UK swept by Vanderbilt to end regular season

Charlee Schaefer

The No. 19 UK baseball team dropped its final regular-season game of the 2018 season on Saturday evening with a final score of 9-6 to the Vanderbilt Commodores.

The loss completed the sweep for the Commodores and ended UK’s season with a subpar 13-17 record in conference play. The Cats had a strong start to the season, but had struggled to record wins when SEC play ensued. 

Unfortunately for the Cats, Vanderbilt proved to be yet another difficult adversary. 

In games one and two of the series, the Cats had a difficult time producing offensively and could only tie together a run in each game. 

UK scored a total of eight runs throughout the course of the weekend after thriving at the plate all season. 

The Saturday matchup was the Cats’ last hope as they looked to evade their first sweep all season. 

Highlighted by home runs from Kole Cottam, Luke Becker and Luke Heyer on Saturday, the Cats took the lead early but could not hold on. They allowed a six-run eighth inning in bullpen relief. Those runs eventually kept the Commodores on top to secure the win. 

The Cats were hoping for a much better end to the regular-season as every game from this point is more important than the last. Plus, they hoped for a much-needed series win in order to gain momentum heading into the SEC Tournament. 

As head coach Nick Mingione frequently said in the 2017 season, “we’re playing for a championship.”

Next, the team heads to Hoover, Alabama,for the SEC Tournament. UK will start the tournament by facing Auburn on Tuesday at 2 p.m. 

UK will have their work cut out for them since they are down several pitchers due to injury.  This is not the best case scenario for the Cats as these roster issues stack the odds against them.

UK will be going into the SEC tournament as the No. 10 seed and must make it through the opening day single elimination round to make a showing at the tournament.