Baseball continues slump in conference play

For the fourth straight series, the UK baseball team was swept by a Southeastern Conference opponent when the Rebels of Ole Miss downed the Cats in all three games this past weekend in Oxford, Miss.

UK (17-20, 2-13 SEC) has dropped its last 12 SEC games after starting 2-1 in SEC play. Since taking two of three from Tennessee in March, the Cats have been swept by Alabama, South Carolina, Auburn and now Ole Miss.

The Cats lost all three games by a combined four runs during their trip to Ole Miss. Even though the team is slumping, head coach Gary Henderson is still hopeful.

“You try to stay as positive as you can,” Henderson said. “We’re in the ballgames, we just can’t find a way to hold on to a lead and get a win.”

In Sunday’s series finale with the Ole Miss, the Cats took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. That’s when the Rebels abused the Cats’ pitchers for three runs to take a 6-5 lead through the rest of the game. The inning started with back-to-back doubles followed by a strike-out by UK pitcher Braden Kapteyn. Kapteyn then walked the next two Ole Miss batters to load the bases.

The Cats then called on pitcher Alex Phillips to try to end the inning, but a chopper to second left just enough time to break up the inning-ending double play and score the tying run. The next batter singled on the first pitch to drive in a run and take the lead 6-5.

“We are struggling to put all three facets of the game together,” Henderson said. “We saw some really good pitching, we saw some really good infield, some really good hitting and good defense but we just can’t get all three.”