Baseball Cats Keeping it Simple with Big Goals on Horizon

Baseball Cats Keeping it Simple with Big Goals on Horizon

by Tim Letcher

The second-ranked Kentucky baseball team enters the final weekend of the regular season with a number of lofty goals within their reach. As the Cats host Vanderbilt to wrap up Southeastern Conference play, here are some of the things that UK could accomplish:

1. Winning an SEC regular season title for just the second time in school history
2. Setting a school record for most SEC wins in a season (the Cats are currently tied for the record with 20)
3. Earning the top seed in next week’s SEC Tournament
4. Earning the right to host an NCAA Baseball Regional
5. Potentially earning the right to host an NCAA Super Regional
6. Potentially being the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament

Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione and his team are well aware of these goals. In fact, Mingione directly addressed them with his team on Tuesday.

“Yesterday, when I spoke to the team, we went over exactly what this weekend entailed and what was on the line,” Mingione said. “The reason I did that was because they have all of this information in their hands, so I wanted to make sure they understood and that it was accurate.”

The Cats have done a great job of managing exactly what’s in front of them all season. Mingione reminded his team of that when they discussed the upcoming series against Vanderbilt.

“Also, we kind of reminded them that, when you’re climbing a mountain, you don’t just stare at the mountain top, you go one step at a time,” Mingione said. “So, just reminding them that the reason we’re in this spot is because we’ve done an amazing job of doing whatever is next, whatever that calls for. And, not focusing on winning but focusing on but doing what it takes to win.”

Mingione likes his team’s drive and desire to win every day.

“We have a group of uber-competitive individuals,” Mingione said. “Their competitive spirit is the foundation of how we’re wired.”

The UK head coach also knows that his team believes in itself, which is an important part of the success that the Cats have experienced this season. Mingione tells his team that true belief comes from inside.

“Belief is a powerful thing. True confidence comes from the inside out, not the outside in,” Mingione said. “We can tell them all the time ‘you’re a great team, you’re a great player’ but that would be coming from the outside in. But true confidence comes from the inside out and them knowing and believing. When it’s inside your heart, and you truly believe it, then you’ve got something.”

While there are monumental goals in front of the Cats with three regular season games to play, it will continue to be important for Kentucky to handle its business one step at a time. Having that belief and competitiveness gives UK an edge, one that they hope to ride toward those big goals this weekend.

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