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The Cats took the lead early and held on late as the bullpen and defense stood firm in a tight 4-2 victory to sweep the season series with the Cards. ”It’s a game we want to win every year, just like they do,” head coach Gary Henderson said after the game. ”It’s always good to win a tight game on the road because it gives your kids confidence moving forward.”
Freshman left-hander Logan Salow entered a tie ballgame with no outs and the bases loaded in the third. He allowed one run to score on a fielders choice but escaped further damage, ending the inning with a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out. Salow worked three and two-thirds shutout innings in relief, allowed five hits and struck out three on 63 pitches for just the second win of his collegiate career.
Zach Brown would take over for Salow in the sixth and pitched two and one third shutout innings before yielding to Sophomore Kyle Cody in the ninth. Cody struck out the first batter he faced and induced a 6-4-3 game ending double play for his third save of the season.
“That’s six innings of freshman pitching,” Henderson said of his young bullpen. “That’s significant on the road.”
The Cats got on the board in the top of the second on a single by Thomas Bernal and a throwing error by the Louisville center fielder that allowed Micheal Thomas, who what hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, to score from first.
After UL took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third, the Cats got both runs back in the top of the fourth as A.J. Reed scored on an error after leading off the inning with a walk to tie the game. Ka’ai Tom, who reached on the error, would cross the plate on a bases loaded walk to give the Cats the lead for good.
UK would add an insurance run with two-outs in the ninth as Reed hit a towering popup to shallow left that was misjudged by the UL third baseman and fell just inside the line for a two base error. Marcus Carson pinch ran for Reed and scored on back to back passed balls that give the UK the final margin.
The Cats (24-13, 7-8 SEC) will hit the road this weekend to take on the Aggies in their first ever trip to College Station.
For the first time this season, and for the first time since 2011, the University of Kentucky men’s golf team has won an event outright by winning the Bluegrass Invitational, held right here in Lexington, KY. That might sound bad, but when there are 15 quality teams participating at every stop, winning a tournament is no easy feat.
The Cats used a big Saturday to get to 13-under par, before firing a 1-over par final round to hold off the Auburn, Cincinnati and many others. Leading the charge for the Cats was senior Ben Stow, who finished tied for 2nd individually at 5-under par. This marks back-to-back events where Stow has played high level golf as he won the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate back in March.
Rounding out the quality golf for the Cats was David Snyder (T4, -4), Cody Martin (6, -2) and Stephen Powers (T9, -1). Rounding out the top five for the team aspect were the Auburn Tigers (-8), Cincinnati (+2), EKU (+18) and Bradley (+25).
The Cats next action comes April 25th when they travel to St. Simons Island, GA to take on the rest of the SEC in the SEC Championships. Following that will be the NCAA Championships, something that the Cats are pretty much assured of playing in.
UK dropped the rubber match to Missouri 8-3 and the overall series 2-1 on an error filled afternoon that knocked the Cats below .500 (7-8) in conference play at the halfway mark of the SEC season. The Cats entered the ninth inning trailing by just one run but two costly errors, including a surefire double-play ball, allowed four Tigers to score to seal it for Mizzou who are in the SEC East cellar at 6-9 in SEC play and 17-17 on the season.
“You make five errors on the weekend, the chances of winning go way down and clearly we threw it away today,” head coach Gary Henderson said after the game. “You have to play defense and you have to play at a high level and you can’t give away outs and bases and we did that today and when you do, you’re not going to win.”
Missouri got on the board first as the Tigers led off the third inning with a double down the rightfield line and took the lead on a one out RBI single by nine-hole hitter Jake Ring. Mizzou would tack on another after shortstop Matt Reida booted a taylor-made double play ball that allowed Ring to score from third.
Third baseman Max Kuhn would get both runs back fort the Cats in the bottom half of the inning with his second two-RBI double of the weekend to score Reida, who ledoff the inning with a single, and Austin Cousino who was 3-for-5 on the afternoon after an 0-for-5 Saturday.
Mizzou would take the lead right back in the top of the fourth on a two-out RBI single to make it 3-2 but A.J. Reed would match that in the bottom of the fifth with his own two-out RBI single, his SEC leading 48th of the season, to score Austin Cousino.
The Tigers would take lead for good in the top of the sixth with another two-out RBI single to make it 4-3. They would add four more in the ninth as the Cats gave away three outs in the final frame.
Wildcat starter Andrew Nelson (1-3, 3.55 ERA) suffered his third loss of the season as he worked six innings, allowing four runs on then hits with two strikeouts on 92 pitches. ”I wasn’t that disappointed in our pitching today,” said Henderson. ”(Andrew) Nelson wasn’t his best but he gave us the chance to win.”
The Cats will attempt to rebound Tuesday when they travel to Louisville for a 6pm match-up against UL. The Cats defeated the Cards 8-3 in Lexington two weeks ago.
For the second consecutive night, the Wildcats (23-12, 7-7 SEC) had a late game offensive explosion but this time, it was enough for the win as the Cats evened up the series heading into tomorrow afternoon’s 1pm rubber match. UK exploded for a combined 12 runs and 11 hits in the fifth and sixth innings. Left-hander Dylan Dwyer earned the win in his first career SEC start.
With both teams combining for three hits apiece through the first four and a half innings, the Cats finally ended the offensive drought with two-outs in the fifth. Max Kuhn earned UK’s first base hit in three innings with a blooper that fell in between the second baseman and right fielder. A.J. Reed then drove the first pitch he saw over the right-centerfield wall for his NCAA leading 14th home run of the season. Reed has hit a homer in five consecutive SEC games. After a single by Micheal Thomas, Ka’ai Tom roped a double down the rightfield line to make it 3-0.
The Cats would score nine more in the sixth thanks to a bevy of solid hits and several defensive miscues by Missouri. Storm Wilson led off the inning with double into the rightfield corner and scored on a single to right by Thomas Bernal and two errors. Bernal, who took third on the errors, scored on a Matt Reida single. Nine-hole hitter JaVon Shelby attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt but the throw attempting to get the lead runner and second hit off the heel of the shortstop’s glove and bounced into right, which allowed Reida and Shelby to advance to second and third. After an Austin Cousino strikeout for the first out of the inning, Max Kuhn (a career high 4-for-4 on the night) drove in both runners on his 10th double of the season down the leftfield line. With firstbase open, the Tigers wisely decided to intentionally walk Reed but it did not matter as the next four Wildcat batters would reach, bowing the game wide open.
In-between, 2013 Gold Glove award winner Austin Cousino, despite an 0-5 night at the plate, showed off his defensive prowess in the top of the sixth as he threw a dart to Micheal Thomas from centerfield to gun down a Tiger at the plate on a two out single and preserve the shutout. Dwyer called the catch “the biggest play of the night.”
Dwyer pitched very well in his first career SEC start in place of injured Chandler Shepherd. The sophomore (5-1, 3.76ERA) worked six and a third inning shutout innings, scattering six hits and striking out three while walking one on 107 pitches. “He got us out of a couple of jams where they could have scored first but didn’t”, head coach Gary Henderson said after the game. ”I’m really proud of him, a solid effort. He’s really grown up.” Relievers Logan Salow and Zach Strecker worked the last two and two-third innings to preserve the shutout.
The Cats and Tigers will face off in the series rubber match tomorrow afternoon at 1pm with Andrew Nelson taking the mound for the Cats. Once again the game will be broadcast on CWKYT in Lexington and Fox Sports South.
A five run offensive explosion for UK in the bottom of the seventh that turned a three run deficit into a 7-5 lead appeared to give the Cats control of the game. That is, until the Tigers rallied right back in the top of the eighth with a three run blast over the left-centerfield wall for to take the opening game of the series 8-7.
Trailing 5-2 entering the 7th, nine-hole hitter JaVon Shelby legged out a single to lead off the inning and advanced to second as Austin Cousino reached on an error. After a walk to Max Kuhn, A.J. Reed chopped a bouncer that hit off the top of the first baseman’s glove and rolled into rightfield to score two runs. Back to back RBI singles by Micheal Thomas and Ka’ai Tom gave the Cats the lead and a pinch hit sacrifice fly by Storm Wilson capped off the five run inning.
Despite striking out a career high ten batters, Reed struggled thought the game giving up five runs (four earned) and nine hits on 118 pitches. Reed left in line for the win after the rally in the 7th but ended up with his second no-decision of the year.
Whatever Reed lacked on the mound, he made up for and then some at the plate as he went three for five with four RBI and fell a triple shy of the cycle. His leadoff home run in the fourth, his 13th of the season, tied him for the NCAA lead.
Wednesday afternoon, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team defeated the No. 1 team in the country, Ohio State, 4-1.
The No. 14 Kentucky men’s tennis team was excited to play against the Buckeyes for a second time this season after their deceiving first opposition in February, losing 4-0.
“ I have to admit losing 4-0 on the road over there was a tough one,” said senior Alejandro Gomez. “We had match point in doubles; we had chances on the 3 remaining matches. That was really tough to swallow but it made us work harder.”
Wednesday was a new day, and a new day means a new match.
“ I was so excited to play this match,” said freshman Jerry Lopez. “It’s an exciting feeling to play the best team in the country.”
It didn’t start the way head coach Cedric Kauffmann would have dreamed. “The first 20 minutes of the doubles were not very good,” he admitted. “The double point is so important, I was a little worried.”
On court 1, the No. 20 doubles team in the nation, Kevin Lai and I lost 8-4 against Peter Kobelt and Ralf Steinback.
On court 2, Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez were losing 5-0 before they started their unbelievable comeback. They won 7 out of the 8 following games to be leading 7-6 and having their first match point but ended up getting broken. It all went down to a stressful tiebreak. They had to come back again in this tiebreaker when losing 6-4 and having to save two match points to finally clinch an 8-7 win.
On court 3, Ryuji Hirooka and Nils Ellefsen were also down a break early. Losing 4-1, they broke back to make it to 4-4. They broke Ohio State’s serve at 6-5 and were in position to clinch the doubles point, but Tom Jomby three-set singles clinched the match against #1 Ohio State, but hey got broken and forced a tiebreak — as if it weren’t suspenseful enough already. After 75 minutes of doubles action, UK won the doubles point and went back to the locker room win the 1-0 overall lead.
After the coaches left the locker room before singles play, I told the guys, “ Today, I got my point guys, we just need two more.” Immediately after I said that, Alejandro Gomez started feeling so excited and yelled, “ Hey I got mine too bro!” And after that Beck Pennington screamed, “Hey I’m not losing to this guy again.”
Alejandro Gomez kept his promise, winning straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, against No. 75 Herrko Pollanen. He gave us the 2-0 lead in the match.
Around 20 or 30 minutes after Gomez finished his match, I looked at the scoreboard and I saw sophomore No. 113 Beck Pennington up 6-4, 5-4 and about to win his match too. I knew he would finish and that the match would come down to either me or Grant Roberts, who was in his third set too. In my mind I was like, “They did what they said in the locker room, now it’s my turn.”
I am not going to lie, when I heard the screaming from court 3 following Beck’s win, it gave me a hell of a lot of motivation.
I knew my opponent, Peter Kobelt, as it’s the third time I had played him in a year. I know what he does really well but I also know some of his weaknesses. I got off to a rough start, but losing the first set 6-3 didn’t scare me. He wasn’t outplaying me; I was just not playing my best. When it’s like that you know you have your chances. I was playing well in practice for the past three days and I felt like at some point I would finally have chances and make my way up. I had to wait until the middle of the second to break him for the first time. Kobelt’s biggest weapon is his huge serve. I broke him to be up 5-2 and held my serve to win the second set, 6-3.
In the third set, a big crowed showed to the center courts. I started the right way with a break at 2-1 to take the 3-1 lead. I then broke again at 4-1 to take the 5-1 lead. All of the pressure was on my shoulders but I took care of business and served the match out. What a great feeling!
After the match, volunteer coach Anthony Rossi said, “That was a hell of an effort from the guys today.” Cedric Kauffmann added “We can beat a team like Ohio State, but we can also lose to South Carolina. We always have to be prepared.”
The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team is back on the court today to play the 35th-ranked Gamecocks. The final regular season SEC match will be Sunday at 1:00 pm against the No. 15 Florida Gators.
It will also be our Senior Day and you all are more than welcome to come cheer on the Cats.
A video of the Wednesday’s celebrations…
[Photos via UKAthletics.com]
The University of Kentucky mens’ tennis team defeated the No. 1 team in the country today for only the fourth time in program history. It happened in 1986, 1989, 1997 and earlier this afternoon against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
As most of you know, KSR has a special interest in UK tennis this season because the Cats’ No. 1 player, Tom Jomby, is interning with the website and radio show this semester. Tom clinched Kentucky’s overall victory with his win against Peter Kobelt, the ninth-ranked player in college tennis. Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez also won their singles matches and helped earn the doubles point by rallying down from 0-5 in their doubles match.
If you’d like to catch UK tennis before the season ends, they’re at home Friday against South Carolina and Sunday against Florida and then against Murray State before the SEC Tournament next week.
Barry Westerman | UK Athletics
It may be hard for fans across the Bluegrass to pay much attention to anything other than the Final Four and MLB, with the 2014 season kicking off this last week (No, we’re not going to count whatever happened in Australia as the beginning of the season). With that being said, UK Baseball is just over halfway through the 2014 campaign, with 6 remaining SEC series after this last weekend. With a 4-5 conference record, #19 UK went to work this weekend against another ranked SEC opponent, Florida. Miss any of the action with everything else going on? We’ve got you covered. On to the recap…
April 4th, vs. #12 Florida
Result: UK 17- Florida 1
Starting Pitchers: UK- AJ Reed | UF- Eric Hanhold
As they have done multiple times this season, the BatCats exploded offensively, beating the Gators in one of the most lopsided games in recent history. Kentucky scored 17 runs off of 20 hits, with Austin Cousino and Max Kuhn combining for 7 RBI’s. While the ‘Cats smacked the ball around, what was also impressive was AJ Reed on the mound. In 7 innings, Reed only gave up 5 hits and 2 walks while allowing no runners to score. Florida’s lone run would come in the T9th off of Ryne Combs, who put in 2 solid innings to close out the game.
April 5th, vs. #12 Florida
Result: UK 10- Florida 11
Starting Pitchers: UK- Chandler Shepherd | UF- Logan Shore
While UK had fun at the plate on Friday, Florida had its fair share on Saturday. Though the final score shows that it was only a 1 run game, the Gators owned a 9-0 lead heading into the B8th. With UF’s starter Logan Shore coming out, UK would score 8 runs to pull within 1. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, Florida would plate 2 more runs off of Kyle Cody and Matt Snyder in the T9th to stretch the lead to 11-8. Kentucky would score 2 more runs in the last inning thanks to RBI’s from Shelby and Cousino but fall just short of an amazing comeback win.
April 6th, vs. #12 Florida
Result: UK 9- Florida 8
Starting Pitchers: UK- Andrew Nelson | UF- Kirby Snead
While the previous two games were blow-outs (for the most part), Sunday’s match saw numerous lead changes and who was going to win wasn’t certain until the last out was recorded. UK jumped out to an early 1-0 lead off of a Shelby RBI single in the B2nd, though that lead wouldn’t last long as Florida would plate 2 runs in the T3rd to gain the lead. UK would tie it in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a solo shot from AJ Reed, his 12th of the year. The game would remain quiet until the T5th, when the Gators would add another run to take a slim lead. Then, just as they had done the last several games, the Cats had an offensive explosion, plating 7 runs in the B6th. The game seemed like a lock at that point, but the Gators would put together a rally of their own, scoring 5 runs in the T8th, making it a one run ballgame with an inning left. Luckily for the Cats, Spencer Jack (who stayed in the game after giving up 2 of the 5 runs in the previous inning) and Kyle Cody would close out the 9th without allowing another run, getting Kentucky another valuable SEC win.
UK vs Morehead St | 4/08/2014 | Lexington, Kentucky | 6:30 PM ET
UK vs Missouri | 4/11/2014 | Lexington, Kentucky | 6:30 PM ET
UK vs Missouri | 4/12/2014 | Lexington, Kentucky | 7:00 PM ET
UK vs Missouri | 4/13/2014 | Lexington, Kentucky | 1:00 PM ET
Kentucky Track and Field Competes at Florida Relays, Bellermine Invitational, and Stanford Invitational over the Weekend
By Aaron Perkins on ©7:10 pm
Kentucky Track and Field continues to do amazing things as they competed in 3 events over the weekend: the Florida Relays, Bellermine Invitational, and Stanford Invitational. Here are some highlights of the weekend.
- Kendra Harrison posted a world leading time of 56.60 seconds in the 400m hurdles; breaking the school record of 19 years by more than a second.
- Kayla Parker jumped 6.11m/20-0.5 (+2.9) and ran 13.14 (+1.9) in the 100m hurdles; ranking 2nd and 6th in school history respectfully
- In the 800m, Allison Peare ran a time of 2:04.57, good enough to lead the nation
- Dezerea Bryant broke the Kentucky 200m record, but placed third
- Amy Hanson broke the UK 3k steeplechase freshman record by almost a minute, but was only good enough for 8th
- Andrew Evans threw a personal best hammer throw with a distance of 60.72m/199-2
- The sprint medley team of Keilah Tyson (200m), Dominique Booker (200m), Angelica Whaley (400m) and Allison Peare (800m) won easily with a time of 3:43.20.
- The womans 4x100m relay team of Dominique Booker, Dezerea Bryant, Kayla Parker and Keilah Tyson ran a time of 43.65; breaking another school record. It ranks 3rd nationally.
- Kendra Harrison broke the school record in the 400m hurdles and Dezerea Bryant broke the school record in the 200m marks
- Andrew Evens was runner up in the men’s discus with a distance of 59.68m/195-10
Once again, the Cats are proving that they can compete with anyone in the country. GO CATS!
(Stats and info from ukathletics.com)
No. 12 UK faced No. 18 Texas A&M in a three-day three-game series over the weekend at John Crop Stadium. The Aggies took game one on Friday 6-1 despite five scoreless innings from freshman relief pitcher Shannon Smith who replaced Kelsey Nunley in the third. Nunley walked three, struck out five and allowed six earned runs on five hits in the first two innings. Shannon Smith allowed only two hits and struck out five in her five innings. However the Aggies posted six runs in the first two innings against Nunley and UK’s offense had trouble answering back. The solo run of the game for the Cats came from shortstop Christian Stokes, who hit her second home run of the season. Nunley recorded the loss and is now 13-4 on the season.
The Cats had an answer for the Aggies in game two of the series on Saturday. The Cats faced extra innings against Texas A&M and took a 4-2 win in the 10th inning after a two-run walk-off homerun by senior outfielder Emily Gaines. The homerun records her fourth of the season, and second walk off home run of the season. Lauren Cumbess started on the mound for Wildcats coming off an injury obtained a week ago when Cumbess collided with Auburn’s first baseman, tweaking her ankle. Cumbess pitched four innings, allowing three hits with one run while walking and striking out one before being replaced by Kelsey Nunley.
Nunley picked up the win after pitching a total of six innings in the prolonged game, allowing five hits, one unearned run, walked one and struck out five. Ginny Carroll, Silver Samuel and Emily Gaines all had a multi-hit game with Gaines recording three RBI, stretching her hitting streak to a career best 10 games. Nikki Sagermann also recorded a hit and RBI in the 4-2 win over the Aggies.
The Cats stole the series from the Aggies in game three on Sunday 5-3, and are now 31-8 on the season and 7-5 in SEC play. Freshman pitcher Meagan Prince started in the circle for the Cats with a 1-2-3 first inning. Prince was quickly backed with run support from the Cats after a two-on two-out homerun by Nikki Sagermann to put the Cats up 3-0 in the first. The Aggies cut the lead to 3-2 after a two-run homerun in the fifth inning. The Cats went on to score another run in the bottom of the fifth on a throwing error to first. Prince loaded the bases in the sixth inning and a grounder cut the lead 4-3 before she was replaced by Shannon Smith who successfully got out of the jam with no more damage done. The Wildcats scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth after a sacrifice fly by Christian Stokes to take the 2-1 series win over No. 18 Texas A&M.
The Cats will continue their home game stretch on Tuesday at 5:00pm against Wright State and will turn around and play Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday at 5:00pm. The Cats will then Travel to Oxford, Mississippi on Friday for a three-day three-game SEC series against Ole Miss.
It has been a HUGE day for the Big Blue Nation (we going to the ‘ship y’all!). While most of us were getting ready for the game against the Badgers this evening, UK Gymnastics were celebrating their record setting performance at NCAA Regionals. Highlight of the night? Audrey Harrison qualified for the NCAA Championships in a record shattering performance on balance beam. Audrey told UK Athletics:
“It’s really exciting, it means a lot to me,” Harrison said. “For each event, I just tried to think of it as `this could be my last meet, but I don’t want it to be,’ so I just did the best I could. I wish my whole team would have made it, but it’s still exciting to go individually and represent Kentucky.”
The Cats placed fourth in the meet behind #1 Florida, #15 Penn State, and #12 Oregon. They also had the second highest score on beam (49.4). Tiara Phipps finished tied for second on the floor with a nearly perfect 9.925 while Taylor Puryear tied for fourth on the floor with a stellar 9.9.
Kentucky started the meet on bars, led by Kayla Hartley’s 9.8, and Audrey Harrion’s 9.775. Shelby Hilton and Kayla Sienkowski both posted a 9.725, while Amy Roemmele contributed a 9.675.
On the beam, Audrey Harrison built on her momentum- scoring a 9.85 on the apparatus. Sara Shipley posted a season high 9.725, Shannon Mitchell scored a 9.7, and Amy Roemmele notched a 9.65. Taylor Puryear also posted her career high of 9.8.
Next, Tiara Phipps started out the floor rotation on a roll- contributing her career high 9.925. Taylor Puryear was near perfection with a 9.9, while Harrison and Mitchell both scored a 9.875. Shelby Hilton and Kayla Hartley each gave a 9.825.
Finally on the last rotation, Holly Cunningham flew high off the vault with a 9875, Harrison, Hartley, and Shannon Mitchell all achieved a 9.8, while Kenzie Hedges got a 9.775.
Overall, it’s been a fantastic season for the Gym Cats and a HUGE night for all the Kentucky Harrisons who’s name starts with an A (they all have ice in their veins!). But, it’s not over for Audrey Harrison yet. While the year is over for the team, we will see Audrey again at Nationals in two weeks. I can’t wait to see how she does against the steepest competition in the land.
Meanwhile, I’m going to celebrate (we’re going to ‘ship!). Have a great night, guys. Celebrate responsibly!
Follow me on twitter? @JC_KSR
It was a beautiful afternoon for baseball at The Cliff, but Cats fans did not head home happy. Despite some late-inning heroics that made things interesting, the No. 20 Gators (20-11, 7-4) came out with a series-evening 11-10 victory over the No. 19 Wildcats (21-10, 5-6). Let’s get to some quick notes from the loss so we can get back to preparing for Wisconsin.
- Starter Chandler Shepherd had a rough time on the mound today for the Cats. The junior was chased off the mound after five innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits. The defense didn’t provide too much help, either. Three of Shepherd’s seven runs surrendered were unearned, coming off an error by Matt Reida at shortstop in the top of the sixth. He was followed by sophomore Sam Mahar, who gave up two runs in an inning and two-third’s work. Let’s hope Chandler can rebound from back-to-back weekend losses with a start against Missouri next weekend.
- After going off for seventeen runs in last night’s win, the Kentucky lineup was dormant early on against Florida freshman Logan Shore. The right-hander gave the Gators seven innings of three-hit baseball that allowed the offense plenty of room to work with. Unlike Shepherd, Shore was helped out by huge plays made behind him in the field that kept the Wildcats off the base paths on a few hard-hit balls.
- The only bright spots for the offense came late against the Florida bullpen in the bottom of the eighth and ninth. The Cats batted around, with junior designated hitter A.J. Reed coming up big with a three-run bomb, his second in as many days and eleventh of the season, to start the scoring . After pinch-hitter Greg Fettes and junior third basemen Max Kuhn delivered with two-run singles, Reed came up again and plated the eighth run of the inning on an RBI single to cut the lead to one. The Gators had to use five different pitchers in the frame to silence the Wildcat comeback. In their final at-bat, freshman second basemen JaVon Shelby and junior center fielder Austin Cousino delivered RBI’s to cut the lead back down to one, but a Kuhn groundout halted the rally and ended the ballgame.
- Unfortunately, it was too little too late, with Florida playing some long ball of their own in the earlier stages of the game. Juniors Taylor Gushue and Zack Powers both came through with solo shots, Gushue in the third and Powers in the seventh. The Gators plated five in the sixth, with big hits coming from Gushue, Sophomore Harrison Bader, and freshman Jordan Sternagel. Two insurance runs were added in the top of the ninth when Sternagel brought home Powers on his career-best fourth hit of the afternoon and junior Casey Turgeon drove in sophomore Jason Lombardozzi on a sacrifice fly to Cousino in centerfield, who made a major-league play on the ball.
- A loss is a loss, but in the blink of an eye the Cats found themselves going from victims of a three-hit shutout to being an extra base hit away from tying the game at nine. That has to be worth something to Gary Henderson and the gang as they look to win the series in Sunday’s rubber-match set for noon tomorrow. Be sure to check back in here at Kentucky Sports Radio for a recap of that, and all other coverage of Kentucky Baseball.
Within the last six days, UK has defeated Louisville three times. UK Men’s basketball took down the Cards last Friday, UK baseball took the win over the Cards last night, and UK softball defeated Louisville today at John Crop Stadium 5-0. Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw seven strong innings against the Cards, allowing only 3 hits with no runs, striking out 5.
Offensively, Nikki Sagermann paced the Cats with three hits and 3 RBI. Sagermann scored 1 run in the bottom of the third on a hard single to center and 2 more runs on a hard single to right in the bottom of the fifth. Emily Gaines produced the other two runs for the Cats with a RBI single to center in the first and a RBI walk in the fifth. Nikki Sagermann and Sylver Samuel both had multi-hit games against the Cards, who brought 3 pitchers to the mound through the course of seven innings, unable to hold the Cats defensively. This marks the first time in head coach Rachel Lawson’s career at UK that she has defeated the Cards in back-to-back games.
The Cats will continue play at John Crop Stadium with a three day SEC series against Texas A&M starting Friday at 6:00pm. Game two of the series will be played Saturday at 6:00pm and the Cats will conclude play on Sunday at 1:00pm.
In front of the fourth largest crowd in program history, Kentucky junior Thomas Bernal helped power the Cats past the #8 ranked Louisville Cardinals 8-3. Bernal went 3-for-4 on the night, with one homer and four RBI on a clear night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Early on, Cardinals catcher Kyle Gibson was able to knock a two-run homer in the second to give Louisville a quick 2-0 lead. However, Kentucky was able to answer right back in the bottom of the second off of RBI base hits from Bernal and JaVon Shelby that tied the game back up at 2-2.
Things then remained pretty quiet for the next two innings, or at least they did until the Cats unleashed a three run tirade against the Cardinals. After a sacrifice bunt by Storm Wilson landed Micheal Thomas and Kyle Barrett on both second and third base, Bernal was able to blast a three-run homer over the left field wall to give the Cats an insurmountable lead of 5-2. This would be the closest Louisville would come to the cats for the remainder of the game.
Kentucky would then go on to add three more runs on the Cardinals to their one to set the final score at 8-3. The rest of the scoring on the night for the Wildcats shaped up a little like this. Thomas would end up scoring off of a single from Bernal in the fourth, and then Wilson would end up getting advanced to home plate on a walk in the sixth.
However, one cat was able to record his third home run of the season. Local Tates Creek product JaVon Shelby blasted a solo shot clear over the left field wall to put the death nail into the Louisville ball club.
On the pitching front, sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer (2-1) was able to get the win and fight back from a rough second inning that saw Louisville hang up two runs (both earned) and three hits on him. Dwyer stayed in the game for 5.2 innings of service, when both Zack Brown (1 H, 1 ER) and Logan Salow (1 BB) came in for relief duties in the sixth and seventh innings respectively.
Getting credit for the save tonight was junior righty Spencer Jack (S 2). Jack pitched for the final 2.2 innings, where he struck out three and walked one.
Video Highlights (courtesy of the good folks at Kentucky Wildcats TV):
Kentucky will return to action on Friday when they kick off a three game east-division series against the Florida Gators. First pitch for Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. out at Cilff Hagan Stadium.
But until then, I’ll leave you with a picture of one of the most random things I have ever seen out at The Cliff:
UK softball hosted No. 21 Auburn in their SEC home opener over the weekend. The Cats won their first two SEC series of the season on the road against LSU and Mississippi State, taking both series 2-1. The Wildcats were 27-5 (4-2 in SEC) before hosting No. 21 Auburn who were 29-5-1 (4-2 in SEC), who defeated LSU and Mississippi State in their first two SEC series of the season.
The Cats came out swinging in game one of the series on Friday, scoring three runs in the first inning. Ansley Smith led off for the Cats with a double to right-centerfield and advanced to third with a bunt single by Sylver Samuel. The Wildcats posted their first run in the bottom of the first with a double steal that scored Ansley Smith from third and advanced Samuel to second. Griffin Joiner was then inadverntely walked and Lauren Cumbess loaded the bases for the Cats with a single. The next two runs for the Cats came after a RBI fielder’s choice by Emily Gaines and a sac fly by Nikki Sagermann. UK posted two more runs in the bottom of the third, stretching the lead 5-0 with solo-homeruns from Kelsey Nunley and Maisie Steed.
Sophomore pitcher Kesley Nunley started in the circle for the Cats, holding the Tiger’s from scoring through the first three innings before they answered back in the top of the fifth. The Tigers scored 5 runs on four hits. Auburn put two on with no outs after an error by Cumbess allowed Melero to reach first. The lead was cut to 5-2 after a 2 RBI single by the Tigers, who then went on to score two more runs on a throwing error and one run on a groundout. With the score tied at 5-5, the Cats were unable to produce in the bottom of the fourth and the Tigers went on to score two more runs in the top of the fifth after a double to start the inning followed by a homerun. UK’s last chance in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game or take the win fell short after a homerun by Emily Gaines that cut the lead 7-6, followed by the Cats loading the bases with two out. However, Chrisistian Stokes couldn’t pull through for the Cats, hitting a fly ball to center field to end the game. The Cats were defeated 7-5.
A rain delay on Saturday pushed game 2 against Auburn to Sunday, making Sunday’s schedule consist of a double header against the highly ranked Auburn team. The Cats split the double header with the Tigers, falling short in game one 6-4, and claiming the second game 2-1.
Lauren Cumbess started game one on Sunday on the mound for the Cats before being replace by freshman pitcher Meagan Prince in the second inning due to an injury obtained after getting tied up with Auburns first baseman after a hitting a single in the bottom on the first. The Wildcats fell behind 6-0 before plating 4 runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead 6-4. The Cats came up empty handed in the bottom of the seventh, falling short to the Tigers for the second straight time. Griffin Joiner had two RBI and Nikki Sagermann hit a two-run homerun, her fifth homer of the season in game one of the double header while Meagan Prince picked up the loss, moving to 6-3 on the season.
The victory in game three of the series for the Cats came from a rally in the bottom of the 6th inning after the Tigers went up 1-0 in the top of the 6th. Sophomore Sylver Samuel led off with a bunt single followed by a walk. Junior catcher Griffin Joiner hit a single up the middle to load the bases with one out before Maisie Steed singled to tie the game 1-1. Auburn pitcher Marcy Harper walked pinch hitter Ansley Smith, the winning run across the plate for the Cats who then held off the Tiger’s offense in the 7th to seal the victory. Kelsey Nunley threw seven strong innings allowing one earned run off five hits and struck out 11, tying her career high and moved to 12-3 on the season.
If the Men’s basketball team defeating Louisville Friday night just wasn’t enough for you, you have two more chances this week to see the Cats possibly defeat the Cards. The baseball team host Louisville Tuesday evening at 6:00pm and the softball team host Louisville on Wednesday evening 6:00pm.
While most of the University of Kentucky campus was rioting in the streets after the men’s basketball team claimed their 16th trip to the Final Four, the #17th ranked baseball team was down in Nashville trying to steal a series from #5th ranked Vanderbilt. Despite losing the series against a rather tough Commodore squad, the Cats were able to take the weekend opening game by a score of 4-2. Let’s go ahead take a look back at the weekend that was:
Friday: Kentucky (4) – Vanderbilt (2)
The cats started off their three-game away series right with a win over the Commodores. After Vandy took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Wildcats were able to answer in the fourth off of a run from Max Kuhn via A.J. Reed. Immediately after, the Commodores were able to put up another run from a sac. fly that scored Chris Harvey.
However, it was the sixth inning that saw the cats mount a lead that would be just too much for the Commodores to overtake. The cats were able to plate three runs off of three hits to put the game at it’s final resting score of 4-2.
Pitchers A.J. Reed and Kyle Cody were on the mound to help prevent any form of a comeback from the Vandy offense. Reed started out the game for the Wildcats, giving up nine hits, two runs (both earned), and one walk during his eight innings of service. Reed also managed to strike out seven of Vandy’s batters, which is admirable in it’s own respect. Reliever Kyle Cody then ended up coming into the game for the final inning to record his first career save.
Saturday: Vanderbilt (9) – Kentucky (3)
They say that when you rattle a big dog’s cage, that big dog is not going to be to happy with you. Unfortunately, the Wildcats found that out against Vandy after the Commodores were able to put up three quick runs in the first that the Cats were not able to overcome. Vanderbilt was then able to add on two more in the third to push the deficit to five runs. The pitching of Vandy standout Jared Miller also hepled pour it on the Cats by tossing a no-hitter until late in the fifth inning. The Wildcats were able though to put up three runs of their own in the fifth, but that is all they would get. Vandy would then get two runs in the sixth, and two in the seventh (one of which being unearned) to set the final score at 9-3.
Starter Chandler Shepherd (5-1) suffered his first career SEC loss and season loss in the game. The Big Shep allowed career highs in hits (11) and runs (seven) during his six innings of service, while walking two, and striking out three. In his career, Shepherd dropped to 13-2 overall, and 6-1 in SEC play.
Righty Zach Strecker took over in the bottom of the seventh, allowing two hits and two runs (one earned) while getting a strikeout. Matt Snyder then came in the the bottom of the seventh as well to get the remaining two outs, alongside giving up a single in the process. Then in the bottom of the eighth, Taylor Martin came in to throw two outs with a pair of hits before Ryne Combs came in to get the final out of the inning in the Cats’ loss.
Sunday: Vanderbilt (6) – Kentucky (2)
After Saturday’s series-tying win, the Commodores re-asserted themselves as the better team with a 6-2 rubber match win over the boys in blue in front of a national TV audience on ESPNU. Vanderbilt used a monster two-run homer from John Norwood, as well as a great pitching outing from Tyler Ferguson to stymie the Cats on game three to win the series.
On the pitching front, the Cats saw a revolving door of pitchers late in the game after starting pitcher Andrew Nelson (1-2) was relieved of service. Nelson worked 5.2 innings, allowing five hits and three runs as well as two strikeouts in his half-game of service. Freshman Logan Salow then came into relieve for one inning, allowing a walk and striking out one batter. Then freshman Zack Brown came in with a runner on second and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, where he was able to get the final out. Sophomore Dylan Dwyer then came in the eighth inning with guys on the corners with no outs. Dwyer was able to get two outs, but not before Vandy was able to add another run (not earned). Spencer Jack was the last Wildcat pitcher to enter the game, getting the final out in the series-losing loss.
One wildcat did however shine in the series-losing game however. Freshman JaVon Shelby went a career high 3-for-3 in the loss, with a double and one run scored.
Kentucky will return to action tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. in the Battle of the Bluegrass against #10 Louisville at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be televised of Fox Sports South, as well as CWKYT in the Lexington market.
Kentucky Track and Field Competes at 87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays and Oliver Nikoloff Invitational
By Aaron Perkins on ©10:15 pm
The Kentucky Track and Field teams continued outdoor competition at the 87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays and Oliver Nikoloff Invitational over the weekend. Kendra Harrison was easily the top performer of the weekend; running the second fastest 100-meter hurdles in the world with a time of 12.64 seconds. She had previously set the school record in the preliminary round on Friday. Here is a breakdown of the weekend.
- Kenyattia Hackworth placed second in the women’s long jump with a mark 6.06m/19-10.75
- Bradley Szypka finished 4th in the “A” shot put with a distance of 19.13m/62-9.25
The women’s 4x100m relay team comprised of Booker, Bryant, Tyson, and Parker posted the second fastest time in school history of 44.12. Although they broke the school record; it was only good enough for 3rd place.
- Nick Anderson won the Nikoloff 110m hurdles with a time of 14.35
- Charles Moushey (5.05m/16-6.75) and Michael Jensen (4.95m/16-2.75) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Nikoloff pole vault.
Here are some more times and distances from the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational via ukathletics.com
16. Jordan Gibbs-Francis: 2:00.71
7. Lou Styles: 4:04.13
8. Timothy Layten: 4:04.58
11. Raine Wireman: 4:05.58
17. Sean Willard: 4:07.33
22. Dylan Rich: 4:08.35
24. Gabe Harm: 4:08.71
27. Cole Oliver: 4:09.24
33. Mick Iacofano: 4:13.12
3. Zack Beavin: 14:45.38
5. Jacob Wildenmann: 14:55.21
7. Ryan Polman: 14:57.35
12. James Brown: 15:25.01
18: John Burke: 15:34.89
Men 110m Hurdles
1. Nick Anderson: 14.35 (+0.7)
3. Brandon Bagley: 14.87
4. Clyde Gross: 14.88
Women Pole Vault
2. Michelle Canterna: 3.95m/12-11.5
Men Pole Vault
2. Charles Moushey: 5.05m/16-6.75
3. Michael Jensen: 4.95m/16-2.75
6. Brooks Divine: 4.85m/15-11
Men Long Jump
3. Terence Boyd: 6.55m/21-6
- Michael Patterson: FOUL
Men Javelin Throw
1. Michael Lester: 52.19m/171-03
Men High Jump
4. Ryan Ratliff: 1.93m/6-4
2. Jade Walker: 32.90m/107-11
1. Nathan Donnellon: 6485
2. Ibn Short: 6416
3. Daniel Buckles: 5280|
Next weekend, Kentucky will compete in the Florida relays and Stanford Invitational. Go CATS!