Suddenly, Kentucky finds themselves in the SEC brier patch in baseball. LSU completely dominated the Wildcats this weekend, pounding them into the Baton Rouge dirt with an overwhelming hitting performance.
Things like this do happen, but Kentucky really needs to get itself together. Kentucky came into this series having only dropped two SEC games, one against Mississippi St. and one to the Georgia Bulldogs. Getting swept by LSU has thrown a crimp into the season and put the Wildcats on their heels for the first time this year.
Make no mistake, the Bayou Bengals are in it to win it every year when it comes to SEC baseball, and losing a series to them is no shame, especially on the road. LSU is ranked in the top 3 by every major college ranking service. But getting swept is another matter altogether, and even if the Tigers are hot right now, that was something the Wildcats did not need.
Kentucky has a midweek game against Austin Peay this week, then the Tennessee Volunteers at home this weekend. They need to make mincemeat of the mid-pack Vols and round back into form before welcoming an angry Louisville team to Lexington, then going on the road to perennial SEC powerhouse South Carolina.
This section of the Bat Cats’ schedule is nasty, and they can’t afford to leak games anymore, like they did to Western Kentucky back in March. This is the point in the season where the cream is rising to the top, and LSU just put themselves in a commanding position atop the West, while Kentucky falls back into an uncomfortable 3rd place in the East one game over .500 at 6-5 in SEC play.
It’s really critical that Kentucky waxes the Vols this weekend in Lexington, and gets this thumping put behind them before their sojourn into the Palmetto State. The season that started out so promising earlier is on the brink of derailment if the Wildcats don’t find their mojo, and that right soon. The schedule just gets harder from here on out, and although Kentucky isn’t in real danger yet of missing the SEC tournament, they have to get back on track right away, or the schedule could really put them in the lurch.
The good news is, Kentucky gets Arkansas, currently 3rd in the West, and East leader Vanderbilt at home, and ends the season with Missouri, who is languishing near the bottom of the East standings, before the SEC tournament comes around. These are opportunities to excel, but the Wildcats really need to grab them, or this once-promising season could go sideways.