[Moderated by Matt Jones]
South Carolina has rallied from their opening week sweep by the Cats to sweep Auburn and Alabama over the last two weeks to tie the Cats atop the SEC and SEC East. LSU won two out of three against Georgia to join UK and the Gamecocks atop the SEC with nine conference games left to play. Kentucky maintained their two game lead on Florida who lost two out of three to Arkansas over the weekend. The three way tie at the top is sure to make for an exciting sprint to the finish over the last three weekends of the regular season.
Collegiate Baseball – 3rd
USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll- 6th
Baseball America- 3rd
With the Cats 1-3 week and their first SEC series loss, the team was bound to fall a little in the rankings. The Cats lost their top spot in Collegiate Baseball to Baylor and only fell one spot in Baseball America. UK’s biggest tumble came in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll where they fell from third to sixth.
The Weekend Ahead
There is no midweek game this week due to the short week and finals but the Wildcats will welcome the Gators to town this weekend in this week’s installment of the “biggest series of the year” for UK. The weekend will kickoff on Thursday night with a nationally televised game as a part of ESPNU’s SEC Baseball Game of the Week at 7:30pm. The Cats lead the Gators by two games in the SEC standings. The series will continue on Friday at 7pm and conclude on Saturday at 2pm.
The Rest of the Season
After the Florida series, the Cats will welcome Alabama to town for the last home series of the season before finishing the regular season in Starkville against the Bulldogs. South Carolina will travel to Arkansas and then Georgia while LSU will head to Ole Miss and then host the Commodores in the next two weeks. The Tigers will travel to Columbia for a match up with the Gamecocks in the last week of the season, a series which could determine the SEC title. One has to think that the series will not end in a sweep and that the loser will be out of contention for the SEC title. Six, but most likely seven wins over the last nine games will be required to take the conference crown. A series win against Florida and Mississippi State and a sweep of SEC cellar dweller Alabama would do the trick for the Cats. Also something to remember for SEC tournament seeding, the Cats hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Tigers and the Gamecocks.
Closing the Book on Last Week
It took over two months but the team finally had a bad week. Louisville just seems to have this teams number this year (at least in the midweek) and the Cats ran into a very talented and rapidly improving Vanderbilt squad. I though Corey Littrell’s Tweet last night summed it up the best.
Last week was just a part of baseball’s ups and downs, now is not a time to panic or jump off the bandwagon. The Cats ran into two very good squads last week who got the best of them. The Vanderbilt series just shows how talented the SEC is from top to bottom and how deceiving records can really be. The Commodores have some of the best young pitching talent in the nation and it showed on Saturday and Sunday.
Remember the Cats are still on top of the SEC standings, although it is a little more crowded than it was last week, and control their own destiny.
Dont forget to vote for Thomas McCarthy for the Lowes Senior CLASS Award.
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