Good morning Kentucky, we’ve got a big day ahead of us. The top two teams in baseball resume their three-game series, spring football showcases itself in Commonwealth, the pony’s are running at Keeneland, and Nerlens Noel is in town! Happy Saturday, Big Blue Nation. Let’s get to the notes.
— Your second-ranked Kentucky baseball team took one on the chin last night, losing to top-ranked LSU 5-4. Two throwing errors in the first inning proved costly, as the Tigers plated two unearned runs to take an early lead. Freshman hitting prodigy Austin Cousino had a game he’ll hope to forget, striking out in all five on his plate appearances. The good news for the Cats is that they have rebounded well from their (few) losses; in three of their five SEC series’ Kentucky has lost the opening game, only to come back and win the next two. They play again today at 2:00.
— The basketball national championship trophy will be on display before the game, so show up early to get a picture with it.
— The softball team will appear on ESPNU today, facing Mississippi State in Starkville. The Cats dropped the first game of the series last night 4-3, despite a strong showing from Alice O’Brien who contributed a pair of doubles, and Ellen Weaver who knocked a two-run homer. Kentucky is 23-24 overall, and 10-10 in the SEC.
— Even with some of the regular faces sitting out, football fans will get their first glimpse of the future of Kentucky on the gridiron today, and see just how close the Cats are — if at all — to turning a corner. Joker Phillips remains upbeat in practice, saying today, “I love being out here in the spring and working on our fundamentals and our technique.” The Blue/White game starts tonight at 6 p.m. If you go, parking and admission is free, and you’ll walk away with a poster of Matt Roark crowd surfing after helping to defeat Tennessee.
— Unfortunately, the spring game will go on without running back Brandon Gainer who left the team yesterday. He was sitting out spring practice to focus on academics. Gainer was a heralded recruit coming from Miami, and ESPNU rated him the No. 15 running back prospect for 2010. He was listed fifth on the depth chart coming into this season.
— Need more reason to get out to Commonwealth Stadium? Nerlens Noel will be there. Keep an eye out for the hair – it’ll be a dead giveaway.
Feels good to be in Lexington !!
— Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) April 21, 2012
— To wrap up, Bill Simmons at Grantland made a pitch for Anthony Davis to be placed on the U.S. Olympic basketball team in place of injured Dwight Howard. We’ll have more on this later, but you can take a look at his mailbag entry here.