Bat Cats trying to forget about blowout loss

Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do. The runs just keep coming, and coming, and coming, and coming, and there’s no stopping it.

That was the case on Tuesday for the UK baseball team (22-15, 5-10 Southeastern Confernce), which lost 24-8 Western Kentucky.

There’s some pretty outlandish facts buried in that game. WKU scored 16 runs on 13 hits in the second inning alone, with the first 16 hitters in the inning reaching base safely before UK recorded an out. The Hilltoppers batted around three times in that frame.

“To be honest, I’ve never in my entire life seen anything like that,” sophomore third baseman Andy Burns said. “I was in shock at what was going on. It was a long night and a long drive home.”

It was the worst loss for UK since a 19-0 loss to Florida in 2003. The score read like a Little League game.

“You could have put a tee out there and couldn’t recreate what they did,” Burns said.

Senior outfielder Keenan Wiley was just as staggered by the events that took place.

“You could go throw (batting practice) and that wouldn’t happen, 16 in a row,” Wiley said.  “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Now the challenge is forgetting the loss, which happened in front of a college baseball state-record attendance of 6,183 fans, ever happened.

“It stung a little bit more because it was a ranked team, an in-state rivalry,” Wiley said. “That hurt a bit more than a typical midweek game. You hate playing bad in front of a big crowd watching you. But all we can do is worry about Friday (at Auburn).”

It might help that this is by no means how UK usually plays – they lost to WKU earlier in the year in much more respectable fashion, 6-3. But in the middle of the SEC season, the ability to rebound is an important skill.

“The quicker you get rid of it, the better off you will be,” Burns said. “That one game isn’t going to make or break the season. We’re focused on this weekend now. From here on out, every weekend is a big one.”

The lopsided loss might have some positive aspects buried beneath the score. The team certainly isn’t hiding from that fact that it happened.

“You hope it motivates us to play better,” Wiley said of the large score differential. “We understand we aren’t invincible. You have to go play hard every pitch or you will get embarrassed.”

Every weekend indeed is a big one, as UK has five SEC series remaining. The Cats are currently in a three-way tie for eighth place and the SEC tournament berth.

UK plays Auburn (25-13, 8-7 SEC) this weekend in what could be a series full of long balls flying out of the park.  Auburn and UK rank 1-2 in the league, respectively, in home runs.

“They’re a team a lot like us,” Wiley said. “They seem to be evenly matched with us. This series is all we can be focused on right now.”