Losing three straight games to Vanderbilt to close the season will likely end the Kentucky baseball team’s hopes of playing an NCAA Regional at ‘The Cliff’.
The Kentucky Wildcats said goodbye to Cliff Hagan Stadium last week when the they played a three-game series against Mississippi State. The Wildcats won the series 2-1, but fell to the Bulldogs in their final home game 18-8.
Winning that series against Mississippi State and former Wildcats’ head coach, Gary Henderson, gave Kentucky a chance to host an NCAA Regional in Lexington during the first week of June. However, having lost three straight games to the Vanderbilt Commodores, UK’s chances of hosting such an event are likely gone.
The Commodores finished the sweep on Sunday night, knocking off the Wildcats 9-6, after Luke Becker lined into a double-play with the bases loaded in the top of the 9th inning.
Kentucky was ranked 19th nationally and won 34 games on the season. But, the Wildcats finished the conference regular season with a record of 13-17 (.433). A sub-.500 in-conference will not help the Cats’ chances to be a host site for a regional.
Last season, coach Nick Mingione’s first with the Wildcats, Kentucky was 19-11 in the SEC. UK hosted their first NCAA Regional at Cliff Hagan Stadium since 2006.
The Cats knocked off Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina State twice at home in route to the Super Regional, where they fell to the Louisville Cardinals.
So while the Wildcats hoped they could’ve returned to ‘The Cliff’ for some post-season baseball, it doesn’t appear to be in the cards.
Cliff Hagan Stadium, home to the Kentucky baseball team since 1969, will give way to a new $49 million baseball stadium that is slated to open next season.