficit To Beat Cincy 13-7

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Cincinnati led 4-0 after the first inning and 6-4 through four before #16 Kentucky unleashed a huge comeback in a 13-7 win over the Bearcats. UK scored seven runs in the first in support of reliever Brad Schaenzer in a revenge win over Cincy. Marcus Carson collected three hits and Tristan Pompey drove in three runs as the Cats improved to 19-7 on the season.

Recap

Cincinnati was all over Zack Thompson in the first inning. Connor McVey doubled home a run with one out and Ryan Noda hit a three-run home run two batters later. Thompson allowed five runs in two innings in his shortest outing of the season.

Already in a deep hole, the offense began to wake up in the second inning. Pompey hit a line drive shot to the center field wall to score Riley Mahan and Kole Cottam. Connor Heady followed with a double of his own to drive in Pompey and cut the Bearcats’ lead to one through two innings.

Just as Kentucky drew closer, UC pulled away again. Noda hit his second home run of the day over the Cliff in right field to give the Bearcats a 6-3 lead. The home run came off Brad Schaenzer. Coming on in relief, the home run was the only damage Cincy could do to Schaenzer. The senior went 4.1 innings out of the bullpen and allowed only one run on three hits and three punch outs.

Luke Becker answered in the bottom of the third with a pinch hit solo home run to left to keep the deficit to two. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that UK’s offense completely took over. The BatCats used three singles, three walks, and a pair of hit batters to tally seven runs in the fifth inning. Four straight batters reached base without having to put the ball in play. Evan White brought in two runs with a single and later scored on double steal to give UK an 11-6 lead through five.

Colton Cleary replaced Schaenzer in the seventh and went 1.2 innings of shutout ball to help close the door for UK. The Cats manufactured a pair of insurance runs in the 8th by scoring on a wild pitch and a balk. Zach Pop entered the game in the ninth in place of Cleary. Pop struggled but wound up striking out three in the final frame to close out a 13-7 win for the Cats.

Notes

Marcus Carson continues to lead the team in hitting- The senior centerfielder now leads the team with 38 hits this season. Carson has five three-hit games and 12 multi-hit games overall.

Tristan Pompey riding a six-game hitting streak- Pompey is squaring the ball up right now better than he ever has. Along with his six-game hitting streak, Pompey leads the team in walks and boasts a .432 OBP in 2017.

 

Brad Schaenzer now 4-0 this season- Not that wins are an accurate representation of a pitcher’s value, but for what it’s worth, Schaenzer is 4-0. What is most impressive is his 2.42 ERA, .162 opponents battign average, and nine strikeouts per nine innings.


Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

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

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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 Richards. 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.

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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.

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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: