Baseball: LSU pins a 10-0 loss on UK in SEC Tournament action

LSU took advantage of a shaky Kentucky defense to slap a pair of five run innings on the board on the way to a 10-0 shutout of the Cats in SEC Tournament action in Hoover, Alabama on Thursday night.  The loss sends Kentucky to the Friday 4pm Eastern Time game against South Carolina, who UK defeated 7-2 back on Wednesday night.  The loser will be out of the tournament; the winner will advance to Saturday action where #2 LSU waits as the single elimination final four for the survivors will get underway.  Here’s the updated bracket:

LMU’s Chase Randolph gives up his characteristic hairstyle to Wigs for Kids

HARROGATE, Tenn. – Over the past two seasons, right-handed reliever Chase Randolph has asserted himself as an integral part of the Railsplitters’ bullpen, playing a key role in Lincoln Memorial winning the South Atlantic Conference tournament title and making a deep run in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.

Two things immediately separate Randolph from the crowd. First and foremost, the Harriman, Tennessee native’s reliability was pivotal to the Railsplitters’ success this season. Randolph made 27 relief appearances in 2017, compiling 33 strikeouts with just 12 walks over 43.2 innings pitched. He allowed just two earned runs combined in his last eight appearances, including three scoreless outings in the SAC Championship.

Second is his looming physical presence. Listed at 6-5, 240 pounds, Randolph is an intimidating sight for opposing hitters. For the past two years, that immense frame has been topped by a mane of long and bushy hair that conjures images of Khal Drogo. In many ways, that hair became a symbol of the gritty, blue-collar mentality Randolph carried to the mound with every appearance.

However, unbeknownst to most, the flowing locks of hair residing under Randolph’s LMU baseball cap were there for much more significant reasons. On Wednesday, Randolph chopped off his characteristic flow to donate it to Wigs for Kids. Continue reading LMU’s Chase Randolph gives up his characteristic hairstyle to Wigs for Kids

Basketball: Diallo will return to Kentucky for 2017-18 season

Freshman guard tested NBA Draft waters but did not hire an agent to protect his eligibility

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Hamidou Diallo is coming back to Kentucky.

 

Diallo, a freshman guard, plans to return to UK for the 2017-18 season after going through the process of declaring for the NBA Draft. Utilizing NCAA rules that allow players to “test the waters,” Diallo entered the NBA Draft without hiring an agent to protect his NCAA eligibility with the option of returning to school.

 

Players had until 10 days after the conclusion of the NBA Draft Combine to make a final decision based on a rule between the NCAA and NBA so long as the player didn’t hire an agent. That deadline was Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

 

With only minutes to spare, Diallo informed UK of his intention to come back to school. He will join Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones, Tai Wynyard, Brad Calipari, Jonny David and Dillon Pulliam as 2017-18 returners.

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Basketball: Diallo will return to Kentucky for 2017-18 season

Baseball: Kentucky rolls over South Carolina 7-2 in SEC Tournament

Kentucky Rolls to Win in SEC Tournament Opener

Third-seeded Wildcats get six scoreless innings from bullpen

 

HOOVER, Ala. – Kole Cottam’s fourth inning home run over the 405-foot mark in centerfield gave No. 8 Kentucky the lead for good and the bullpen worked six scoreless innings as the Wildcats opened the SEC Tournament with a 7-2 win over South Carolina at the Hoover Met.

 

The win is UK’s first in the SEC Tournament since 2014 and gives the Cats 39 victories this season, the most since the 2012 team won a school-record 45. UK will face the winner of the Missouri-LSU game in the second game of Thursday’s evening session, approximately 9 p.m. ET.

 

The Cats (39-18) spotted South Carolina a two-run lead in the top of the third, as the Gamecocks took advantage of a pair of walks – one intentional – the grab an early lead. But UK answered right back in its half of the inning, tying the game on Evan White’s RBI groundout and Luke Becker’s ground ball that sneaked under the glove of the second baseman.

 

Cottam, who now has nine hits in his past four games, hammered his sixth home run of the year in the fourth and White added a three-run opposite-field double in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

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Baseball: Kentucky rolls over South Carolina 7-2 in SEC Tournament

District Tournament Report for Tuesday May 23rd

BASEBALL

49th District – Clay County 2  Jackson County 0 / Oneida Baptist 15  Red Bird 5 (5 inn.)

50th District – Corbin 7  Whitley County 6 /  South Laurel 5  Williamsburg 2

51st District – Knox Central 14  Pineville 0 (5 inn.)

52nd District – Harlan County 3  Harlan 2 (8 inn.) /  Middlesboro 12  Bell County 1 (5 inn.)

SOFTBALL

49th District – OBI 24 Red Bird 0 (3 inn.) / Clay County 12  Jackson County 0 (5 inn.) / North Laurel 15 OBI 0 (5 inn.)

50th District – Corbin 9 Williamsburg 0 /  South Laurel 14 Whitley County 3 (6 inn.)

51st District – Knox Central 15 Pineville 0 (3 inn.)

52nd District – Harlan County 10  Bell County 0 (6 inn.) / Middlesboro 5 Harlan 2

 

 

Baseball: Seven Wildcats receive All-SEC honors

UK Creative Services

Sean Hjelle Named SEC Pitcher of the Year; Pompey, Salow First-Team All-SEC

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sean Hjelle was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year to highlight a bushel of honors the Kentucky baseball team earned in a vote of league coaches, the conference announced Monday.

 

Joining Hjelle on the First-Team All-SEC are senior reliever Logan Salow and sophomore outfielder Tristan Pompey. Hjelle and Salow become the first UK pitchers to earn First-Team honors since Chris Rusin in 2008 and only the third and fourth since 1979, joining Rusin and Scott Downs (1997).

 

The Cats, who finished with the second most SEC wins in program history, also placed junior infielder Riley Mahan, junior catcher Troy Squires and junior first baseman Evan White on Second-Team All-SEC. White was voted All-SEC Defensive Team for the third consecutive season.

 

Junior left-handed pitcher Zach Logue was voted SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, posting a 3.96 grade point average in chemical engineering.

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Baseball: UK’s Mingione named SEC Coach of the Year

Photo courtesy of UK Athletics

First-year head coach led Kentucky to most regular season wins since 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. – First-year Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione has been named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year by his peers, it was announced by the league on Monday.

Kentucky enters this week’s SEC Tournament with 38 wins, ranked in the Top 10 and widely projected to host an NCAA Tournament Regional. The wins are the most for the program since the 2012 team won a school-record 45, and the Wildcats’ 19 regular season SEC wins are the second most in school history to the 20 won by the 2006 team, the Cats’ only league title.

It has been a historic season thus far for the Wildcats, who were picked in the bottom half of the league in the preseason, began the season 2-5 and did not enter the national rankings until week 5 of the season. The Cats remained in the top three of the SEC standings all season and still had championship implications in their final regular season game at Florida.

Mingione, who was an assistant at UK under John Cohen before spending the past eight years with him at Mississippi State, set new high-water marks for a first-year UK coach. The 38 overall wins are nine more than Keith Madison had in 1979 and the 19 SEC wins are six more than Madison had that season, both of which were the previous program records. Continue reading Baseball: UK’s Mingione named SEC Coach of the Year

Softball: Kentucky holds off Illinois to advance to Super Regional

(14) Kentucky Plays Its Way Into Super Regionals for Fifth Time

Wildcats play winner of the Eugene regional

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the fifth time in program history, the Kentucky softball team is off to the NCAA Super Regional round, claiming a sweep of the 2017 NCAA Lexington Regional thanks to a 4-2 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington.

The Super Regional appearance for Kentucky is its fifth in the last seven years, and fourth in the last five years under head coach Rachel Lawson. The Wildcats won all three games of the regional which began on Friday, sweeping a home regional for the first time in program history.

The Wildcats will face the winner of the Eugene, Oregon Regional next weekend in a best-of-three series that will be three games over three days. Currently, Oregon is in the driver’s seat as the 2-0 team. Should Oregon win the regional, UK will travel to Jane Sanders Stadium in Oregon for the super. If Wisconsin wins the regional, Kentucky will host the super regional.

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Softball: Kentucky holds off Illinois to advance to Super Regional

Baseball: SEC Tournament Bracket

Baseball: Cats’ rally falls short in 6-4 loss at Florida

No. 6 Cats finish with 19 league wins, earn No. 3 seed in SEC Tournament

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kentucky’s bid for its second regular season Southeastern Conference championship came up just short, as the No. 6 Wildcats fell 6-4 to No. 5 Florida at McKethan Stadium in the regular season finale.

The Cats finished the regular season with 38 wins, the most since the 2012 team won a school-record 45. Their 19-11 mark in league play represents the second-most SEC wins in school history, one short of the 20 the 2006 club had when it won the conference.

UK earned the No. 3 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. and will open play at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 24 in the double elimination portion of the bracket.

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Baseball: Cats’ rally falls short in 6-4 loss at Florida