Spring is finally here, and if you’re anything like me, then that means you would give anything to be at a ballpark watching a game.
Well, the Kentucky Wildcats baseball and softball teams are giving fans a ton of excitement as we head into the heart of their schedules this April.
Here is how their weeks played out:
Nick Mingione’s squad continued their hot streak this week going a perfect 4-0, taking their overall season record to 17-4 and 5-1 in SEC play. This marks the best conference play start since the 2017 season.
This week, the Cats secured wins over Butler at Kentucky Proud Park, then traveled to the Plains to pull off a sweep of the Auburn Tigers. This is only the second time since 2008 that Kentucky has swept a SEC opponent on the road.
All week, Kentucky continued to show the two keys to their games this season. Bolstering one of the most explosive offenses in the SEC, they continually find ways to push runners across the plate.
With another big week from Rueben Church, TJ Collett and Austin Schultz, it’s obvious that this Kentucky team is capable to hit with any team in the country.
The other key to this teams success is how great the starting rotation has been each week. Dan Roszel, the Kentucky pitching coach, has pushed his staff to avoid as many walks as possible. They are doing just that as they currently are allowing 71 walks on the season while striking out 223. If this trend continues this team should be competitive each series.
At the start of the season fans where questioning why in the world Mitch Barnhart would offer an extension to Nick Mingione. It was a fair question, due to the struggles that his teams have possessed over the last several years. Well he has responded to all of that criticism and has his team playing the best baseball we have seen since 2017.
After being picked to finish last in the SEC this season, you can see the possibility of this team competing for a Super Regional berth.
Next game will be this Tuesday as Bellarmine comes to Lexington, before the team head back out on the road for a weekend series against Mississippi State. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:30 and can be found on the SEC Network + channel.
Here are the highlights from the third game of the sweep this weekend!
That was fun! Here's how we closed out a weekend sweep of Auburn ⤵️#WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/D2sUjormls— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 28, 2021
Rachel Lawson’s team continues to show that they are one of the best in the country this season. They hold a 24-4 record, and though they are 2-3 in conference play, it’s come against some of the nation’s best.
Currently, they are the seventh-ranked team in the country.
This past week, the team traveled to Bowling Green and suffered a tough extra innings loss to WKU before welcoming No. 2 ranked Alabama to John Cropp Stadium this weekend. The Alabama series is currently split, with the third game coming on Monday.
This week, pitching once again has been the story. With Autumn Humes throwing a complete game on Sunday to even the series with the Tide after coming off a tough loss in the circle on Tuesday. Another solid effort by Tatum Spangler came Saturday to hold the Tide as she allowed no walks and struck out two of her eleven batters faced in relief.
With their second top-10 matchup in conference play happening this weekend, it’s obvious just how good the conference is when it comes to the sport. It shows even more the lengths Kentucky has come in previous seasons to being able to compete night in and night out.
With there being a very real possibility that they can steal a series from the second-ranked Crimson Tide, fans should be excited as they make the push towards the end of their schedule with only about a month left.
Buckle you seatbelts folks, as Coach Lawson and her squad are revving up to give us another great finish to the season.
Their next game will be Monday as they wrap up the series with Alabama. First pitch will be at 7 pm ET and can be found on the SEC Network.