Kentucky baseball lost another key underclassmen this week when sophomore pitcher Jordan Cooper agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
By signing with the Pirates, who drafted Cooper in the 23rd round of the MLB Draft, Cooper cannot return to the UK baseball team.
The loss of Cooper is the third underclassmen to sign with an MLB team. Offensive stalwart Chad Wright and two-way star Braden Kapteyn have already signed contracts with the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, respectively.
In all, Kentucky has had five players sign MLB contracts this year with senior Neiko Johnson signing with the Houston Astros and senior shortstop Taylor Black signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Cooper, as a part-time weekend starter last year, went 3-2 with a 4.61 ERA and 47 strikeouts. Assuming first-round pick Alex Meyer signs with the Washington Nationals -- believe it or not, he can still return to UK if he doesn't sign a contract -- head coach Gary Henderson will have to retool his weekend rotation. Only Taylor Rogers is expected to be back.
In addition to Meyer, catcher Michael Williams has not signed a contract yet and could return next year if he doesn't sign with the San Francisco Giants.
SEC domination: Continuing the league's recent domination, a Southeastern Conference baseball team is going to win the College World Series for the third straight year.
Both Florida and defending champion South Carolina advanced to the CWS finals on Saturday, ensuring that the SEC's streak will continue.
The two teams will square off Monday in a best-of-three series in Omaha, Neb.