Cottam extends career long hitting streak but UK falls 8-1 at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE – Kole Cottam extended his career-long hitting streak to 16 games but that was about all No. 16 Kentucky could muster against Vanderbilt ace Drake Fellows, falling 8-1 in the opener of a regular season-ending series at Hawkins Field.

A pregame storm led to a wet and gray night in the Music City, which began with the Wildcats waiting out a lightning delay on the team bus. From there, they were handcuffed by Fellows’ career effort, giving up just one hit through the first six innings without walking a batter. Ultimately, the Cats tallied three hits but were done in by 16 groundballs in 7.1 innings against the sophomore right-hander.

Former UK basketball player Bret Bearup dies at age 56

Bret Bearup

By LARRY VAUGHT

He was such a highly touted recruit when he came to Kentucky from New York to play for coach Joe Hall. He was a Parade All-American as well as a McDonald’s All-American.

Partially because he was at UK at the same time a lot of great players were (Sam Bowie, Melvin Turpin) there from 1980-85, he never got to play as much as he wanted or others expected. He did play in 114 games but had just 410 points and 308 rebounds, not nearly the numbers he expected to produce.

Cottam, Heyer Named Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists

Luke Heyer (Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior infielder/outfielder Luke Heyer and junior catcher/first baseman Kole Cottam have been named Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists, it was announced Thursday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

The award honors the top collegiate baseball player in the nation for their performance on the field. There are 35 semifinalists and the finalists, based on two rounds of voting, will be announced June 8. The winner will be announced on the MLB Network on June 15. Previous winners include former UK star AJ Reed, who brought home the award in 2014.

Kentucky Softball’s Bailey Vick Named NFCA All-South Region

Bailey Vick (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s Bailey Vick was named to the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association All-South Region Team, it was announced by the NFCA on Thursday afternoon.

This is the first-career NFCA honor for Vick, who is a sophomore from Paducah, Kentucky. Vick was also named to the 2017 All-SEC Freshman Team and All-SEC Defensive Team. The left fielder was awarded a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team last week.

Kentucky Vegas-bound in 2019 to play Utah, Ohio State

LEXINGTON, Ky. – John Calipari hinted two weeks ago that he and his staff had a destination spot for the Kentucky fan base in the works in the upcoming years. On Thursday it was revealed that the location is Las Vegas and the opponents are Utah and Ohio State.

UK has added Utah to its schedule for the next two seasons. The Wildcats will host Utah on Dec. 15 in Rupp Arena this upcoming year and then play Utah again the following season, on Dec. 18, 2019, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Could Shai Gilgeous-Alexander be right pick for 76ers at No. 10?

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Philadelphia made major strides this year before being eliminated by Boston in the NBA playoffs. The Sixers will have the 10th pick in the draft and one 76ers beat writer, Christopher Kline of thesixersense.com, thinks Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be the best pick for a team that hopes to contend soon for a NBA title.

Here’s part of what he wrote:

School-record six UK teams earn Academic Progress Rate scores

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky set a school record with six teams – men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, softball and volleyball – that received Public Recognition Awards for their Academic Progress Rate scores, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

The Wildcat squads received the honor for placing in the top 10 percent of Division I schools in their respective sports. The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success by the progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation. The scores are a four-year composite, covering the 2013-14 through the 2016-17 school years.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is going to have a lot to like and enjoy

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

By LARRY VAUGHT

GATLINBURG — In just over two months you’ll have a new lodging choice in Gatlinburg that I think will appeal to a lot of us.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is taking reservations for July 19 and after now. The property is in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg (539 Parkway at Traffic Light 5) and there’s nothing else quite like it in Gatlinburg.

Fort Lauderdale offensive lineman Jake Pope picks UK

Jake Pope

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky has reached into Fort Lauderdale again to land a football commitment.

Three-star offensive lineman Jake Pope — who got a Kentucky scholarship offer about a month ago — verbally committed to Kentucky today on Twitter.

McDaniel’s 18th hole magic sends UK golf to NCAA Championship

BRYAN, Texas – Faced with a 10-stroke deficit entering the final day of play to advance to the 2018 NCAA Championship, the Kentucky men’s golf team needed to play its best round of the tournament, benefit from a few breaks and produce a little magic along the way.

UK’s lineup improved by six shots and earned some breaks. About that magic? It came in the form of a 118-yard approach shot on the 444-yard, par-four 18th hole off the club of senior Chip McDaniel.