Cats Prepared to Move Past Monday, Focus on Florida

Cats Prepared to Move Past Monday, Focus on Florida

by Tim Letcher

After falling to Texas A&M 5-1 on Monday night in the College World Series, the Kentucky baseball team faces elimination on Tuesday.

The Cats, who have been able to move on from both wins and losses all season, will need to do just that on Tuesday. All season, Kentucky has stuck to the mantra that a particular day’s result, win or lose, expires at midnight. They hope to “flush” Monday’s result at midnight.

UK will hope to quickly move on from Monday’s game, and the Cats will need to do just that, as they play again in less than 24 hours. The Cats believe that they must keep the same mindset as they head into Tuesday’s contest with Florida.

“Same approach as we came into today. Just tomorrow we’re playing Florida, I guess. Other than that, just the same mindset,” first baseman Ryan Nicholson said. “We’re going to come out. We’re going to try put the ball on the ball and play good defense and pitch it well. I wouldn’t say there’s added pressure or anything like that that we’re feeling going into tomorrow.”

Kentucky will see a familiar face on Tuesday when Southeastern Conference Eastern Division rival Florida poses the opposition. The Cats and the Gators met May 10-12 in Gainesville. In game one, Kentucky overcame a late deficit to win 12-11 in 10 innings behind a three-run double from Nick Lopez. The Gators took game two of the series 10-1. In the rubber game of the series, the Cats again needed extra innings to beat the Gators, this time 7-5. Patrick Herrera had a three-run double for the Cats in the 10th inning to bring home what proved to be the winning run. Mingione knows that this Gators’ team is much different than the one the Cats faced five weeks ago.

“They’ve played great of late. When you just think about what they had to do to even make the postseason, you give them so much credit,” Mingione said. “That last weekend what they did in Georgia, and obviously they’ve been playing really good since. And you know what, they took the hard path here. They were on the road for both the Regional and Super. And this is a team that we’re facing tomorrow that’s been there, done that. They’re well-coached as you know. Yeah, we’ll definitely have our hands full. But they’re not the same team from when we played them a couple of weeks ago.”

All season, Kentucky has been able to let the previous day’s result expire at midnight. The Cats will need to do that again on Tuesday when they face the Gators, with both teams facing elimination.

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