First year head coach Nick Mingione and the Kentucky baseball team got to see how they measured up right off of the bat this season. They opened up on the road in Chapel Hill against the No. 13 North Carolina Tar Heels. The Cats held their own but were swept in the three-game series. They just weren’t able to get that elusive, timely hit when they needed it.
How close was it? Kentucky lost all three games by a combined score of 14-10.
The Cats found themselves in another one-run affair in their following midweek game against Liberty. Again they came up just short, suffering a 5-4 defeat.
Two days later, Coach Mingione and the Kentucky baseball team would notch their first W of the season. They lit the scoreboard up in a 16-9 win over St. Joe’s.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) February 24, 2017
They followed that up by pounding Old Dominion 19-2.
In their next game, they were nipped by one run against Delaware by another 5-4 score. They haven’t lost since.
In back-to-back games against in state rivals EKU and WKU, Kentucky defeated the Colonels and Hilltoppers by a combined score of 29-2.
This set up another early season measuring stick series against another ranked opponent. This time things went UK’s way. In the three-game set against No. 23 (Jim Rome’s alma mater) UC Santa Barbara. Kentucky was able to play both ways over the course of the weekend. They ground out two one-run victories (2-1 and 3-2) on Friday and Saturday and then showed that they could go the blowout route as well by delivering a 12-1 thrashing on Sunday in the series finale.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 5, 2017
This will definitely build their confidence moving forward. After starting 0-4, Kentucky is 7-1 in their last eight games and just swept a team that participated in the 2016 College World Series. SEC play is less that two weeks away and now the Cats have a concrete idea or what they are capable of. What a great way to bring in the month of March.