Every week the winner of the “Choose or Lose” gets to write a blog post for the week. While we are still tabulating this week, last week’s winner MAC has decided to give a salute to the UK baseball team. Here it is:
Now that the football season is in full swing and we all are sweating out basketball recruiting, I would like to take the time to give a little love to John Cohen and the UK baseball team, affectionately referred to as the BatCats. Someone mentioned last season that the baseball team no longer wants to be called that, but until John Cohen e-mails me to tell me to stop it, I will continue to call them the BatCats.
UK received some praise recently by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. John Cohen and crew brought in the 21st best recruiting class this season. South Carolina won the recruiting war for the 3rd time in the last 4 years but UK’s class ranks 5th in the SEC behind USC, UF, LSU, and UT. Not bad Coach, not bad. Finding fall baseball information about UK baseball draws parallels to looking for that other sock, you know it’s there but just can’t find it. I did find the new recruits listed on the CatsPause. I e-mailed UK a few weeks ago trying to get a roster and fall baseball schedule but that is not being released to the public just yet. Here is the list the CatsPause put out (yes it was a free article):
Brown, Colby RHP R/R 6’3 200 FR Mt. Vernon, KY / Rockcastle County HS
Bishop, Kevin OF R/R 6’1 190 FR Marietta, GA / Lassiter HS
Burton, Chris RHP R/R 6’1 185 FR Henderson, KY / Henderson Co. HS
Carroll, Sawyer INF L/R 6’4 200 JR Tulsa, OK / Seminole CC
Chowning, Jason RHP R/R 6’4 165 FR Louisville, KY / Eastern HS
Gattrell, Tyler RHP R/R 6’1 180 FR Denton, KY / Boyd Co. HS
Henry, Tyler RHP L/R 6’2 170 FR Chattanooga, TN / Red Bank HS
Howe, Tyler C L/R 6’0 200 JR Clinton, IA / Krikwood CC
Hubbard, Ross C/INF L/R 6’4 205 FR Denton, TX / Billy Ryan HS
Huff, Jonathan RHP R/R 6’2 180 JR Amarillo, TX / North Central Texas College
Johnson, Neiko INF R/R 5’9 160 FR Stone Mountain, GA / Redan HS
Lovett, Aaron RHP R/R 6’5 190 JR Brownstown, IL / Kaskaskia CC
Paxton, James LHP L/L 6’1 180 FR Ladner, BC / Delta Secondary School
Rose, Bryan OF L/R 6’0 190 FR Renssalaer, NY / Columbia HS
Seaborn, Michael INF R/R 5’8 160 FR Atlanta, GA / Loveland HS
Spear, Brian INF R/R 6’1 205 JR Gary, IN / Wichita State
Suerdick, Brian C R/R 5’11 190 FR Dayton, OH / Wayne HS
Tilford, Clint RHP R/R 6’2 180 FR West Paducah, KY / Heath HS
Wade, Chris INF R/R 5’11 152 FR Lexington, KY / LCA HS
Walden, Chris RHP R/R 6’3 185 FR Bellefontaine, OH / Bellefontaine HS
A couple of things to note about this list. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper lists 17 new recruits (12 freshman, 4 JUCOs, and 1 Transfer); however, there are 20 names on this list. UKathletics also names announced 20 recruits (15 freshman, 4 JUCO’s, and 1 transfer). Your guess is as good as mine as to why CBN missed 3 recruits but it makes me wonder if those 3 recruits may affect our ranking. Also it should be noted that 10 of the 20 recruits are pitchers. Nine of the new pitchers are right-handers.
Gatorade High School Player of the Year Chris Walden, was a 37th round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2006, and will look to show the ability to contribute early to a Kentucky pitching staff. Another Gatorade High School Player of the Year is Clint Tilford a RHP blueblood from Paducah also looks to make the rotation.
Brian Spear is a transfer from baseball power Witchita State. Spear, a talented 6-foot-1 infielder will have two years of eligibility remaining.
This group of recruits looks to replace MLB draft picks John Shelby, Zach Dials, Ryan Strieby (SEC POY) along with graduated seniors: Michael Bertram, Aaron Tennyson, Shaun Lehmann, Matt Robinson, Justin Scutchfield, Craig Snipp, Adam Revelette, Brian Hastings, and Steve Deaton. (20 replacing 12 looks good on paper). I’m sure there are a few non-seniors from last year’s team that probably won’t return, but look for the BatCats to have a much deeper roster (especially on the mound).
I really believe Cohen will keep us competing for SEC titles year in and year out. He has the coaching ability and the recruiting ability to get it done. UK finished the year ranked in the top 20 in the nation in:
Slugging %: 3rd
Double Plays/game: 5th
Won/Loss %: 13th
The BatCats lead the SEC in Slugging %, On-Base %, Runs Scored, Doubles, Home Runs, Walks, Hit by Pitch, Sacrifice Bunts. The BatCats also finished the year ranked 3rd in the SEC in team ERA, had the fewest walks allowed, and had the fewest doubles allowed and home runs allowed.
I look forward to seeing DeJesus, Dombrowski, Cowgill, and the rest of the BatCats on the field soon. Can we repeat as SEC Champions? I don’t see why not.