'Production' Top to Bottom Makes UK Offense Go

'Production' Top to Bottom Makes UK Offense Go

by Tim Letcher

The Kentucky baseball team has been producing huge offensive numbers lately. That trend continued on Tuesday night as the Cats again scored in double figures, beating Evansville 11-3 at Kentucky Proud Park.

The Cats, who won their 18th game of the season and their sixth in a row on Tuesday, a streak in which UK has scored at least nine runs in each game. Tuesday’s game marked the eighth time this season that Kentucky has scored in double figures in runs. Kentucky has scored 58 runs combined over the course of its last five games.

On Tuesday night, it was second baseman Emilien Pitre who sparked the Cats offense. Pitre had three hits, including a double, knocked in four runs and scored another. He knows what makes the UK offense go.

“We’re an aggressive team, whether it’s on defense, on offense, we attack,” Pitre said. “We’re gritty. We see a lot of pitches. We’re on the attack all the time, from top to bottom. We have Waldy (Ryan Waldschmidt) that leads us off, then whether it’s James (McCoy), Grant (Smith) or Nolan (McCarthy) in the back end of the lineup, everyone’s contributing.”

UK head coach Nick Mingione liked his team’s approach on Tuesday, even when the Cats were not able to get on the board early.

“Our team was focused and locked in, even early when we weren’t scoring,” Mingione said. “But we were still competing really hard. That’s what you’ve got to do.”

Mingione likes how his team’s offense is not being produced by one or two players, but by everyone in the lineup. When asked what makes the UK offense so good, Mingione didn’t hesitate.

“Production. I don’t know how many games in a row that every guy in the lineup, every starter, either scored a run or knocked in a run,” Mingione said. “So, when you have – one through nine – you have guys that are either getting on base or knocking guys in and you’re getting that much production up and down the lineup, it’s key. It’s one of the ways you’re going to be able to put up a lot of runs.”

Proving that point, Ryan Nicholson had a pair of singles and scored two runs for Kentucky in Tuesday’s victory, while McCarthy had a double, scored two runs and knocked in two more. McCoy made his one hit count. It was a triple to left field that scored a pair of runs.

The balance that the Kentucky offense is showing makes the Cats tough to prepare for, tough to pitch to and tough to defend. For Mingione and the Cats, that’s exactly what they are looking to be. Over the course of the last six games, the plan is definitely working.

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