Kentucky Secures Second-Largest Comeback Victory in Mingione Era

Kentucky Secures Second-Largest Comeback Victory in Mingione Era


The Kentucky baseball team completed the second-largest comeback of Coach Nick Mingione’s eight-year tenure on Tuesday night, rallying from a six-run hole to defeat Murray State 10-6 at Kentucky Proud Park.

Graduate senior Nick Lopez became the first player since 2022 and third player in Mingione’s tenure to rap five hits in a game, joining Jase Felker (March 22, 2022 vs. Georgia) and Riley Mahan (April 21, 2017 vs. LSU) in that rare air. He singles his first four at-bats before tripling in his final trip to the plate.

Lopez stole the headlines but it was a team-wide effort, capped by graduate Ryan Nicholson’s mammoth 422-foot home run that stretched UK’s edge to three and capped an outburst of nine runs in the third and fourth innings.

Although redshirt freshman Drew Lafferty did not have his best stuff on the mound in his fourth collegiate start, he was picked up by a bullpen that help Murray State (11-6) off the board over the final six innings after taking a 6-0 lead. Freshman Ben Cleaver, making his debut after being sidelined by a minor injury, earned his first win after striking out the first two hitters he faced in a scoreless inning.

Kentucky (13-3) now turns its attention to Southeastern Conference play and a lively Georgia offense that has the Bulldogs ranked No. 25. The series begins Friday at Kentucky Proud Park.



  • Kentucky now is 14-3 in 2024.
    • Kentucky is 3-0 in night games.
    • Kentucky is 8-2 at home.
  • Kentucky is 39-7 vs. non-conference foes (including the Lexington Regional) since the beginning of the 2023 season.
  • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 230-153 career record.
    • Mingione needs 28 victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
    • UK is 92-36 in the month of March under Coach Mingione.
    • Mingione is 147-43 in non-conference games overall.
    • Mingione is 128-18 vs. non-Power Five opponents.
    • Kentucky hit two doubles, two triples and a home run in the game.
  • Trailing 6-0, Kentucky scored four runs in the third inning and five in the fourth inning.
    • Kentucky has scored four or more in an inning 11 times this season.
    • Kentucky has scored four or more in an inning 184 times during Mingione’s tenure.
  • The six-run comeback is the second-largest of the Mingione Era.
    • UK defeated Western Michigan 13-12 in 12 innings on February 26, 2022 after trailing 12-4.
  • Graduate IF Nick Lopez went 5-for-5 with a triple, two runs and two RBI.
    • It was his seventh multi-hit game of 2024.
    • The five hits are a career high.
    • He is the first Wildcat with five hits in a game since Jase Felker vs. Georgia on March 22, 2022.
      • Lopez, Felker and Riley Mahan (4/21/17 vs. LSU) are the only players with five hits in a game in the Mingione Era.
    • Freshman LHP Ben Cleaver made his collegiate debut.
      • He pitched a scoreless inning, waking one.
      • He struck out the first two batters he faced, including the first on three pitches.
    • Junior C Devin Burkes also went 1-for-3 with a run, an RBI, a walk and a steal.
      • He stole a base and now is 9-of-9 on the season.
      • He leads all D-I catchers in stolen bases.
    • Graduate IF Ryan Nicholson went 1-for-2 with a run, three RBI, a home run and a SAC bunt for a run.
      • The three RBI are a UK career high.
        • It is his third multi-RBI game.
      • His home run was the 34th of his collegiate career and first as a Wildcat.
        • It was a 422-foot shot of a left-hander for the lefty.



The Wildcats open Southeastern Conference play this weekend against Georgia on March 15. The contest between the Cats and the Bulldogs will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday night and will be streamed on the SECN+, with radio coverage available on 98.5 FM (Lexington) and

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