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Zack Thompson making return to starting rotation Saturday against Tennessee

Zack Thompson will be making his first start since he injured his left elbow

UK Athletics

Good news for the Kentucky baseball team and Zack Thompson, as the lefty is going to be making his first start on Saturday against Tennessee, as reported on 247 Sports. This is Thompson’s first start since March 10th when he took the mound against Texas Tech.

In that game, Thompson only lasted three innings and gave up three runs and walked four batters in the outing and then was shut down to allow his injury to heal.

Thompson has been out for a significant amount of time due to an injury to his left elbow. Since Thompson’s injury Kentucky has struggled in the second game of SEC series, going 0-7 in those games without Thompson as the starter. He was 2-0 as the starter before the injury.

After the injury was getting better Thompson started a throwing program to get his arm back into SEC form. He started the throwing program early April and then made his first appearance since the injury on April 28th.

In his return to the mound, Thompson pitched a scoreless 9th inning and only gave up one hit but he struck out two batters against the Missouri Tigers, the Cats lost the game 14-11.

According to 247, head coach Nick Mingione was happy for him, stating, “He threw three pitches for a strike, he got the strikes on his fastball. He threw a slider for a strike. He got a strikeout on his curveball, its not easy to be out that long and to step in there for the first time in an SEC game with us needing a zero put on the scoreboard. To his credit he did it. I’m really happy for him”.

Its safe to say that coach Mingione and the coaching staff made the right decision by letting him get some time on the mound before putting him back into the starting rotation. It allowed him to get his feet wet and get settled back in to the pressures of an SEC baseball game.

Without a doubt, this Kentucky team missed having Thompson on the field for the Saturday games and are very excited to have him back on the mound.

However, this isn’t a simple go out and get back in the flow type of game. With the Cats still needing to win games to secure a spot in the SEC Tournament they can’t afford too many more losses. Especially considering the fact that Tennessee is one game behind Missouri and only two games behind the Cats, so this series is a very important series and the Cats need to come away with a series win.

With that being said, I am very excited to watch Thompson on Saturday and see how he performs fresh off the injury and with high stakes for the bat Cats.