Category: UK Baseball

Kentucky to Host 2018 Baseball/Softball Fan Dan on January 28

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky baseball and softball teams, both coming off of Super Regional appearances in 2017, will be holding its second annual Fan Day on Sunday, Jan. 28 from 5-8 p.m. ET at the Nutter Fieldhouse in Lexington.

There will be a skills camp open to all first through sixth graders, with registration beginning on Monday, Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. ET. The camp, which filled up to capacity last year, will be open to the first 300 registrants. The camp will be operated by both Nick Mingione and Rachel Lawson in addition to all baseball and softball players.

Sean Hjelle, Tristan Pompey Named Preseason All-Americans

Tristan Pompey (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky juniors Sean Hjelle and Tristan Pompey have been named preseason First-Team All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, respectively. The honor follows a 2017 season that saw each player burst onto the national scene with eye-opening performances.

Hjelle, the reigning Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year, earned first-team honors from Collegiate Baseball and third-team recognition from Perfect Game. The 6-foot-11 junior from White Bear Lake, Minnesota went 11-4 with a 3.89 earned run average in 2017, striking out 102 hitters in 108.1 innings. The 11 victories are the fourth-most in a single season in UK history.

Mingione to Speak Today at National Baseball Coaches Convention

Nick Mingione. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky baseball coach Nick Mingione will speak at the American Baseball Coaches Association’s national convention on Friday, Jan. 5 in Indianapolis. The 74th annual gathering of more than 6,000 coaches from all levels of baseball is considered one of the premier events in the sport.

Mingione will be part of the ABCA Clinic portion of the convention that also features more than 300 industry companies who will have exhibits at the trade show. The four-day event is a critical stop on the sport’s calendar and is viewed as the unofficial kick-off to the 2018 season, which the preseason No. 8 Wildcats open at Wofford on Feb. 16.

Merry Christmas: Get to know special UK fan Marianne Kirby

Marianne Kirby (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Let me start my Christmas break by telling you a little bit about one of the most loyal UK fans I know — 87-year-old Marianne Kirby of Danville.

She’s a retired teacher who I have known all my life it seems and never once have I seen her disappointed in her Wildcats.

That’s one reason for over 20 years she has collected Kentucky Christmas ornaments and still proudly displays them for all the residents at McDowell Place in Danville to see. Residents and staff members know about her love for UK and the UK Christmas tree and decorations she has in her room.

Erik Daniels, Gerald Fitch, Garry Williams among UK athletes graduating Friday

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A total of 35 current and former University of Kentucky student-athletes will participate in Commencement ceremonies Friday (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) at Rupp Arena.

Included in the honorees are six Wildcats – all of whom were All-Southeastern Conference honorees and played professionally – who returned to UK and completed degrees:

  • Erik Daniels (2001-04), All-SEC men’s basketball player and a member of two SEC championship teams, was in pro ball for 11 years, including one season for the NBA Sacramento Kings
  • Makayla Epps (2014-17), All-America/All-SEC women’s basketball player, currently playing for the WNBA Chicago Sky

Wiseman plans to stay in 2019 recruiting class, has UK “up there” on his list

James Wiseman (USA Basketball Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

James Wiseman didn’t seem to leave any wiggle room Sunday about whether he might reclassify from the 2019 recruiting class to the 2018 class as many have been speculating.

The Memphis East standout played at Marshall County Hoopfest Sunday and had 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in an 82-66 victory over Aspire Academy of Louisville.

The 6-11 Wiseman is ranked as the No. 1 player in the 2019 recruiting class and is considered a Kentucky lean. Even though his eligibility has been in doubt this season after his transfer to Memphis East, he emphasized starting a college a year sooner than anticipated is not in his plans.

Happy Veteran’s Day

Kami Bivins, center, and her daughters at Rupp Arena Friday. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It was really cool to see UK honor veterans at Friday night’s win by the Wildcats over Utah Valley.

Kami Bivins an her daughters came from Gallatin, Tenn., as UK’s guests to honor the memory of Eric Bivins, her husband and their father. He passed away from PTSD and the girls have been on a mission to raise awareness that 22 veterans per day die from the same thing.

Mingione Receives Prestigious Kentucky Colonel Honor

Nick Mingione with his wife, Christen, and son, Reeves, at today’s ceremony. (Quinn Foster/UK Athletics)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky baseball coach Nick Mingione received the prestigious Kentucky Colonel honor in a surprise ceremony on Monday. The commission of Kentucky Colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky.

Mingione, UK’s second-year head coach, and his father-in-law, Randy Reeves, were presented with the recognition by Brigadier General Les E. Beavers. Reeves is a retired Commander and Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy and currently serves as Executive Director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board and President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. Beavers has an extensive record of serving the needs of veterans in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Darren Headrick Named Voice of UK Women’s Basketball, Baseball

Darren Headrick

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Darren Headrick, who has spent over a decade announcing collegiate and professional sports including being named a Baseball America Best MLB Broadcaster Prospect honoree in 2015, has joined the UK Sports Network team as the new voice of Kentucky women’s basketball and baseball.

Along with calling all the action on the court and on the diamond, Headrick will also serve as the host of the Matthew Mitchell Radio Show, Nick Mingione Radio Show, the Wildcat Sports Update (a daily radio feature on the network highlighting UK’s Olympic sports programs), Big Blue Weekly (a one-hour radio show focused on UK’s Olympic sports programs) and will help with all other UK Sports Network broadcasts. Headrick will host his first Big Blue Weekly show on Monday evening following the Coach Mark Stoops Radio Show.

Kentucky opens baseball season Feb. 16 in South Carolina; home opener on Feb. 21

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky baseball team will open its 2018 season on the road with four games in three days as part of a challenging schedule that features 25 games against 11 opponents who made last season’s NCAA Tournament field, including defending national champion Florida.

Two of the Wildcats’ 2018 opponents made the College World Series, three others advanced to the Super Regionals and five hosted a regional, once again setting up what should be one of the nation’s most difficult schedules.