(UK Athletics/Britney McIntosh)
The third-ranked Kentucky baseball team (36-9, 14-7 SEC) is returning to action, coming off a disappointing series loss to a struggling Vanderbilt team in Nashville a week ago. The Wildcats host No. 5 Florida (33-12, 12-9 SEC) tonight at 7:30 at Cliff Hagan Stadium, with the game being televised on ESPNU as the “SEC Game of the Week.”
Despite the poor performance on the road against the Commodores, Kentucky enters the game as top-dog in the Southeastern Conference for the seventh straight week, currently tied with South Carolina and LSU for the league lead. This has truly been a magical season for the Kentucky baseball team. They own series victories over No. 1 LSU, No. 2 South Carolina, No. 9 Arkansas and No. 10 Ole Miss, with an 11-6 record against Top-25 opponents. This season has been even more stunning, considering the preseason expectations — being picked to finish next-to-last in the conference.
Junior southpaw Taylor Rogers will get the start tonight against the Florida ace Hudson Randall. Neither have blow-you-away stuff, but consistency is the name of their games. The rest of the typical weekend rotation will round out the week with Jerad Grundy and Corey Littrell getting the starts on Friday and Saturday respectively for Kentucky.
If Kentucky can pull off this series win at home, the rest of their schedule is very favorable and sets them up well for hosting a lot of postseason games. Alabama is a struggling team in the SEC and Mississippi State is middle of the pack, at best. Two other out of conference games are no real threat against Indiana and Murray State. Winning out with a pair of series sweeps is a realistic possibility.
Get out to Cliff Hagan tonight if you can. It’s going to be a very exciting close to the baseball season for the Cats, and what better way to cap off a possible College World Series run than to say you witnessed their climb to the top. Parking is FREE and the weather looks to be perfect.
Go Cats! Beat the Gators.