Cody, Shelby lead UK to needed 9-6 win at Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. – Senior right-hander Kyle Cody pitched seven and one-third innings, giving up just two earned runs on seven hits, and JaVon Shelby belted a pair of home runs as the Kentucky baseball team topped Auburn 9-6 on Sunday at Plainsman Park.
Cody (5-2) struck out six and walked three in the game, helping Kentucky salvage the third game of the series after the Cats lost to the Tigers both Friday and Saturday.
Shelby hit two homers in the same game for the third time this season. He pulled the trick against Dayton on February 21 and against Georgia on March 20. With his two home runs on Sunday, Shelby now has nine on the season, which is tied for third in the SEC this season.
It was Shelby’s first home run that got the scoring started in the game. In the top of the second inning, the junior third baseman hit one deep down the left field line, and the ball was initially ruled to be foul. But the umpires reviewed the play and discovered that the ball was fair, and Kentucky took a 1-0 lead.
Auburn tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Cats came back with three runs in the top of the fifth to take control of the game. Luke Becker led off the frame with a walk, followed by a single from freshman Tristan Pompey. After a pitching change, Connor Heady reached on a bunt single to load the bases. After UK catcher Troy Squires popped out, Evan White singled through the left side, scoring Becker and Pompey to make it 3-1. Zach Reks then singled down the left field line to score Heady, making it 4-1 Cats.
Kentucky (27-16, 11-10 SEC) put the game out of reach in the seventh inning. White knocked in another run with an RBI single before Reks brought home a run with a sacrifice fly. Then, it was Shelby going deep again, this time with a three-run shot, to make it 9-1 Kentucky.
Heady, Reks, Shelby and White each had two hits in the game for the Wildcats.
Auburn (20-24, 7-14) chased Cody in the bottom of the eighth inning with a pair of singles. Justin Lewis came on in relief for the Cats, allowing two inherited runners to score to cut Kentucky’s lead to 9-3.
The Tigers didn’t go quietly in the bottom of the ninth. Trailing by six run entering the frame, Auburn rallied for three runs in the inning, eventually getting the tying run to the plate before Kentucky got out of the jam.
Kentucky returns to action on Tuesday night, hosting intrastate rival Eastern Kentucky at Cliff Hagan Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.

Pigeon Forge Retro Weekend was a fun two days

Getting on stage as an age division winner with Jeff Galloway Saturday was an honor for me.

Getting on stage as an age division winner with Jeff Galloway Saturday was an honor for me.

By LARRY VAUGHT

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — There was not anything about Retro Weekend that I did not like.

Pigeon Forge is always fun and we stayed at Willow Brook Lodge for the first time and it was delightful and within walking distance of the LeConte Center where Retro Weekend activities were held.

Obviously, the race of 5 miles, 916 yards — a distance guaranteed to let you set a new personal best because of the unique distance — was fun. Race organizers and the city of PIgeon Forge did a great job making the course safe and fun.

Poythress, Lee, Briscoe all NBA combine alternates

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Really it should be no surprise that Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee and Isaiah Briscoe are alternates for the NBA combine.

That doesn’t mean they could not be draft choices, but it makes it a lot more unlikely if they were not one of the players invited to the combine.

Poythress can still work out for teams and take his chances as a free agent — which might be better because then he can pick his team.

Cats blow 5-0 lead, lost 10-6 at Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. – Junior third baseman JaVon Shelby had three hits, including a pair of doubles and two RBIs, and junior leftfielder Zach Reks had a two-run homer among his three hits, but the Kentucky baseball team lost at Auburn 10-6 on Saturday night.

Things started out well for the Wildcats, as they plated three runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore first baseman Evan White continued his hot hitting, leading off the game with a single. White advanced to second when designated hitter Gunnar McNeill reached on an error with one out. Shelby then doubled to deep left field, scoring White. Dorian Hairston scored McNeill on a groundout before sophomore shortstop Riley Mahan singled to left to score Shelby and make it 3-0.

Rams draft UK LB Josh Forrest in 6th round

Josh Forrest (Vicky Graff Photo)

Josh Forrest (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky linebacker Josh Forrest was chosen by the Los Angeles Rams in the sixth round of the 2016 National Football League Draft on Saturday afternoon in Chicago.

Forrest, a 6-foot-3 linebacker from Paducah, Ky., actually began his Wildcat career as a receiver before moving to defense in 2012. He excelled on the defensive side of the ball, totaling a team-high 110 tackles and ranking third in the Southeastern Conference in tackles per game (9.2) during his junior season. In 2015, Forrest once again ranked among the SEC’s top tacklers. He was 12th in the league with 93 total tackles, along with six tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and one fumble caused. He also charted two interceptions and five pass breakups and was chosen to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl

Shannon Dawson could influence UK offense for several years

By LARRY VAUGHT

Shannon Dawson spent only one year as Kentucky’s offensive coordinator, but he could have a major impact on UK football for several years.

Florida junior quarterback Mac Jones verbally committed to UK before last season in large part because of Dawson, who is now the offensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi. Dawson had first noticed Jones’ potential when he was coaching at West Virginia.

Now Jones has blown up to a four-star recruit. He was named MVP of the Rivals Quarterback Challenge Camp in Baltimore recently and continues to pile up scholarship offers.

Ed Davender was one of UK’s most underrated players

By LARRY VAUGHT

Ed Davender was never a guy that gave up easily. He was one of the toughest players both physical and mentally I have watched during my 41 years covering Kentucky basketball.

I always liked him — and he always liked me. He never quit calling me “Mr. Vaught” and even during some troubled times in his life in recent years we still talked some and I stayed fond of him.
That’s why the news this week that he suffered a major heart attack and then died Thursday night at age 49 hit me so hard. Ed had some problems, but he was a good guy and one who teammates always loved.

Evan White continues hot streak, but UK loses 5-2 at Auburn

Sophomore first baseman Evan White continued his hot streak at the plate, but the Kentucky baseball team lost 5-2 on the road at Auburn in SEC action on Friday night.

White had two hits, including a triple, in four trips to the plate. In his last two games, White is now six for his last nine, including a triple and a home run. In the process, he has raised his season batting average to .361, which leads the team.

Cole Lipscomb went the distance for Auburn (19-23, 6-13 SEC), giving up just one earned run in nine innings of action. Lipscomb held Kentucky to five hits while allowing no walks and striking out three.

Running guru Jeff Galloway says slowing down is not a bad thing

Jeff Galloway, left, talks to runners Friday at RetroWeekend in Pigeon Forge. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Jeff Galloway, left, talks to runners Friday at RetroWeekend in Pigeon Forge. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Jeff Galloway says he was a “fat, lazy kid” who only joined the cross country team because friends told him the cross country coach was the most “lenient” coach in the school.

“They told me you run trails and you just run 200 yards to the woods and then tell the coach you did the rest,” said Galloway.

Barnhart to Mitchell: Stabilize program, make improvements now

Mitch Barnhart (Wade Upchurch Photo)

Mitch Barnhart (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During his 45-minute press conference Wednesday detailing the turmoil in the women’s basketball program, coach Matthew Mitchell revealed what athletics director Mitch Barnhart had said to him — or at least some of what Barnhart said.

“I sense that there is urgency from Mitch that we want our kids and players to be in a stable situation. I think he has that wish for our program and every other program,” Mitchell said. “I have never been around an athletic director that cares more about these young people as individuals and I have said this many times, he knows every athlete in this department and knows her story or his story. He has a tremendous heart for people.

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