Early momentum pushes Cats closer to their goal: Omaha


University of Kentucky Pitcher Brad Schaenzer throws from the mound during the 2018 baseball season home opener against Xavier University on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Charlee Schaefer

The UK baseball team has already smashed records and continues to impress opponents, fans and big names in college baseball through the 2018 season. The Cats have started the season better than they have in over five years.

Though the Cats have already had an impressive season, they have a long road and tough matchups ahead before they can make it to the postseason. The team’s main goal is to make the 2018 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, for the first time in program history.

Every message that head coach Nick Mingione sends his team and many tweets from UK baseball’s official account frequently mentions “Omaha 2018,” a constant reminder to do something that has “never been done before.”

The coaching staff relentlessly works with this club to do everything they can for the team. They truly act like a family and often talk about how close they all are, which separates them from other teams they typically encounter.

The next challenge for the Cats will be the various SEC teams that are ranked in the top ten in all of college baseball. 

Another big challenge for the Cats will be non-conference, in-state rival University of Louisville. UK and UofL battle in many sports and baseball is no exception.

The Cats split the games in the 2017 season 1-1, beating the Cards at home but losing on the road. Louisville would win the tiebreaker in the NCAA Super Regionals that sent them to Omaha while the Cats went home.

Just two days after traveling to Louisville on April 17, the Cats will play in arguably the biggest SEC matchup of the year, against the 2017 defending national champion Florida Gators in Lexington. The Gators have historically been a strong team and this year they again have numerous players projected to go in the top 50 in the 2018 draft.

The team continues to grow in the public eye on both the local and national level. The pitching staff is deep and the offense has shocked everyone after the loss of powerhouses from last year’s club. The junior college transfers seem to have finally found their home in Lexington and this team shows no signs of slowing down.