Britney Howard | UK Athletics
Hard to believe, but the regular season for UK Baseball came to a close this weekend. The season had its ups and downs, featuring a season-series sweep over rival UofL, a sub.500 SEC record (Heading into the Georgia series), and multiple wins over teams that, at the time, were ranked #1 in the nation. The sub .500 record heading into the final weekend of action wasn’t too surprising considering the SEC is one of the best conferences in the nation. Still, it was up to the BatCats to win at least one game against Georgia (25-27-1) this weekend in order to clinch an SEC Tournament birth. With a postseason birth at risk (though not at as big of a risk as Ryan Lemond made it out to be), UK Baseball played well and took care of business in the final weekend of SEC Regular Season play. Just how well did they play? On to the recap…
May 15th, vs. Georgia
Result: UK 13– Georgia 0
Starting Pitchers: UK- AJ Reed | Georgia- Lawlor
As mentioned above, the ‘Cats needed a single win to clinch an SEC Tournament birth, and it didn’t take long for UK to get that win. With POY candidate A.J. Reed both on the mound and in the batting order, the win wasn’t difficult to snag. Instead of a recap of the entire game, you can just have A.J.’s stats for the game:
Go ahead and engrave his name on the trophy.
May 16th, vs. Georgia
Result: UK 10– Georgia 0
Starting Pitchers: UK- Kyle Cody | Georgia- Sosebee
The second game in the series, much like the first, was easily won by the good guys. The BatCats tacked on two runs in the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th innings, lead by A.J. Reed (Surprise), who had 3 RBI’s in 3 AB’s as the designated hitter. Two of Reed’s RBI’s came from a home-run in the 1st, which gave Reed an SEC-leading 22 home-runs. Max Kuhn also had a solid game, getting 2 RBI’s in 4 AB’s. Kyle Cody, who got his fourth start of 2014, went 4.1 innings, getting 2 strike-outs while only allowing 2 hits. While Kyle had a good outing, the W would be awarded to Andrew Nelson, who pitched the remaining 4.2 innings, allowing 4 hits while striking out 3 batters. In the first two games, UK outscored Georgia 23-0.
May 17th, vs. Georgia
Result: UK 10- Georgia 11
Starting Pitchers: UK- Zack Brown | Georgia- Robert Tyler
To close out the series, UK turned to RHP Zack Brown, who had never started an SEC game before Saturday. Georgia turned to flamethrower Robert Tyler, who had thrown upward to 98 mph in previous games this season. While the ‘Cats dominated in games 1 and 2, it would be Georgia that jumped out to an early lead on Saturday, putting up 3 runs in the first inning. After adding another run in the 3rd, UK would turn to Dylan Dwyer to start the 4th. Zack Brown’s final line on his first SEC start: 3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, BB, and 2 SO. Despite turning to veteran Dwyer, 3 more runs would be added by Georgia, bringing the lead to 7-0. UK would add 3 runs of its own, including an RBI single from A.J. Reed in the T5th. Ryne Combs would come in for the ‘Cats in the B6th, allowing Georgia to stretch its lead to 11-3. The game seemed over at that point, but the ‘Cats would rally back, starting with A.J. Reed’s 23rd home-run of the year in the T8th. Then, after loading the bases, Matt Reida would hit his first career grand-slam, cutting the lead to 11-8. After Cousino tripled with 2-outs, Kuhn would single him in, bringing the score to 11-9 before A.J. Reed would strike-out on a questionable call to end the inning. After Chandler Shepherd took care of business in the 9th, Kentucky would have three outs left to sweep the Bulldogs. Tom would score off of a Bernal single, cutting the lead to 11-10, though the comeback would end there, with Georgia keeping the ‘Cats from an SEC series sweep and a .500 SEC record in 2014.
— The SEC Tournament bracket is set. No. 9 seed UK will play No. 8 seed Alabama at 4:30 on Tuesday. The winner will play No. 1 seed Florida on Wednesday.