Battle of the Bluegrass continues in the baseball Super Regionals


The Kentucky Wildcats baseball team celebrates winning the region championship game of the Lexington Regional at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

Charlee Schaefer

For the first time in the 121-year history of UK baseball, the Cats will compete in an NCAA Super Regional Championship.

They will play the University of Louisville Cardinals at Jim Patterson Stadium, where they will be looking to advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. 

UK is currently the only school in the SEC that has never made an appearance at the College World Series. 

The Cats will face their instate rival, the seven-time NCAA regional champion and three-time College World Series participant UofL Cardinals. Led by their ten-year head coach Dan McDonnell, the Cardinals are 50-10 on the season and will play in their 5th consecutive and 7th Super Regional in the last eleven seasons. 

Players to Watch:

Brendan McKay (pitcher, Jr., Louisville): Earlier on Thursday McKay was named Baseball America’s 2017 National Player of the Year, and he rightfully earned it. On top of having the lowest ERA of any Louisville starting pitcher with a 9-3 record, McKay also has the second highest batting average on the team. McKay also plays first base when he’s not on the mound.

Sean Hjelle (pitcher, So., UK): SEC Pitcher of the Year, First-Team All-SEC member and a 2nd-team All-American, right-hander Hjelle is coming off of an outstanding performance at the Lexington Regional, where he started in game one and threw the last three innings in the championship game, throwing only 35 pitches and striking out five batters. 

Evan White (1st base, Jr., UK): One of the strongest players both offensively and defensively for the Cats, White is tied for the highest batting average on the team and is considered one of the best 1st baseman in college baseball. 

Other players to watch for the Cats are Tristan Pompey, Riley Mahan and pitchers Logan Salow and Zach Thompson, who all played a large role in the team’s success in the regional tournament. 

The best-of-three playoff series will begin on Friday at noon between the Cats and the Cardinals and will be broadcasted on ESPN2. Tickets for the entire series have been sold out since Tuesday morning