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By Brent Wainscott on ©April 10th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
When the Bat Cats return to Kentucky Proud Park on Tuesday, April 16th to take on Louisville for the Battle of the Bluegrass, UK will attempt another “stripe out.”
You may remember during football season Kentucky tried pulling off the stripe out in Kroger Field against Mississippi State without giving out t-shirts, for little success.
We’ll get ‘em next time, Stripe Out. pic.twitter.com/4SZ3B3Gpf6
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) September 22, 2018
This time, instead of trying to get the crowd to color coordinate with their own apparel, Kentucky Proud Park will be giving out free t-shirts, presumably in each section. It is still encouraged to wear the color designated in your section.
So, just to be sure.
Blue: 101-102, 105-107, 110-111
White: 103-104, 108-109, 202-205
First pitch on Tuesday is 6:30 p.m. ET at KPP. The forecast says it will be clear skies and around 75 degrees when the 20th ranked Lousiville Cardinals roll into town.
The Battle of the Bluegrass, free t-shirts, and 75-degree weather? I couldn’t imagine anything better to do on a Tuesday evening.
Get your tickets at UKBaseballtix.com
The Kentucky women’s tennis team closed out their regular season home schedule this afternoon with their Senior Day and a 4-2 victory over SEC foe Mississippi State. The Cats now sit at an impressive 17-5 on the season, as well as a 12-2 record at home.
KENTUCKY WINS! ???
— Kentucky W Tennis (@UKWomensTennis) April 7, 2019
Lone senior on the roster Justina Mikulskyte was able to celebrate her last match in front of the Big Blue Nation in style, winning her singles match 6-3 and 6-2. Her and her doubles partner, Akvil? Paražinskait?, are ranked No. 18 in the country and after today’s win, they are an undefeated 7-0 against nationally ranked doubles teams on the season.
It was a picture perfect day.
— Kentucky W Tennis (@UKWomensTennis) April 7, 2019
As usual, the folks over at KY Wildcats TV were there to capture the sights and sounds from the Wildcat victory.
— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) April 7, 2019
The two remaining matches for the Cats before the SEC Tournament in College Station, Texas near the end of April are at No. 1 Georgia on April 12th and at No. 17 Tennessee on April 14th. Good luck to the Cats on this tough stretch and into the postseason!
By Brent Wainscott on ©April 07th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Kentucky was looking to take their first series in SEC this afternoon against No. 19 Missouri in Columbia, but errors hindered the young Cats from doing so, as they fell 9-2 with four errors in the box score.
Grant Maccicocchi got the nod today in the series finale, and he had a solid two innings of work, but Macciocchi’s day would end in the third after he hit second baseman, Paul Gomez. Cole Daniels came in relief. Daniels did a great job in relief getting two quick outs and only allowing one walk, but Coltyn Kessler missed a routine ground ball that allowed two runs to score to put Kentucky down 2-1 in the third.
In the fifth, Kentucky had a solid chance at a double play, but Austin Schultz let the ball scoot right under his glove. So, instead of getting two outs for Braxton Cottongame out of the pen, the error allowed Missouri to put runners on the corners with no outs and the two, three, and four hitters due up. An out and a walk later, Peter Zimmerman came through with a two-RBI single to give Missouri a 4-2 lead.
The Tigers would tack on two more in the seventh on back to back moonshots from Kyle Misner and Peter Zimmerman. Then the Tigers would pour it on, starting with a suicide squeeze. More mistakes from the Cats lead to more Missouri’s runs when the Tigers got two more runs on a balk and a wild pitch to make it 9-2 Tigers. That would seal it in Columbia.
On the offense side, it was a struggle for Kentucky as well, as they only scratched two runs. To start the game, however, Kentucky looked like they were ready to hang some serious numbers on the board. Austin Schultz got things going early for the Cats when he took Sikkema deep to right field just two pitches into the game for his first career home run to give Kentucky a 1-0 lead.
What a moment for @AustinSchultz23, hitting his first career home run in front of a large contingent of family and friends who made the five-hour drive from his Nebraska hometown. Congrats, Schultzy! #WeAreUK #DingerSZN pic.twitter.com/HSx17U9FSt
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 7, 2019
In the fourth, Ryan Shinn would blast his eighth home run of the year to draw even with the Tigers. Ryan Shinn had seven hits this weekend with two doubles and a home run.
With a line drive single to LF, @TheRealShinny has notched multiple hits in all three games of the series. He’s 7-of-11 with two doubles and this home run this weekend. #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/eppSXWxIAf
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 7, 2019
Other than those two home runs, Kentucky’s offense was stagnant against TJ Sikkema who went seven innings in the victory, only giving up two runs and four hits with an impressive 11 strikeouts.
Kentucky will be back on the diamond Wednesday in Nashville when they take on Lipscomb at 7:00 pm ET on the UK Sports Network. Kentucky is now 17-15 on the year and 2-10 in the conference.
Go Cats. @BrentW_KSR
By Brent Wainscott on ©April 06th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
This afternoon the Bat Cats were looking to pick up a crucial victory in Missouri against the 19th ranked Missouri, after a comeback victory last night. Kentucky fell just short of their second comeback win losing 5-4 in ten innings.
After struggling on offense all afternoon, the Cats were able to muster enough offense to send it into extra innings. After the Cats failed to score in the top of the tenth Austin James singled into left field to walk it off for the Tigers.
Kentucky spotted Missouri three runs in the first seven innings, as the Cats couldn’t get across any runs to help out their all-American pitcher Zack Thompson. But, in a late-game surge, the Cats took the lead in the eighth. The rally started when the Missouri native, Coltyn Kessler blasted one out of the park in the seventh inning.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 6, 2019
Then, in the eighth, Jaren Shelby homered for his second straight game. This time it was a three-run shot that scored Austin Schultz and Ryan Shinn to give Kentucky a 4-3 lead in the eighth.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 6, 2019
Kentucky’s momentum would burn out quickly when the very first batter in the next half of the inning went yard off Trip Lockhart to tie the game at four in the eighth. The Tigers would go on to walk it off in the 10th inning.
Zack Thomspon once again finishes with a no-decision, and Cole Ayers was credited with the loss. Kentucky will look to win the rubber match tomorrow in Columbia at 2:00 p.m. ET. You can catch the game on SEC Network+.
By Brent Wainscott on ©April 05th, 2019 @ 11:45pm
After Jimmy Ramsey’s bumpy first inning, he and the rest of the Wildcat-pitching staff held Missouri scoreless in the last eight innings to take game one over the 19th ranked Tigers, 4-2 in Columbia.
Missouri threatened in the ninth inning against Carson Coleman. After the first two Tigers reached base via a walk and an HBP, the Tigers brought the winning run to the plate with no outs in the ninth. But, Carson Coleman struck out the next two batters and got the final batter to fly out to hold off the Tigers.
Missouri got up in the first inning on a two-run, two out rally (go figure), to give them two runs in early. T.J. Collet would draw the Cats back within one in the top of the fourth when he traded places with Ryan Shinn for an RBI-double and his 35th RBI of the year to make it 2-1 Mizzou.
Kentucky would continue to get production from the middle of their order. With two runners on in the top of the sixth, Breydon Daniel delivered Kentucky’s first lead of the game on a double that scored T.J. Collett and Ryan Shinn.
The Wildcats added one more when Jaren Shelby blasted his fifth home run of the year to give the Cats a two-run cushion heading into the ninth.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 6, 2019
Cole Daniels got the victory, with just a third of an inning pitched.
A few notables in this victory for the Cats, Grant Macciocchi got his first hit in the blue and white, and freshman Austin Schultz has now reached base in 20 straight games.
Kentucky will look to take the series over Missouri, in Columbia, tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. ET on SEC Network+.
Check out Highlights from today’s win:
— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) April 6, 2019
By Maggie Davis on ©April 05th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Just days after being named the WBCA National Freshman of the Year, Kentucky’s star rookie has picked up yet another impressive award. Rhyne Howard has been dubbed the United States Basketball Writers Association National Freshman of the Year. She was presented with the award inside Amalie Arena prior to the start of Friday’s Final Four.
With Friday’s award, Howard is the nation’s unanimous freshman of the year. In addition to the WBCA and the USBWA, Howard was also named the espnW National Freshman of the Year back in March.
She’s the first player in Kentucky women’s basketball history to win a national freshman of the year honor and is just the sixth SEC player to earn the honor from the USBWA.
Howard ended the season leading UK with 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. She scored in double figures in 26 games, including ten 20-points or more outings and five double-doubles.
It’s only the beginning for Rhyne Howard.
In other UK Hoops news, both Howard and senior Maci Morris have been named All-American Honorable Mentions by the WBCA.
It’s the first All-American honor for Morris during her UK career, while Howard becomes the second freshman in program history to earn the recognition. Howard and Morris are now the 22nd and 23rd All-American honored players for head coach Matthew Mitchell during his time at Kentucky.
The Kentucky Gymnastics team put up some strong numbers in Athens, Georgia to advance to Saturday’s NCAA Regional Finals. The Wildcats posted the second-best Regional score in program history Friday afternoon, finishing with 196.850.
No. 9 Kentucky finished right behind SEC competitor and hometown favorite, the No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs. They defeated No. 19 Missouri and No. 22 Iowa State.
The Cats were fired up and ready to go Friday afternoon, and they’ll need to maintain that mindset as they head into the Regional Finals. Just like any post-season tournament, it’s win or go home.
— Kentucky Gymnastics (@UKGymnastics) April 5, 2019
“Not a flawless day, but clean and consistent enough to advance,” head coach Tim Garrison said. “We had many gritty performances that saved us valuable tenths and helped us move on. This is a tough group of young ladies. We’ll get some rest and be ready for tomorrow.”
Kentucky and Georgia will both compete again Saturday at 7 p.m., when they’ll take on No. 1 Oklahoma (who posted a 198.300) and No. 15 UCLA (197.675).
Good luck, Wildcats!
By Maggie Davis on ©April 03rd, 2019 @ 7:00pm
The UK women’s basketball team’s season may be over, but Rhyne Howard is far from done – she’s still raking in the awards. Kentucky’s star rookie has been named the 2019 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division I Freshman of the Year, presented by Adidas. That’s a mouthful, but it’s also a huge deal for Howard and the Kentucky program.
Howard was selected as the SEC Freshman of the Year a few weeks ago (after winning the weekly conference award a record-breaking eight times), which put her in the running for this national award against the top player from every other conference in America. The other qualifying factors?
“Energy, enthusiasm, effort and effectiveness — these are hallmark pillars that each coach hopes their first-year, student-athletes will contribute to the team,” WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew said. “Rhyne most certainly contributed to the University of Kentucky’s success, and we recognize and applaud her immediate impact this season.”
Based on Howard’s season, “immediate impact” barely does it justice. She ended the season leading UK with 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game; she scored in double figures in 26 games and recorded five double-doubles. Her name can already been found all over the UK record books – she’s in the program’s top three for multiple freshman records (points per game, total season points, steals, double-figure scoring, 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage). She’s the program’s first freshman to lead the team in scoring and rebounding since UK All-American Valerie Still.
In addition to her WBCA Freshman of the Year award, she’s already claimed several others, including espnW National Player of the Year and the AP’s SEC Newcomer of the Year. She was also named to the WBCA All-Region team, the first-team All-SEC and the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Her freshman season was one of the most impressive rookie seasons in program history. If the one-and-done culture existed in women’s hoops as it does for the men, Howard would most certainly be gone. Luckily for Coach Matthew Mitchell, the UK Hoops’ program and the BBN, Howard has three more years to continue making an impact – and leaving a legacy – in Lexington.
By Brent Wainscott on ©April 02nd, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Kentucky drops game one of the two-game season series with the Cardinals this afternoon with an 8-3 loss in Louisville. Louisville has won eight straight against Kentucky in Louisville and 10 out of their last 12.
Kentucky hurt themselves in this one, as five of Louisville’s first six runs were unearned on two errors early. After TJ Collett put the Wildcats on the board with a two-RBI single in the third inning, Louisville got two right back on a double and a triple which was aided by the inning being extended after a Coltyn Kessler error. Then, the Cards tacked on four more in the fourth to take a commanding 6-1 lead.
Louisville got one more in the fifth with an RBI double by Campbell and to finish it off, a Zeke Lewis error allowed one more Cardinal to score in the eighth.
Kentucky did threaten in the eighth, however; Collett started the inning with an RBI double that scored Austin Schultz, then the Cats would load the bases with one out, but Dalton Reed and Trae Harmon left them stranded. Kentucky would strike for no runs in the ninth, and the Cats would fall 8-3.
Mason Hazelwood was the losing pitcher in this one, only going three innings. He just gave up two hits and a walk, but the defense behind him wasn’t much help as four runs crossed the plate with Hazelwood on the mound. Only one run was earned.
Kentucky will look to even the series with Louisville on April 16 at Kentucky Proud Park. Until then, the Cats will continue their eight-game road trip in Columbia, Missouri this weekend when they take on the Missouri Tigers Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+. The Cats are now 16-13 on the year.
After a complete game shut out against No. 4 Georgia, Zack Thompson has been named SEC pitcher of the week.
In the game against the Bulldogs, Thompson pitched a career-high 13 strikeouts while holding the Bulldogs to just two infield singles through nine innings of work. Thompson’s career performance gave Kentucky their first victory over a top 10 opponent this season and their first victory in the SEC.
The complete game shutout was the first for a Wildcat since Sean Hjelle shutout No. 13 Texas A&M in College Station on March 17, 2017.
Through seven games this season Thompson has an ERA of 2.06
The preseason All-America and All-SEC lefty became the 14th players in school history to reach 200 career strikeouts on Friday as well, and he currently ranks 10th among all active Division I pitchers with 12.33 strikeouts per nine innings.
Thompson leads the SEC in strikeouts this season with 68 in 43.2 innings.
By Brent Wainscott on ©March 30th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Despite the hot bats, Kentucky falls to fourth-ranked Georgia 10-8 in extra innings and loses the series at Kentucky Proud Park.
In the 10th inning, it fell apart for the boys in blue. The inning started with a four-pitch walk to a hitter who is hitting under .200 on the year. After that, Daniel Harper had back to back errors on sac-bunts to load the bases for Georgia, and that would end his day.
Hunter Rigsby came in relief and on the first pitch he threw was wild, which allowed a Bulldog to score. Georgia would tack on one more after a sac-fly by Aaron Schunk to give them a 10-8 lead. Kentucky would go down in order in the bottom half to fall to 16-12 on the year and 1-8 in conference play with the 10-8 loss today.
Georgia was out in front early in this one. After an RBI-single, the Dawgs loaded the bases for Connor Tate who put one out of the park for a grand slam to give Georiga a 5-0 lead in the first. Dillon Marsh’s day would end after the disastrous first.
In the second, Coltyn Kessler got Kentucky on the board with his first career home run in the blue and white, to cut the Bulldog lead to four.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 30, 2019
In the next inning, Kentucky put one more on the board after Austin Schultz raced down the line for an infield hit to set up Ryan Shinn’s RBI-double to put the Cats down three.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 30, 2019
Kentucky would get the tying run to the plate in Dalton Reed, but Reed struck out to end the third.
In the fourth, Kentucky had Georgia on the ropes with two runners on with no outs. Ryan Shinn would draw a walk, but Zeke Lewis got caught up at second base, so the Georgia catcher tried to catch Zeke slipping, but he threw it into centerfield which allowed Zeke and Gei to score to draw Kentucky within one.
The Bulldogs would counter with three runs in the fifth the with two outs after a home run and a two-run double. Kentucky has struggled with finishing innings all season, and once again it bit them.
After failing to get the breakthrough hit all day, Kentucky finally broke through when a three-run shot by Ryan Shinn drew Kentucky within one, with no outs, and the heart of the lineup going to the plate. After back to back strikeouts from Collett and Daniel, Jaren Shelby put it on his shoulders with a solo shot to tie the game at eight one with two outs. Orlando Adams would strikeout to end the inning, and the comeback would fall short as the Cats fall 10-8.
Despite the loss, one glaring bright spot was Ryan Shinn, and he really has been the most consistent hitter in the lineup this year. Shinn was 3-5 today with a three-run home run, an RBI double, and a walk. Shinn finished with four RBIs.
This game in many ways has resembled the season so far for Kentucky. Kentucky had their chances to take game three over Georgia, but today summed up the whole season so far. The Cats knock on the door, they have their chances, but they just can’t break through. One would have to imagine that comes with the growing pains of a rebuilding team.
With that said, this weekend proved this team isn’t far off from the pack, they’re just young. People should fully expect these Bat Cats to be really good in a year or two.
Kentucky will not be back at KPP for two weeks, but they travel to Louisville on Tuesday to take on the Cardinals. First pitch in Louisville will be at 6:00 p.m. ET and you can catch that game on ACC Network.
By Brent Wainscott on ©March 29th, 2019 @ 9:40pm
THE BAT CATS HAVE FINALLY WON IN CONFERENCE PLAY!! Zack Thompson tosses a complete game and shuts out fourth-ranked Georgia 5-0.
It was all about the big lefty Zack Thompson in this one. The Kentucky ace went the full nine innings with almost no trouble the whole game. During the game, Thompson had a whopping 13 strikeouts and only allowed two hits in the game. Thompson’s seventh strikeout was his 200th of his career; he becomes the 14th pitcher in UK history to do so.
It’s Thompson’s second win of the year.
However, Thompson got threatened in the sixth. The Bulldogs would load the bases on Zack Thompson, but the ace came through. Shepard lined out to Daniel at third who quickly stepped on the bag to force a double play, then Thompson got Georgia’s three-hole hitter, Aaron Schunk to groundout to Zeke Lewis to escape the sixth.
Kentucky capitalized on a lot of Georiga mistakes in this one. In fourth Kentucky got three runs, all in unconventional fashion. Jaren Shelby scored on a past ball, then in the same at-bat, Breydon Daniel scored on a wild pitch. A few batters later, Elliot Curtis would also score on a past ball to put the Cats up 4-0 at the end of four. The Cats would tack on one more in the sixth when Dalton Reed reached on a grounder that snuck past the Georiga second baseman for an error to score Breydon Daniel.
Austin Schultz got things going for the Cats in the third with an RBI-single that scored Zeke Lewis to put the Cats up 1-0 early. With the RBI single, Schultz has reached base in 17-straight games.
Kentucky is now 16-11 on the year, and they have broken into the win column in the SEC. The Cats will go for the series victory over No. 4 Georgia very early tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. ET. in Lexington.
Now let’s kick Houston’s ass. Go Cats.
Check out the highlights from last night’s victory:
By Brent Wainscott on ©March 28th, 2019 @ 10:30pm
Kentucky remains winless in conference play as they lose to sixth-ranked Georgia 7-3 in game one of the weekend series against the Bulldogs at Kentucky Proud Park.
The Bulldogs were all over starter Jimmy Ramsey early, especially John cable. In the second inning, Georgia Cable took Jimmy Ramsey deep when he yanked the ball into the visiting bullpen for Georgia’s first run of the day.
Then, the Bulldogs busted it open in the fourth. After Aaron Schunk reached third on an error from Dalton Reed, Cable would hit him in with a double down the left field line to make it a 2-1 game in the fourth. Connor Tate would get a single after Cable to score Austin Talley. Then a sacrifice groundout by Rogers scored Cable. The Bulldogs would tack on one more after a triple from Shane Marshall as the Bulldogs hung up a four-spot in the fourth, to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
Georiga would tack on two more in the fifth. With one out, the Dawgs scored on back to back errors. The first error was the left side of the field losing a routine groundball to put two runners in scoring position. The next was a bobbled groundball by Austin Schultz that allowed a run to come across. The Bulldogs would tack on one more on a sac-fly by Tate.
That would end Jimmy Ramsey’s day. He allowed seven hits and seven runs through 4.2 innings in the losing effort.
Breydon Daniel had a big day at the plate as he hit two home runs in this one, both to the opposite side of the park. It was the fifth and sixth home runs for Daniel this season.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 29, 2019
Kentucky would try to rally in the seventh with Coltyn Kessler grounding out to score Zeke Lewis, but it wasn’t enough as Kentucky loses 7-3 to fall to 15-11 on the year and 0-7 in conference play.
The Bat Cats will look to draw even tomorrow at Kentucky Proud Park in game two against Georiga. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+.
After giving up 17 runs on Sunday, the Cats were able to make the quick turn around to dish out their third shutout of the season. This time to Morehead State as Kentucky wins 7-0.
Starter Mason Hazelwood was near perfect in this one. The sophomore started the day without giving up a hit until two outs in the fourth inning. Hazelwood ended up going six innings- a career-high for Hazelwood- and he gave up no runs, a hit, and a walk with seven strikeouts. He would set the pace for the bullpen as Cole Ayers came in for two innings of work, only giving up two baserunners on a pair of hits. Hunter Rigsby would come in the ninth for a perfect inning to shut out Morehead State as the Cats win 7-0.
This shutout was huge for the Cats after giving up 17 runs to Texas A&M on Sunday. Morehead State is an excellent team offensively, averaging eight runs a game and batting over .300.
That goes back to what Coach Mingione said on Monday: Just keep swimming.
“We did the same thing against LSU,” said coach Mingione. “We didn’t quite have the weekend we wanted, but we came back on Tuesday and put up 16 runs. We got to do a better job in conference play, it’s no secret, and we have to be able to take the way we’ve played in the midweek and ride it into conference play. Our team is competing. Even on Sunday Texas A&M put up eight runs in that one inning, and we come back and score three ourselves. We’re competing; we just got to put together a complete game.”
Kentucky made a living off Morehead State’s mistakes in this one. In the first inning, the Cats got a run on three walks and error. They tacked on one more in the inning on a sacrifice ground out by Elliott Curtis.
In the fifth inning, the Cats got two runners in scoring position off a Ryan Shinn double, his 12th of the season which is tied seventh nationally, and Morehead once again gave the Cats a free run on a dropped fly ball by the Eagles second baseman. Then after a Dalton Reed strikeout, Jaren Shelby reached on a throwing error that allowed Collett and Shinn to score.
It was more of the same in the sixth as Cam hill reached on an error that scored Coltyn Kessler. Kentucky would add on in the top of the eighth. Jaren Shelby kicked the inning off with a double, A-Rod would move him over to set up an RBI single by Coltyn Kessler to score Shelby.
The Bat Cats move to 15-10 on the year. They will try to get their first conference win on Thursday against No. 4 Georiga. The temperature in Lexington will be around 70 degrees, so you should definitely come out to Kentucky proud Park for this one. If you can’t, you can catch the game on the SEC Network.
Go Cats. Just keep swimming.
Check out highlights from today’s victory: