Kentucky battles the Valparaiso Crusaders in their 2nd (Har!) game of the NCAA tournament this afternoon at 4:00 PM. Valparaiso lost to host Purdue
last night this morning but enters the contest with a pitching staff in better shape than the Cats do. Kentucky will need to rebound from a soul-crushing loss in 21 innings to Kent State last night if they want to remain in the tournament and must now win 4 straight games if they want to move on to the Super Regionals next weekend.
Kent St 7, Kentucky 6 (21 innings)
Purdue 7, Valparaiso 2
A Sea of Blue
Hammer and Rails
All CWS Scores
Live stats via Game Tracker
Radio: 630, 1080-AM radio
Online video: none that I am aware of.
On a somewhat personal note, last night was the first time I had ever heard UK radio play-by-play guy Neil Price and I was impressed with his work - the game is worth following just for the opportunity to listen to him call it.
Keys for the Cats:
- Get over any mental weariness from last night's game. Hard to know how the team will react to last night's loss. I called it "soul-crushing" above, but the unusual nature of the game might ironically make it easier to get over. We'll just have to wait and see.
- An extended outing by the starter. I assume we'll see the usual Saturday starter Jerad Grundy today, although I can't find anything on UK's website to confirm that. Grundy needs to go long - at least 7 innings - to give the rest of the pitching staff a chance to rest and prepare for the remainder of the regional should UK win this game.
- An early lead of 4+ runs. Hand in hand with point #2, getting a sizable early lead can take a lot of pressure off the starter and allow him more freedom in going after opposing hitters. It would also go a long way towards taking pressure off the rest of the team.