In a rare moment of college baseball bravado, I offered a friendly wager with our friends/enemies over at Dawgsports.com, that I promptly lost ... but I won the war!
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you the 2006 SEC regular season co-champions, your Kentucky Wildcats.
After finishing last season in last place, the power-hitting Cats have a school-record 42 wins -- to just 13 losses -- and finished 20-10 in the ever-tough SEC.
The weekend series with Georgia didn't go exactly as planned, with the Bulldogs fighting back to take Thursday's game, 10-9, after trailing by 6 runs in the sixth. Kentucky then clinched the SEC with a win on Friday, 8-3, in which Collin Cowgill and and Sean Coughlin tagged their 15th and 16th home runs of the season, respectively. Saturday's 4-0 loss in the finale meant little other than bragging rights and MY REPUTATION -- thanks a lot, Bat Cats -- as the Wildcats completed a record regular season.
Speaking of reputation ...
Kyle, I hope you're happy ... and just wait till next season! ... that would be basketball season, of course.
Now it's a #2 seed in Wednesday's 10 AM Game 1 with #7 seed South Carolina in the SEC tournament in Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (Hoover, AL). Alabama grabbed the No. 1 seed on the backs of their series head-to-head victory over the Cats.
Kentucky still has much to play for, including a shot at hosting an NCAA Regional. This is no small potatoes, given that the Bat Cats were 29-4 at home this season and just 13-9 on the road.
Pretty soon is also where the individual awards start to show up, and the first round is already upon us.
Kentucky placed three players on the first team in Strieby, catcher Sean Coughlin, and pitcher Greg Dombrowski. The Cats had two more on the second team with outfielders Antone DeJesus and Collin Cowgill.
On Tuesday, the SEC coaches echoed that sentiment, making junior Ryan Strieby the SEC Player of the Year and Coach Cohen a unanimous choice for Coach of the Year honors.
Meanwhile, the top-10 rankings beat goes on, with the Rosenblatt Report slotting the Cats at No. 7, down one from last week.
Kudos to all the fine Wildcats baseballers, and Godspeed through Alabama.