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Get To Know Mississippi State Before This Weekend’s Series

Get To Know Mississippi State Before This Weekend’s Series

The final series at the Cliff will be an emotional weekend for former players, coaches, and fans. It is an important weekend for the Cliff, but an even more important series for Kentucky’s hosting chances. The Cats need to pick up a series win to get back to .500 in conference play. Before the series gets underway tomorrow night, here is a look at some names to know for this weekend’s opponent Mississippi State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jake Mangum- Centerfielder

Mangum came onto the scene as the best freshman in the SEC two years ago. He turned down a pro contract with the Yankees to return as the primary hitter for the Dogs. Mangum is known as a high-average hitter with good speed and good range in the outfield. He has been a tough out for three years now, but he only had three hits last season against UK. Mangum will set the tone for MSU at the top of the lineup and in centerfield. I wasn’t joking about his ability to track down balls and take great routes in center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Konnor Pilkington, Pitcher

If you looked at mock drafts a year ago, Pilkington would have been a consensus top 15 pick this summer. Pilkington was a member of the USA Collegiate Team in 2017 and was the #3 prospect in the SEC before this season. The 2018 season has been a little harder on Pilkington. In SEC games, Pilkington has allowed 24 runs in 42.2 innings. His struggles continued last week when he allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings to a woeful Alabama team. Pilkington still has ace stuff, but he has not been the same pitcher in SEC games as he was in his first two seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethan Small, Pitcher

While Pilkington has struggled, Ethan Small has carried the MSU rotation against SEC opponents. Small has a 2.76 ERA in conference play with a team-high 57 strikeouts. The junior missed all of 2017 with an injury but has made a loud return in 2018. Small has given a boost to his draft stock by being the Dogs’ best starter this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Henderson, Interim Head Coach

How perfect is it that Henderson returns to UK for the final series at the Cliff? Henderson was named the interim head coach after Andy Cannizaro resigned in February under shady circumstances. Prior to being named head coach, Henderson was the pitching coach in Starkville, a job that he had held since 2016. Henderson had moderate success at UK, but could never take the program to the next level. MSU struggled early with Henderson in charge, but they have since rebounded and are on the the bubble headed into the final two weekends of the season. Henderson has done a good job of putting this program in the right direction after Cannizaro resigned after the first week of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Cohen, Former Coach, Current Athletic Director

There will four coaches at the Cliff this weekend that coached at UK and MSU. Nick Mingione, Keith Madison, Gary Henderson, and John Cohen all spent time in Lexington and Starkville as either an assistant or head coach. Cohen took the Cats to their first SEC Championship in 2006 and took MSU to the College World Series Title Series in 2013 with Mingione as his assistant. The current AD at MSU, Cohen is looking for a full-time coach. It is easy to guess that Cohen will call Mingione about the opening.


Kentucky softball knocked out of the SEC Tournament following 3-1 loss to Arkansas

Kentucky softball freshman pitcher Grace Baalman managed a stellar outing to open the SEC Tournament against Arkansas this afternoon, allowing zero earned runs and just four hits in a complete game.

Lauren Johnson, a freshman outfielder from Owensboro, Kentucky, also managed her first career home run against the Razorbacks.

Unfortunately, though, the Wildcats took home an opening-round loss by a final score of 3-1.

Following Johnson’s big homer in the second, Arkansas managed two unearned runs on a throwing error by the Cats to take a 2-1 lead. Again in the sixth, a Kentucky error with two outs forced another run to the plate to push the lead to 3-1.

Despite managing six total hits, the Cats couldn’t convert them to runs, leaving seven runners on base on the afternoon.

Now, their SEC Tournament title dreams have come to a close, and the Wildcats must wait until Sunday night to find out their NCAA Tournament fate.

On the bright side, Kentucky defensive sensation Katie Reed took home the 2018 SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year Award before the game.

Make it count in the Big Dance.


Kentucky Hockey Program no longer competing in the SECHC

Kentucky Hockey Program no longer competing in the SECHC

The University of Kentucky Hockey Cats told the public yesterday via Twitter that they will no longer be competing in the SEC next season. They will become an independent team in the ACHC Division 2, which is the clubs version of the NCAA.

The Cats are still moving forward as head coach Tim Pergram has revitalized the program. Kentucky went 20-9-1 in the regular season with wins over Georgia and Duke, also going 6-0 in the SECHC conference. As this is a slight setback, the Cats are still headed in the right direction with Pergram as the new head coach.

So what does this mean for the program?

Well, it’s simple. The Cats will not have a conference tournament to look forward to but are still very capable of receiving an at-large bid to the big dance, the ACHA Division 2 Tournament. The team will be like Notre Dame in football. And even though they won’t technically still be in the SEC, they will have the opportunity to play SEC schools in the regular season on occasion.

Here is the press release the staff sent out regarding the issue:

University of Kentucky

Ice Hockey Team

On May 1st, Kentucky Hockey received an email from Commissioner Jay Peacock of the ACHA D2. This email stated that UK would not be allowed to remain a D2 team and continue to play in the SECHC. This is due to the fact that the SECHC is a D3 league and UK is a D2 team. We had the option of becoming a D3 team or leaving the SECHC. The decision was made to remain a D2 team with the ACHA and withdraw from the SECHE. This decision is due in part to our geographic location. There are many Cmore D2 teams located near Lexington which keeps the travel costs down for the team. UK was asked to join the SECHC last season with the understanding that we would remain a D2 team and play the requires 6 games against SECHC teams. Once we were notified on May 1st that we could no longer participate in a D3 league, we responded back to the commissioner that our intentions were to remain a D2 team. UK has been a member of the AHCA D2 as an independent for many years. We will remain in the ACHA’s southern division and plan on contending for a birth at Nationals this season.

Clint Ison

UK Hockey

General Manager

For fans that loved the SEC Tournament last year and the solid conference slate during the regular season, this is an obvious blow. That being said, after gaining solid momentum last year and a growing fanbase, the Hockey Cats should be able to recover in a big way.

One step back, two steps forward.


UK Softball wins series against No. 12 USC, clinches SEC Tournament bid

UK Softball wins series against No. 12 USC, clinches SEC Tournament bid

It was Senior Day for the UK Softball team, and they certainly ended their year at John Cropp Stadium with a bang.

Tasked with the No. 12 South Carolina Gamecocks this weekend, the Cats pulled out the series upset victory and clinched a spot in the SEC Tournament.

After winning their first matchup on Friday afternoon and one of two games today, Kentucky has earned the No. 10 seed in the tournament.

They will take on No. 7 Arkansas in their first game on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Here is the whole bracket:

Here are a few clips of the Senior Day festivities:

Game one. Wednesday. 2:30 PM. SEC Network.

Let’s get this money.


LOOK: 61 University of Kentucky student-athletes graduated this weekend

LOOK: 61 University of Kentucky student-athletes graduated this weekend

Yesterday was graduation day at the University of Kentucky, where 61 senior student-athletes walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Here is a quick video released by KYWildcatsTV of just a few seniors on their big day:

Former Kentucky receiver Alex Montgomery was featured on this University of Kentucky tweet celebrating one of the largest graduating classes in school history:

Former Kentucky tight end Oliver White played for the Wildcats from 1981-84, and nearly 35 years later, finished out his degree to graduate from UK.

Check out the inspirational story below:

As far as current football Wildcats go, David Bouvier, Dylan Greenberg, Jordan Bonner, Jacob Hyde, Austin MacGinnis, Adrian Middleton, Kayaune Ross, Kendall Randolph, Charles Walker, and Denzil Ware all graduated yesterday.

Dillon Pulliam is Kentucky men’s basketball’s lone graduate, who became the 18th graduating senior under John Calipari:

Alyssa Rice, Makenzie Cann, and Jessica Hardin of UK Hoops also earned their diplomas:

We mentioned it yesterday, but UK Baseball’s Justin Lewis graduated, as well.

Here is the entire list of Kentucky student-athletes:

Baseball – Luke Becker, Marshall Gei, Justin Lewis, Alec Maley
Men’s Basketball – Dillon Pulliam
Women’s Basketball – Makenzie Cann, Mia Daniel, Jessica Hardin, Alyssa Rice
Football – Jordan Bonner, David Bouvier, Dylan Greenberg, Jacob Hyde, Austin MacGinnis, Adrian Middleton, Kayaune Ross, Kendall Randolph, Charles Walker, Denzil Ware, Oliver White
Men’s Golf – Evan Cox, Chip McDaniel, Cooper Musselman
Women’s Golf – Ale Walker
Gymnastics – Katie Carlisle, Amy Roemmele
Rifle – Billy Azzinaro
Men’s Soccer – Stuart Ford, Noah Hutchins
Women’s Soccer – Sophie Babo, Katy Keen, Kelly Novak
Softball – Brooklin Hinz, Hannah Huffman, Shannon Smith
Men’s Swimming and Diving – Colin Faris, Jack Gunning, Stephen Jou
Women’s Swimming and Diving – Michelle Brown-Alleyne, Annie Davies
Men’s Tennis – Gus Benson, William Bushamuka, Jake Stefanik, Trey Yates
Women’s Tennis – Emily Fanning
Men’s Track and Field/Cross Country – Logan Bryer, David Cline, Fred Dorsey, Nik Huffman, Ian Jones, Ethan Shalaway, Daniel Southard, Jacob Thomson
Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country – Jacklyn Howell, Katy Kunc, Michelle McKinney, Whitney O’Bryan, Javianne Oliver
Volleyball – Ashley Dusek, Emily Franklin, Harper Hempel, and Kaz Brown

Congratulations to all Wildcat student-athletes on earning their degrees!


LOOK: UK Athletics celebrates Star Wars Day

LOOK: UK Athletics celebrates Star Wars Day

May 4th marks a very special day for Star Wars fans everywhere, with the date making a play on the famous “May the (Fourth) be with you.”

And UK Athletics couldn’t help but participate in the festivities.

Throughout the day, various Kentucky accounts released tweets celebrating a galaxy far, far away.

The first was the Men’s Basketball account with a lightsaber-drawn John Calipari:

UK Football gave a short, but sweet acknowledgement to Star Wars Day:

Maci Morris of UK Hoops also tried out the Jedi lifestyle this morning:

In fact, the softball team hosted Star Wars night at John Cropp Stadium tonight:

Happy Star Wars Day!


UK Track phenom Sydney McLaughlin breaks ANOTHER Junior World Record

The Kentucky Track and Field team put on a show in day one of the National Relay Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

To no one’s surprise, UK freshman Sydney McLaughlin won the 400M Hurdles event in dominating fashion. In fact, the Wildcat Olympian broke yet ANOTHER Junior World Record with a 53.60 time in the event.

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn also took home the 100M Hurdle victory with a 12.53-second time.

For the men, Daniel Roberts won the 110M Hurdles with a time of 13.53 seconds.

Take a look at the highlights:

Congratulations to McLaughlin, Camacho-Quinn, and Roberts on their big victories to open the weekend!


UK Softball cancels two games due to weather

@UKsoftball

Bad news for you UK Softball fans: the weather has forced the Cats to cancel two games this week. Today’s game vs. Northern Kentucky at John Cropp Stadium has been canceled due to storms moving into the area, as has tomorrow’s game at Morehead State. There will be no make-up dates.

If you had a single-game ticket to today’s game, you can contact the UK Ticket Office to exchange it for a ticket to any remaining regular season home game this season.

The Cats will now turn their attention to Friday night’s game vs. No. 6 Tennessee in Knoxville, which you can see on SEC Network+.


@UKAthletics

Kentucky’s Gymnastics Coaching Staff wins National Award

@UKAthletics

After taking the program to the NCAA Championships for the first time, head coach Tim Garrison and assistant coaches Chuck Dickerson and Rachel Garrison were named the 2018 National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches/Women National Coach and Assistant Coaches of the Year.

The awards are voted on by Division I coaches across the country. Both awards are the program’s first.

Kentucky finished the season ranked No. 12 in the nation after finishing with a 196.0625 at the NCAA Championships.

In a release, Garrison said, “I’m so grateful for my staff. They have given so much of themselves to this team and program and I could not be happier for them to be recognized by our National coaches group and receive the coach of the year award.”

For more information on the award, you can click here.


via UK Athletics

The Future of Cliff Hagan Stadium

photo courtesy: UK Athletics

The BatCats are in the midst of their 50th and final season of playing ball inside Cliff Hagan Stadium. Come next spring, the Kentucky baseball team is expected to be all moved into their new home. They’re just going down the road – the new stadium will be off Alumni Drive between Kroger Field and the Bell Soccer Complex.

The new stadium – which has not yet been named – costs a reported $49 million. It will feature permanent seating for 2,500 fans with additional space for bleachers. That would bring total attendance up to 7,000 fans, making the new stadium an attractive option for NCAA Tournament games.

For the team, the new stadium will have AstroTurf, a team lounge, an updated locker room, indoor hitting and pitching areas, coaching offices and a recruiting room. For the fans, there will be chair-back seating, suites and a new club area.

It’s a major improvement for the program, but one thing will be missing: The Cliff. The free, student-run area overlooking the field is a very popular spot during the games (speaking from experience), and drawings of the new stadium do not include anything similar, unless students would be able to see the game from the grassy areas (shown below on the right side of the image) while bleachers are not in use.

via UK Athletics

So, what’s happening to Cliff Hagan stadium? Original reports say it will be torn down to serve as the space for a state-of-the-art tennis facility. Currently, the UK tennis teams’ indoor base is the Hilary J. Boone center, which – again, speaking from experience – desperately needs an upgrade. Here’s an interpretation of the projected $20 million tennis complex:


@MaggieDavisKSR


UK Softball Upsets No. 6 Georgia

@UKSoftball

The Kentucky softball team used a pinch-hit homerun to take home its fourth win over a top ten team this season.

The game was tied 2-2 in the fourth inning when Rachel Lawson called Abbey Cheek to the plate.  On the first pitch, Cheek delivered a homerun.  The two-run bomb proved to be the game-winner as the Cats defeated No. 6 Georgia 4-2 at John Cropp Stadium.

The win improves the Cats’ record to 28-14 on the season. They’ll try to take the series tomorrow at 1:00 during a bark at the park event at John Cropp Stadium.


@LouisvilleBats

Friday Morning Rapid Fire: Anthony Davis Dunks Portland to Playoff Death

Anthony Davis is doing whatever he wants in the NBA Playoffs.  Last night The Unibrow caught lob after lob for one disrespectful dunk after another.  This one might be the most embarrassing dunk in NBA Playoff history.  It was so bad, Jrue Holiday pointed and laughed in Nurkic’s face before getting back on defense.

This reaction from Boogie describes exactly how NBA Twitter collectively lost its mind.

Rondo’s half-court lob got Boogie out of his seat too.

This one proves Davis can catch and finish any lob thrown his way.

Davis finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds in the Pelicans’ 119-102 win.  Through seven playoff games, Davis is averaging 30.2 points per game.  The only other play in NBA history to average more than 30 points in the postseason is Michael Jordan.

The PeliCats now have a 3-0 lead.  They’ll bring their brooms to the Smoothie King Center to sweep Portland Saturday at 5:00.

PLAYOFFS?!?! Tonight’s schedule has at least one Wildcat on a roster in each game.

  • 7:00 — Cavs vs. Pacers on ESPN (Tied 1-1)
  • 8:00 — Raptors vs. Wizards on ESPN2 (TOR leads 2-0)
  • 9:30 — Celtics vs. Bucks on ESPN (BOS leads 2-0)

We Going to the ‘Ship: Kentucky is in the National Championship.  That’s right, tonight the Kentucky gymnastics team will compete in the National Championships for the first time.

Their meet in St. Louis begins at 7:00 on ESPNU.  In a group of six with Utah, California, Oklahoma, Washington and Florida, the top three teams will advance to the semifinals, a.k.a. The Super Six, tomorrow afternoon at 1:00.  Hopefully the basketball players aren’t the only Wildcats to hit a heater in St. Louis this spring.

@UKGymnastics

A Rematch with No. 1 Florida:Last night was ugly.  After a solid start by Haake, Mingione pulled him after two innings.  The idea to play a lot of pitchers against the No. 1 team in America on short rest was good in theory, but it ended disastrously.  Not long after Haake left the mound, the wheels fell off and the Cats lost 11-2.

They’ll be back in action tonight at 7:30 on the SEC Network, but don’t stay in and watch it on TV.  Get to The Cliff before it’s gone.

Top Ten Team Travels to Cropp:  The Cliff isn’t the only diamond hosting top talent.  No. 18 Kentucky will host No. 6 Georgia in a three-game series, beginning at John Crop Stadium tonight at 6:00.

See Shai:  Gilgeous-Alexander is back on the road, but he’s not far from home.  The former Kentucky point guard and future NBA star will be signing autographs tonight at All Sports in the Fayette Mall from 6:30-8:30.  Don’t miss it.

The Bats got a Brand New Logo: For one night and one night only, the Louisville Bats will be the Louisville Mashers.  The Reds’ Triple-A Club is partnering with Evan Williams for a bourbon-themed night on Saturday, May 26.  You gotta love the cartoonish logo and crazy colors.

@LouisvilleBats

If anybody with the Bats would like to hook a brother up, I’ll gladly rock the Mashers look all around town.

A New KSR Football Podcast: I may be biased, but it was excellent.  The football talk is fine, yet incomparable to the nonsensical tangents that took place.  Listen for yourself and subscribe to the new KSR Football Podcast feed on iTunes.

KSR is in Cynthiana: LIVE from Red State BBQ.  You have one hour to get in there.


UK Gymnastics Advances to Nationals for the First Time

@UKGymnastics

It is an historic night for the Kentucky women’s gymnastics team.

For the first time in program history, UK will compete in the National Semifinals, college gymnastics’ greatest stage.  The Cats scored a 197, a feat accomplished only four times previously, to finish second in the regional tournament. UK will head to Nationals on April 20 in St. Louis.

Watch highlights from the historic night and read more here.


Sydney McLaughlin and relay team break school record

@KentuckyTrack

Sydney McLaughlin continues to break records.

On Friday, McLaughlin made history at the Florida Relays. She ran the 400m dash in 50.07 seconds, a new NCAA Freshman record. 

On Saturday, Faith Ross, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Sydney McLaughlin and Kayelle Clarke broke a school record in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:26.92. The team won the event by more than a second.

A big reason for the win, McLaughlin. She ran the third leg in 48.45, three seconds faster than her opponent. This gave Clarke a big lead on the anchor leg.

The 4×400 relay begins at the 52-second mark.

She fast.