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Kentucky Rally Comes Up Just Short in Finale

Kentucky Rally Comes Up Just Short in Finale

From UK Athletics

No. 6 Cats finish with 19 league wins, earn No. 3 seed in SEC Tournament

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kentucky’s bid for its second regular season Southeastern Conference championship came up just short, as the No. 6 Wildcats fell 6-4 to No. 5 Florida at McKethan Stadium in the regular season finale.

Justin Lewis  (UK Athletics/Chet White)

Justin Lewis (UK Athletics/Chet White)

The Cats finished the regular season with 38 wins, the most since the 2012 team won a school-record 45. Their 19-11 mark in league play represents the second-most SEC wins in school history, one short of the 20 the 2006 club had when it won the conference.

UK earned the No. 3 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. and will open play at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 24 in the double elimination portion of the bracket.

The Cats got off to a hot start on Saturday, scoring a run on back-to-back doubles in the first inning and tacking on another in the third. But Florida managed to wriggle out of several jams early in the game and escaped a pair of bases loaded situations in the middle innings while building a 6-2 lead on the strength of Nelson Maldonado’s opposite field home run tucked just inside the right field pole.

Marcus Carson’s two-run homer to right field in the eighth inning drew the Cats within two but a pair of line drives nestled right into the gloves of the third baseman and second baseman to end the rally.

SCORING

Top 1st – White doubles to RF, scores on Luke Becker’s two-out double to LCF. UK 1, Florida 0.

Top 3rd – White doubles to RF with two outs, scores on Zach Reks’ line single to RCF. UK 2, Florida 0.

Bottom 4th – Dalton Guthrie singled and JJ Schwarz doubled. Nelson Maldonado homered top opposite field. Florida 3, UK 2.

Bottom 5th – Ryan Larson singled to lead off the inning and stole second. Schwarz walked. Maldonado doubled into the LF corner, scoring Larson. Austin Langworthy grounded out, scoring Schwarz. Florida 5, UK 2.

Bottom 6th – Mark Kolozsvary walks and steals second. Blake Reese hits a soft single to score Kolozsvary with two out. Florida 6, UK 2.

Top 8th – Troy Squires walked. Marcus Carson homered to RF, scoring Squires. Florida 6, UK 4.

NOTES

  • Kentucky’s 38 wins on the season are the most since the 2012 team won a school-record 45. It’s also the sixth most in school history.
  • UK’s 19 SEC wins are the second most in school history, just one shy of the 2006 team’s 20 victories in league play.
  • The Cats are 17-12 vs. ranked foes this year.
  • UK is 4-4 vs. Top 10 opponents.
  • Kentucky has gone 75 games without being shutout, the seventh-longest such streak in school history.
  • Junior 1B Evan White went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and a hit by pitch.

o   White now has 221 career hits, ninth on UK’s all-time list.

o   White has a hit in 29 of his last 33 games.

o   He extended his reached base safely streak to 22 of last 23 games.

o   He has multiple hits in seven of his last 10 games.

o   He has 25 multi-hit games this season and 69 in his career.

  • Sophomore OF Tristan Pompey extended his reached base safely streak to 27 straight games.
  • Senior OF Zach Reks went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

o   Reks has a hit in 11 of his last 12 games.

o   Reks now has 24 multi-hit games this season and 35 for his career.

o   Reks has multiple hits in seven of last eight games.

o   Reks has reached base safely in 25 of last 26 games.

  • Sophomore C/DH Kole Cottam went 2-for-4.

o   Cottam now has 17 multi-hit games this season and 23 in his career.

o   Cottam was 7-for-13 with three runs and four RBI in the series.

ON DECK

Kentucky travels to Hoover for the SEC Tournament and will play on Wed., May 24 at 10:30 a.m. ET against an opponent to be determined. Follow along with the Cats on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com.

 

Impressive numbers from UK Baseball makes a case for Nick Mingione as coach of the year 

From UK Athletics ming

  • Kentucky’s 38 wins on the season are the most since the 2012 team won a school-record 45. It’s also the sixth most in school history.

o   38 wins are the most for a first-year Kentucky head coach, nine more than Keith Madison in 1979.

  • UK’s 19 SEC wins are the second most in school history, just one shy of the 2006 team’s 20 victories in league play.

o   19 wins are the most SEC wins for a first-year Kentucky head coach, six more than Madison (1979).

  • The Cats are 17-12 vs. ranked foes this year.

o   The 17 wins are the second most vs. ranked teams in a single-season.

  • UK is 4-4 vs. Top 10 opponents.
  • Kentucky has gone 75 games without being shutout, the seventh-longest such streak in school history.
  • Spent the final month of the season as a consensus Top 10 after not entering the rankings until Week 5.
  • Kentucky’s offense entered the final weekend leading the SEC in nine major categories.
  • Had an .839 winning percentage at Cliff Hagan Stadium this season, the second highest winning percentage in a single season in home games at Cliff Hagan Stadium in school history (.853, 2012).

NON-CONFERENCE

  • Sweep of No. 23 UC Santa Barbara was:

o   First sweep over a ranked opponent since the Wildcats swept No. 2 South Carolina on March 16-18, 2012.

o   Believed to be first sweep of a ranked non-conference foe.

  • Defeated No. 2 Louisville.
  • Completed only the second non-conference home schedule in school history.

SEC PLAY

  • First 4-0 start on road in SEC play since 1949.
  • Best finish (3rd) since 2006 championship club

 

Sweep at No. 11 Texas A&M was…

  • First sweep of a ranked SEC foe in five years.
  • First sweep of a true road series since knocking off Tennessee in 2008.
  • First road series victory over a ranked SEC foe since April 2015 at No. 5 Florida.
  • Texas A&M came into the series owners of an 80-15 record at Blue Bell Park since the beginning of the 2015 season.

 

Series win over No. 11 Ole Miss…

  • Ended an 8-game losing streak to Ole Miss dating to 2013.
  • First series win over Ole Miss since 2013.

 

Series win over No. 22 Vanderbilt was…

  • First series win over Vanderbilt since 2009 in Lexington.
  • 7-1 start in SEC play is best since the 1992 team began league play 7-1 on its way to an 8-1 mark through the first three weeks of conference play.

 

Series win at No. 21 South Carolina…

  • First win in Founders Park (0-9 previously)
  • Ended an 11-game losing streak at South Carolina dating to 2008.
  • Had been 2-22 at South Carolina since 2001.
  • Kentucky’s 19-1 win on 4/28 is:

o   Largest ever margin of victory for UK in SEC play.

o   The worst home loss for South Carolina at Founders Park (opened in 2009).

o   The worst loss for South Carolina overall since 1997

o   Most runs scored for UK in SEC game since 2009 (at Miss. State, 22)

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