Maybe you’ve been distracted by all the basketball player decisions to notice that Kentucky Baseball is still pretty good. Maybe you lost a little faith in the team after they were swept at Arkansas and lost 2 of 3 to Alabama two weeks ago. I’m here to tell you that this team is still worth your support.
After dropping to 19-9 after the Alabama series, the Cats rallied beating Louisville at The Cliff, then winning the series versus South Carolina, 2-1. Last week, Kentucky continued their winning ways, defeating Western Carolina on the road, and then winning a huge series at Georgia over the weekend, 2-1.
The Cats’ record is now 25-11 (7-8 SEC) and they have moved from the bottom of the SEC East to 4th place. While it might be easy to think 4th place in your division is not very impressive, you need to look at the big picture. For a large portion of the season, at least 10 SEC teams have been ranked in the top 25 (currently, 8 are ranked, 4 of which are in the Eastern division).
Offensively, the Cats have been led by Tristan Pompey (.362 average), while Luke Heyer and Kole Cottam have been hitting the Big Blue Bombs at a nice rate, each having hit 13 home runs thus far. The pitching staff has been anchored by Sean Hjelle (5-2, 3.09 ERA) and Justin Lewis (5-2, 4.64 ERA). Carson Coleman and Chris Machamer have been solid from the bullpen, with Machamer notching 5 saves already this season.
All of this has led to this week which gives the Cats a great opportunity to move up in the SEC standings as well as get a firmer footing in the national standings. First up, it’s a road game at #20 Louisville on Tuesday night. A win versus the Cards would complete a sweep of the Cats’ in-state rival for the season and would provide at least a little comfort for Louisville ending Kentucky’s magical run in 2017 in the Super Regionals.
Then there will be the marquee event this weekend at The Cliff — #1 Florida comes to town for a crucial series. Should the Cats sweep the Gators, they almost certainly would be in strong contention for a national seed and get the honor of hosting a Super Regional in this year’s NCAA Tournament. At the very least, the Cats need to win the series to keep moving up in the conference standings.
This is a great time to pack The Cliff and support the Cats. Thursday and Friday’s games will be televised on the SEC Network if you’re unable to attend. Saturday’s game will be available online only on SEC Network+.
Thursday – 7:00 pm – Retro Jersey Raffle night
Friday – 7:30 pm – Friday Fireworks night
Saturday – 1:00 pm – Postgame Team Autographs
@CameronRadio will be on hand to provide live game updates, so be sure to follow along if you’re unable to make it to the park.
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