Kentucky Baseball’s 2014 SEC Tournament run has been quite the Cinderella story, unfortunately though it would seem that the clock has struck midnight on the boy’s in blue. Making it all the way to the semifinals, the Cats were knocked out by the very team they beat back on Wednesday by a score of 6-5 down in Hoover.
Much like their last game against the Gators, the Cats were able to get the scoring going early off of a first inning double by Max Kuhn, which scored Austin Cousino. Then in the second, the Cats would add two more runs via a sac-fly from Cousino, and a bases loaded single from Ka’ai Tom that scored JaVon Shelby. The final runs of the game came in the sixth inning, where a single by Cousino, and yet another double by Max Kuhn scored Barrett and Cousino respectively to give the Cats five runs on their final day in Hoover.
Pitching wise, Gary Henderson & Co. stretched out every bit of life their bullpen had left in it from the brutal tourney schedule. The Cats sent out four different pitchers in the form of Logan Salow (who made his first career start), righty Taylor Martin, righty Andrew Nelson, and finally righty Chandler Shepherd (L 5-4). Salow pitched for 2.1 innings, where he surrendered three hits and two runs (both earned), while walking and striking out one. Martin then came in for relief duties, where he gave up zero hits, but two runs (both earned as well), while walking two and striking out three. After Martin’s service, Nelson was called up to the mound to try to stop the Gators. His stat line read five hits, one run (earned), and no strikes or walks in his inning of service. Gary then finally called for Big Shep to come out and try to bring the magic to the mound that he brought in the Cats victory over the Gators back on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Shepherd would get a rare loss after pitching for 2.2 innings, where he gave up four hits, one run (earned), and a strike-out as well as a walk.
Overall, you have to be proud of how this baseball club had been able to beat three straight ranked SEC opponents to make it to a rare SEC semifinal appearance. For a handful of SEC teams, early exits from the tourney have potentially hurt their seeding in the NCAA Tournament. This will not be the case for Kentucky, as their wins in the SEC tourney should help their seeding once regional tournament sites are announced here soon. Now from what I have been able to gather, Kentucky will most likely find themselves as a 2 seed once it is all announced and official.
Until then though, the baseball writers here at KSR will keep you up to date on what should be a very interesting NCAA Tournament for Gary Henderson and his Kentucky Wildcat baseball club.