UK baseball suffers season-ending loss


Kentucky Wildcats head coach Nick Mingione takes a moment before answering a question after the second game of 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Baseball Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Louisville, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

Charlee Schaefer

With their backs against the wall and two wins away from the College World Series, UK baseball played their final game of the season in the Louisville Super Regional against their instate rival, the Louisville Cardinals. 

In game two of the highly anticipated matchup between the Cats and the No. 7 seeded Cardinals, the Cats scored late in the game and attempted to rally but still fell short, with a final score of 6-2. 

Sean Hjelle took the mound for the Cats on Saturday, making it his 17th start of the season. Hjelle gave it everything he had and fought for his team as he had all year. 

UofL scored in the top of the 2nd to get the game started, with a solo home run to left-center field by Drew Ellis, in what would be his first out of two home runs for the day. 

The score remained the same until the 5th inning when the Cards second baseman Devin Mann hit an RBI sacrifice fly that scored Logan Taylor. 

UK answered in the bottom of the inning when Marcus Carson hit a sacrifice fly that scored Riley Mahan to make it 2-1 Cards. UofL in turn scored two runs in the top of the 6th inning with Ellis’s second home run of the day and an RBI triple by Josh Stowers. 

The Cats did not back down and scored in the bottom of the 7th with the bases loaded, but the Cards cut their rally to one run.

The Cats’ rally in the 7th inning started with an RBI single by Tristan Pompey to score Troy Squires. They loaded the bases but could not get anything else on the board. 

As the home team, UK had one last chance in the bottom of the 9th to extend their season and play for a chance at the CWS, but overcoming a four-run deficit turned out to be too tall of an order.

The UK baseball program has a bright future ahead of it. Not only did they host and win their first regional in history, they appeared in their first Super Regional.

“It’s good to get here but moving forward, you’ve got to win here. That’s the next step for our baseball program,” head coach Nick Mingione said. 

The Louisville Cardinals advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska and the Cats end their historical season with a final record of 43-23.