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Baseball current event.svg For current information on this topic, see 2009 Kentucky Wildcats Baseball.
Kentucky Wildcats
Founded: 1896
University University of Kentucky
Conference SEC
Eastern Division
Location Lexington, KY
Head Coach Gary Henderson (1st year)
Home Stadium Cliff Hagan Stadium
(Capacity: 3,000)
Nickname Wildcats
Colors Blue and White

             

NCAA Tournament Appearances
1949, 1950, 1988, 1993, 2006, 2008
Conference Champions
2006

The Kentucky Wildcats baseball team represents the University of Kentucky in NCAA Division I college baseball and competes in the Eastern division of the Southeastern Conference. The current head coach of the Wildcats is Gary Henderson.

Contents

History

The baseball program, partly hampered by being the northernmost school in the heavily warm-weather SEC, has historically achieved only modest success at best. Under longtime coach Keith Madison (1975-2003), the Wildcats had some good teams, but found it difficult to gain ground playing in the same league as national powers LSU, Alabama and Mississippi State.

Wildcats baseball hit bottom at the turn of the 21st century, with only one winning season from 1997 through 2004, and five straight last-place finishes in the SEC East from 2001 through 2005. In 2003, after the retirement of longtime coach Keith Madison, Kentucky hired Florida assistant John Cohen as head coach. Cohen was able to lead the Cats to a winning overall season in 2005, despite another SEC cellar finish.

Few could have expected the Cinderella season the Cats would have in 2006. They literally went from worst to first in the SEC, winning a regular-season conference title for the first time in three decades, and being ranked as high as fourth in the country by one major baseball poll during the season. However, the newly energized Kentucky baseball faithful saw the Cats crash out of the SEC tournament early and fail to make it out of the regionals of the NCAA tournament at home.

There were high hopes for the 2007 team and for the most part they delivered. They started the season 19-0 before falling to Arkansas. They then fell into a tailspin but rebounded at the end of the year to just miss the SEC playoffs after a Tennessee Volunteers win. They finished with a 37-19 record.

In 2008, Kentucky started off strong posting a 19-0 record and being ranked as high as #4 in the nation. The Wildcats rolled into conference play and began to struggle after being swept by eventual College World Series runner-up Georgia and College World Series participant LSU. The Wildcats finished the season strong and made it into the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats would end up losing to Arizona in the regional final in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wildcats finished the season with a 44-19 record, the most wins in school history. They finished 25th in the final ESPN/USA Today poll.

The Wildcats slumped back to the SEC's second division in 2009, though they finished two games over .500 overall. Cohen left for Mississippi State after the season, and pitching coach Gary Henderson was named his successor.

Stadium

The Wildcats play their home games on campus in Cliff Hagan Stadium, although a new stadium construction is being planned by the university.

Head coaches

  • Keith Madison
  • John Cohen
  • Gary Henderson

Former players

All-Americans

The following is a list of Kentucky's All-Americans:

Year Player Position
1949 Dom Fucci Catcher
1961 Dickie Parsons Shortstop
1976 Jimmy Sherrill Outfield
1981 Jim Keener Outfield
1987 Terry Shumpert Second Base
1988 Chris Estep Outfield
1991 Rick Norton Third Base
1991 Mike Harris First Base
1993 Brad Hindersman Designated Hitter
1994 Jeff Abbott Outfield
1996 Chad Green Outfield
1996 Sam White Second Base
1999 Chad Wilson Catcher
2006 Ryan Strieby First Base
2006 Sean Coughlin Catcher
2008 Sawyer Carroll Outfield
2008 Collin Cowgill Outfield
All-Americans

See also

References

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