Yesterday was a big day for Kentucky Wildcats sports, as #2 ranked baseball took on the #1 LSU Tigers in Cliff Hagan Stadium, Joker Phillips took the football team to Commonwealth Stadium for the annual Blue/White spring scrimmage, #6 UK Men's tennis rolled over the Mississippi
Rebels Fighting Admiral Ackbars Rebel Black Bears on the way to the SEC Men's Tournament finals to face #4 Georgia Bulldogs. UK softball, currently 38th in the rankings, dropped a tough, extra-innings game to the Mississippi St. Bulldogs on a walk-off one-out RBI single by MSU.
Bat Cats even 3-game series against LSU
After dropping the 3-game weekend series opener 5-4 on Friday, the Kentucky Wildcats (34-6) came back strong, shelling LSU's outstanding pitching staff for 11 hits including 2 long balls to bulldoze the Tigers (32-8) 8-1, setting up a huge rubber match today at Cliff Hagan Stadium. First pitch is scheduled at 1:00 PM.
Those of you who think this was just another baseball game fail to grasp how truly good this LSU team has been historically. They are among the most dominant teams in the SEC baseball, and for UK to come back against a team this good after dropping a heartbreaking opener speaks volumes about the heart that they possess.
Related: SB Nation's LSU blog, And The Valley Shook
Kentucky has a young pitching staff, and often has to go deep into the bullpen to eke out one-run wins. Yesterday, though, starter Jerad Grundy (4-1) worked for six of the best innings of his season before giving way to senior reliever Alex Phillips, and a solid UK defense (1 error) helped keep the potent LSU offense in check. Grundy's excellent work leaves the UK bullpen completely intact for the final game today.
LSU weekend starter Ryan Eades (5-2) took only his second loss of the season, pitching 3.1 innings and surrendering 6 runs on 9 hits before getting the hook in favor of Brent Bontvillian, who surrendered only 2 more hits, although one of them was a 2-run shot to right field by Luke Maile (1b).
The winner of today's game will have the best record in the SEC, although both Kentucky and LSU lead their respective divisions, and win or lose, neither team will surrender that today. Today's starter for LSU is Aaron Nola (5-1, 3.15 ERA) against Kentucky's weekend closer and best starter this year, Corey Littrell (6-0, 1.95 ERA).
Related: UKAthletics.com article
John Clay: Joker can take inspiration from UK baseball revival
The Advertiser: Cats fight back with 8-1 win
The Town Talk: Kentucky wins 8-1, evens series with LSU
Shreveport Times: Kentucky pounds LSU to even series
The Advocats: Kentucky surges past LSU for 8-1 victory
First teamers win Blue/White scrimmage, 35-28
The annual Blue/White Game happened last night at Commonwealth Stadium, and the Kentucky football team came out to show off the improvement they've made over the spring to to the coaching staff and the 4,500 UK fans in attendance.
The Blue team of non-starters was spotted 14 points in the contest, but the White managed to overcome that handicap by outscoring the second-stringers 35-14. There were some very positive signs for Kentucky as Maxwell Smith threw the ball well, hooking up with freshman receiver DeMarco Robinson for two touchdowns, and was Smith's favorite target for 146 receiving yards.
Coshik Williams and Raymond Sanders also scored touchdowns for the first team, with Sanders getting two. They rushed for 38 and 32 yards respectively. Williams also caught 4 passes for 10 yards and Sanders one for 10.
The Wildcats utilized a no-huddle offense, which worked well for them last year in the limited number of reps it was tried, and it seems likely that Phillips intends to utilize it more this year. The offense rolled up a fairly impressive 23 first downs on 63 plays, and the first team was not charged with a single penalty, another good sign as far as execution is concerned.
The defense, apparently, didn't have any trouble getting to second-team quarterback Jacob Russell, as they amassed seven sacks in total, including two from Taylor Windham, who you may remember for the famous Tim Tebow hit that put the legendary Gator QB out of his last game against the Wildcats. The D-Line allowed 93 yards rushing, with Mister Cobble and Donte Rumph the most impressive performers. Avery Williamson had 8 tackles from the linebacker position.
Maxwell Smith connected on 29 of 45 passes for 353 yards and two touchdowns. Not bad, really but certainly not something to brag about, especially considering that he threw two picks, one of them a badly underthrown ball.
I'm sure Alex will have more on the Blue/White game later, since he was able to attend.
Related: UKAthletics.com article
Jennifer Smith: Kentucky makes some plays, finds some play makers in Blue-White game
Jennifer Smith: UK football notes: Phillps pleased with depth at tight end
Cat Scratches: Blue/White takeaways: Robinson makes case as playmaker
Wildcat Blue Nation: Blue/White Recap: 1st-Team Handles 2nd-Team 35-28
Kentucky Kernel: Football closes spring with annual scrimmage