UK baseball aiming for consistency in second half


Kentucky Wildcats first baseman Evan White points to the dugout after scoring a run during the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Saturday, April 1, 2017 in Memphis, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

By Chris Angolia

UK baseball is now 34 games into their first season under new head coach Nick Mingione and is ranked in the top-15 in nearly every poll with its now 23-11 record after a 8-0 victory over UT Martin on Wednesday night.

The Cats are ranked as high as tenth in some polls and sit atop the SEC East standings, tied for the overall conference lead with an 8-4 record. Behind the combination of a solid pitching staff and a potent offense that boasts a top-15 team average, UK has burst onto the scene. Now, as the team gets deeper into the second half of the schedule, the Cats will have to remain consistent.

So far this season, consistency has not been an issue, especially in mid-week games. After their win over UT Martin on Wednesday, UK is now 7-2 in mid-weeks with one loss coming to No. 2 Louisville just last week, and the other coming in extra innings at Cincinnati. Mid-week games have been a bugaboo for UK baseball in past years but that has not been the case this season.

The winning that the Cats have enjoyed during the week has carried over to the weekend, and up until last weekend, UK had won five straight weekend series with four of those coming against ranked opponents.

After dropping two of three to Mississippi State last weekend in Starkville, the Cats will head to Colombia, Missouri to face Mizzou.

The series against the Tigers is one that has meaning, mainly because of the timing. Mizzou is just two games back of UK in the SEC East standings and a win for the Cats will only separate them further from the Tigers.  Not only is this important from a standings standpoint, but the momentum aspect of things is also a part of the conversation.

Having lost their first SEC series of the year last weekend, it is going to be interesting to see how the Cats bounce back after losing its first series since the start of the season. UK is also getting to a point in their season in which half of its six remaining SEC series are against top-10 teams.

This series at Mizzou is only the beginning of a rigorous stretch for the Cats who will host No. 2 Louisville and No. 9 LSU immediately following the series in Colombia and then a series at No. 14 South Carolina at the end of the month.

Regardless of what lies ahead, the Cats are looking to get back on track in the SEC beginning on Friday at 7:30 p.m..