Collin Cowgill has been waiting a long time for his first full-time opportunity in the big leagues.
The former Kentucky All-American spent his first four professional seasons with Arizona, earning a spot on the Diamondbacks' postseason roster after a dominant season in Triple-A. The next year, he appeared poised to start after being traded to Oakland, but was squeezed out of a starting role by other offseason acquisitions.
Before 2013, he was acquired by the New York Mets, who named him their starter in center field early this spring. Leading off for the Mets on opening day, he did not disappoint.
In an 11-2 win, Cowgill had a pair of hits in five at-bats. The first was a fourth-inning double (he later scored) and the second was a grand slam to left that turned the Mets' game against the San Diego Padres into a laugher. Here's video of his third-career major-league home run.
More Cowgill!!! WOW!!!!!!! @ccowgill12 first career grand slam and second by a Met on Opening Day. Todd Hundley in '95 was the other.
Women's basketball - The Wildcats earned their second straight and third trip to the Elite Eight in the last four years after an impressive team effort over one of the nation's best players in senior Elena Delle Donne and the No. 15/16 Blue Hens. - Ten players scored at least two points, led by redshirt sophomore point guard Jennifer O'Neill with 19 points and senior All-America candidate A'dia Mathies with 16 points and season-high tying nine rebounds. - The Wildcats have won a school-record 30 games and have advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fourth consecutive season. - For the second straight season, the second-seeded Wildcats will meet the top-seeded Huskies with a trip to the Final Four on the line. - Mathies charted her 2,000th-career point against the Blue Hens, becoming just the fifth men's or women's basketball player at Kentucky to reach the accomplishment.
Gymnastics - No. 19 UK earned a NCAA Gymnastics Championship bid last Monday. - The Wildcats will compete at the Morgantown, W.Va. regional on Saturday, April 6. - Kentucky is making its ninth consecutive and 25th overall NCAA Regional appearance. - UK will join top-seeded Michigan, No. 2-seed Nebraska, No. 3-seed Illinois, as well as host West Virginia and North Carolina seeded fifth and sixth respectively.
Softball - The Kentucky softball team posted a road win over Lipscomb last week before falling in a non-conference tilt to No. 5 Tennessee last Friday. The game against Tennessee did not count towards Southeastern Conference team standings. UK took down Lipscomb 8-1 before falling to UT 6-0. - UK got a strong performance offensively against Lipscomb. Griffin Joiner led Kentucky, going 2-for-3 with a solo home run and a RBI double. The homer was Joiner's team-leading eighth home run of the season. Ginny Carroll and Lauren Cumbess also had strong nights at the dish with Carroll posting a 3-for-4 night with two RBI and Cumbess blasting her fourth roundtripper of the season. Cumbess ended the game 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Christian Stokes also had two hits. - Ellen Weaver and Kelsey Nunley combined for a strong effort in the circle against Lipscomb. Weaver threw the first two innings of the game, allowing one unearned run on one hit with two strikeouts. Nunley came in to start the third inning, keeping the Bisons scoreless the rest of the game on just two hits with five strikeouts.
Baseball - Kentucky posted a midweek 8-2 win over Marshall, before opening the series with Georgia in a 10-inning thriller. UK got a rally in the bottom of the 10th inning that resulted in a two-out walk from Max Kuhn with the bases loaded to give UK a 3-2 win. - On Saturday, Georgia took a 7-3 lead before UK mounted a furious rally that fell short in a 7-6 loss. UK rebounded on Sunday in its third straight rubber-match win in 2013, 5-0, behind a dominating clutch performance from Corey Littrell. - During the four-game week, UK had a 2.19 ERA in its 37 innings, with Austin Cousino pacing the club with a .500 average (7-for-14), with four doubles, a triple and four RBI. - Freshman outfielder Kyle Barrett leads the team with a .364 average, owning three doubles and four RBI. Junior J.T. Riddle has a .359 mark with six doubles, one triple, one homer and 17 RBI, with a 14-4 walk-strikeout ratio and four steals. A.J. Reed has hit .340 with four doubles, two triples, six homers and 28 RBI, with Cousino batting .315 with eight doubles, one triple, four homers and 20 RBI, stealing four bases.
Men's tennis - Kentucky went 2-0 on the weekend, collecting wins in its final SEC home matches of the season over No. 31 Alabama (7-0) and No. 32 Auburn (4-1). - Senior Anthony Rossi became just the 15th player in Kentucky tennis history to collect 100-career wins as he won both of his weekend matches in straight sets. - Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai knocked off the fifth-ranked doubles team in the nation 8-6, on Sunday as the Wildcats improved to 18-6 overall, and 6-3 in SEC play. - UK welcomes No. 7 Ohio State to Lexington on Wednesday afternoon for another top-10 match at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center, the third top-10 showdown this season in Lexington.
Women's tennis - The Kentucky women's tennis team lost 6-1 at No. 8 Alabama on Friday and 4-0 on Sunday at No. 22 Auburn. - On Friday, 24th-ranked Nadia Ravita defeated No. 26 Mary Anne Macfarlane of Alabama in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5. - Kentucky will return home on Friday to host No. 19 Vanderbilt.
Swimming and diving - Kentucky junior diver Greg Ferrucci earned three top-five finishes at the 2013 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships last weekend, accounting for all 45 points scored by Kentucky to pace UK to a 22nd place finish. - Ferrucci earned career-best finishes at the NCAA in all three diving events, finishing fourth place on the 1-meter springboard (403.05), 3-meter springboard (423.15) and platform (418.30). - John Fox made his NCAA debut this weekend, finishing 22nd, 23rd and 27th in those same events respectively.
Men's golf - The UK men's golf team placed tied for 10th in the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in Awendaw, S.C., shooting 44-over-par for the tournament. - Junior Stephen Powers led the way for the Wildcats, fining 2-over-par for the invitational and recording his highest finish of the year, tying for fifth. The top-10 finish marked the fourth of the year for the Naperville, Ill., native and the third of the spring. - Kentucky returns to the links April 8-9 at the Gary Koch Invitational in Tampa, Fla.
Track and field - Rebecca Famurewa set the UK freshman record with a mark of 53.22 meters/ 174 feet 7 inches to win the Texas Relays. Famurewa's mark was also fourth best in school history. - Hiruni Wijayaratne won the women's 1500 meters with a PR 4:34.94 at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational. - Sean Keane won the Nikoloff 800 meters with a time of 1:51.52. - Michelle Canterna missed the school record pole vault by half an inch as she cleared 3.85 meters/ 12'07.50" to take fourth at the Nikoloff. - Kayla Parker's PR 110H time of 13.20 was good for fifth place at the Texas Relays, and was the second fastest time in UK history. - Keith Hayes claimed fifth in the 110H with a time of 13.66, which was also good for No 2 in the school record book. - Chelsea Oswald and Cally Macumber ran two of the four fastest 5,000-meter times in Kentucky history on Friday at the Stanford Invitational.
Monday, April 1 Women's basketball vs. Connecticut - 7:30 p.m. (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
Tuesday, April 2 Baseball at Louisville - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 3 Men's tennis hosts Ohio State - 2:00 p.m. Softball at Louisville - 6:00 p.m. Men's tennis hosts Murray State - 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 5 Track and field at Florida Relays - 10:00 a.m. (Gainesville, Fla.) Women's tennis hosts Vanderbilt - 12:00 p.m. Softball at South Carolina - 7:00 p.m. Baseball at LSU - 8:00 p.m. Track and field at Bellarmine Invitational (Louisville, Ky.) Women's golf at Rebel Intercollegiate (Oxford, Miss.) Saturday, April 6 Track and field at Florida Relays - 10:00 a.m. (Gainesville, Fla.) Track and field at Crimson Tide Invite - 11:30 a.m. (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) Men's tennis at Vanderbilt - 12:00 p.m. Softball at South Carolina - 4:00 p.m. Gymnastics at NCAA Regional - 6:00 p.m. (Morgantown, W. Va.) Baseball at LSU - 7:30 p.m. Volleyball at KIVA Collegiate Tournament (Louisville, Ky.) Track and field at Bellarmine Invitational (Louisville, Ky.) Women's golf at Rebel Intercollegiate (Oxford, Miss.)
Sunday, April 7 Softball at South Carolina - 1:00 p.m. Baseball at LSU - 2:00 p.m. Women's golf at Rebel Intercollegiate (Oxford, Miss.)
Overall Record: 21-6, 6-3 SEC Record Last Week: 3-1, 2-1 SEC
Recent Results Wednesday, March 27 - defeated Marshall, 8-2 Friday, March 29 - defeated Georgia, 4-3 (10 innings) Saturday, March 30 - lost vs. Georgia, 6-7 Sunday, March 31 - defeated Georgia, 5-0
Upcoming Schedule (times Eastern) Tuesday, April 2 - at No. 10 Louisville - 6 p.m. Friday, April 5 - at No. 2 LSU - 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6 - at No. 2 LSU - 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 7 - at No. 2 LSU - 2 p.m. Player of the week nominee Austin Cousino 5-10 - So. - CF - Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman) Week Stats: .500 (7-for-14), 4 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 2 SO, .929 SLG%, .632 OB%
Notes: Austin Cousino had a dynamic week in leading Kentucky to a 3-1 mark and a series win over Georgia, its third straight SEC series win to open the year ... The sophomore hit .500 (7-for-14) during the four-game week, with four doubles, a triple, four RBI and five walks, sporting a .929 slugging and a .632 on-base percentage ... Reached base safely in 12 of 19 trips to the plate during the week ... In the series-deciding win vs. Georgia on Sunday, went 3-for-4, finishing a homer shy of hitting for the cycle ... Became the first UK player to lead off the first inning with a triple since Antone DeJesus tripled to lead off the 2007 season lidlifter at Furman ... Started the week with a double and a walk during a midweek win over Marshall ... Opened the series vs. Georgia with a 2-for-3 game, reaching base in four of five trips to the plate with a pair of walks and a two-RBI double ... Saturday vs. Georgia, doubled in a run in the eighth inning, drawing two walks ... Was 6-for-10 in the series with Georgia, with four of his hits going for extra bases and drawing four walks ... In 2013, has hit .315 with eight doubles, one triple, four homers and 20 RBI, stealing eight bases. Pitcher of the week nominee Corey Littrell 6-3 - Jr. - LHP - Louisville, Ky. (Trinity) Week Stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 SO, .120 opp. avg.
Notes: Corey Littrell twirled one of his best career starts in a win over Georgia on Sunday, tossing seven shutout innings with a career high 12 strikeouts ... Allowed only three singles and two walks ... Win marked the fourth of the season for Littrell and the 19th of his three-year career, moving him into sole possession of ninth place in UK career history ... Littrell's series-deciding win marked his 11th rubber-match start in the last two years, with the southpaw leading UK to wins in each game ... Has an 8-0 record and a 1.68 ERA in those 11 starts in 2012-13 rubber-match games ... On the year, Littrell has a 4-0 record and a 2.17 ERA, tossing 45.2 innings and striking out a team-high 47 ... Littrell ranks fourth in the SEC in strikeouts, 13th in ERA, fourth in innings pitched and ninth in wins ... In SEC games, Littrell leads the league with 23 strikeouts, with a 0.82 ERA in his three starts.
Freshman of the week nominee Kyle Barrett 5-11 - Fr. - OF - Douglasville, Ga. (Chapel Hill) Week Stats: .429 (6-for-14), .467 OB%, SB
Notes: Outfielder Kyle Barrett helped lead the Wildcats to a series win over Georgia and a midweek win over Marshall ... Batted .429 (6-for-14) during the four-game stretch, stealing his third base of the year ... The Douglasville, Ga., native leads the team with his .364 average, owning three doubles and a .444 on-base percentage.
Team notes Eighth-ranked Kentucky completed a four-game week with a series win over Georgia, UK's third consecutive series victory to open league action. UK will travel to No. 10 Louisville on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. ET first pitch at Jim Patterson Stadium, before traveling to defending Southeastern Conference champion, No. 2 LSU for a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium.
Kentucky (21-6, 6-3 SEC) posted a midweek 8-2 win over Marshall, before opening the series with Georgia in a 10-game thriller. UK got a rally in the bottom of the 10th inning that resulted in a two-out walk from Max Kuhn with the bases loaded to give UK a 3-2 win. On Saturday, Georgia took a 7-3 lead before UK mounted a furious rally that fell short in a 7-6 loss. UK rebounded on Sunday in its third straight rubber-match win in 2013, 5-0, behind a dominating clutch performance from Corey Littrell.
During the four-game week, UK had a 2.19 ERA in its 37 innings, with Austin Cousino pacing the club with a .500 average (7-for-14), with four doubles, a triple and four RBI.
The Wildcats have hit .292 as a team in 27 games, with a .411 slugging and a .401 on-base percentage, stealing 37 bases. On the mound, UK has a 2.49 ERA in 242 innings, walking only 66 and striking out 208.
Freshman outfielder Kyle Barrett leads the team with a .364 average, owning three doubles and four RBI. Junior J.T. Riddle has a .359 mark with six doubles, one triple, one homer and 17 RBI, with a 14-4 walk-strikeout ratio and four steals. A.J. Reed has hit .340 with four doubles, two triples, six homers and 28 RBI, with Cousino batting .315 with eight doubles, one triple, four homers and 20 RBI, stealing four bases. Catcher Micheal Thomas has hit .315 with two homers and 18 RBI, with third baseman Max Kuhn owning a .273 average with seven doubles, one triple, one homer and 20 RBI, including a 24-16 walk-strikeout ratio.
UK's all-lefty rotation of Reed (2-3, 2.57 ERA), Jerad Grundy (5-2, 2.15 ERA), and Littrell (4-0, 2.17 ERA) have been dynamic on the weekends. In the bullpen, Trevor Gott (3-0, 1.20 ERA) has seven saves in eight chances, striking out 19 and walking only three in 15 innings. Senior Walter Wijas (2-0, 0.60 ERA) has appeared in 13 games and tossed 15 innings. Zach Strecker (1-0, 1.12 ERA), Ryne Combs (0-0, 1.23 ERA), Dylan Dwyer (1-0, 1.23 ERA), Chandler Shepherd (1-0, 4.07 ERA) and Kyle Cody (2-1, 6.48 ERA) have each appeared in at least seven games.
A.J. Reed got a no decision after throwing 8.1 innings of one-run ball on Friday. (Barry Westerman, UK Athletics)
A.J. Reed has a lot on his plate.
Just a sophomore, Reed has batted third or fourth in every Kentucky game this season. And oh yeah, he starts on the mound every Friday night in the nation's best conference.
"It's not easy, but I try to deal with it the best that I can," Reed said.
It's safe to say Reed is handling it all just fine.
Through 25 games, Reed is leading the Wildcats in home runs (six), runs batted in (28) and slugging percentage (.611). In six starts on the mound, Reed has an earned-run average of 2.57.
"I just kind of try to separate," Reed said. "When I'm pitching up there on the mound, that's all I think about. When I'm at the plate, that's what I'm thinking about."
On Friday night against Georgia, he had to put that balancing act to the test once again and once again he succeeded. Reed tossed 8.1 innings of one-run ball, allowing just six hits and striking out four. After retiring the first batter of the ninth inning on his 113th pitch, Reed gave way to closer Trevor Gott. For the first time this season and first since his first chance of 2012, Gott blew the save opportunity, costing Reed his third victory of the season.
Fortunately for the Cats, Gott prevented the go-ahead run from scoring in the ninth and 10th innings. In the bottom of the 10th, UK (21-5, 6-2 SEC) won its fourth game in a row when Max Kuhn walked with the bases loaded against Georgia closer Jared Walsh. It was the second time in less than a week the Cats won in walk-off fashion and the third they had won in a game they scored four runs or fewer.
"You have to win games like that because you're going to play them," head coach Gary Henderson said. "You're going to play low-scoring games."
A workhorse like Reed gives UK a good chance at winning more of those kinds of games.
With Reed's pitch count sitting at 97 through seven innings, Henderson opted to send the 6-foot-4, 245-pound lefthander out for another inning. And with a lefty due up for Georgia in the top of the ninth, Henderson asked Reed for one more out. He delivered.
"The debate's probably going on up there in the press box," Henderson said of his decision to leave Reed in the game. "There wasn't too much debate going on in the dugout."
Reed has a theory about why Henderson has so much faith in him, why his coach has sent him out for another inning with his pitch count hovering around triple digits each of his last two starts.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the regional game from last year," Reed said. "I went nine innings in relief, so that kind of proved to him that I could do a good job throwing in the later innings."
In that game against Kent State, Reed battled through cramps and exhaustion to pitch nine frames in extra innings, allowing just two runs. Even though it came in a losing effort, Reed believes he earned his coach's trust.
"I just have a lot of faith in him, as I do a lot of our kids," Henderson said. "We've got good kids, good players."
It's that same faith that leads Henderson to pencil Reed in the No. 3 spot even when he's on the mound. Other coaches might opt to allow other two-way players to focus solely on pitching, but Henderson believes Reed can handle both.
The statistics prove him right.
Entering Friday, Reed was batting 13-for-26 (.500) with 12 RBI, two home runs, a triple and a double in games he's pitched. Those gaudy numbers have come in spite of a realization on Reed's part of how vital his work on the mound is.
"I don't want to say in the games that I pitch I'm more focused on pitching, because I'm not, but it's more important at the time," Reed said.
Reed singled and reached on a hit by pitch in five plate appearances on Friday.
Pretty much the only skill missing from Reed's repertoire is speed. He's one of just two UK regulars without a stolen base. That doesn't mean he's not going to lay it all on the line on the base paths, even when he's pitching.
"I'm not very fast anyway, so I'm not going to be legging out anything in the hole or something like that," Reed said. "But I'm going to give it my all all the time. I'm going to be giving a hundred percent, but it may not be very fast."
Through three-and-a-half innings, Kentucky was without a hit and down 2-0 to Marshall on Wednesday. To overcome the deficit, the Wildcats relied on the bottom third of their lineup.
No. 8 UK (19-5) scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth on singles by first baseman Thomas Bernal and shortstop Matt Reida and five more in the fifth en route to an 8-2 victory over visiting Marshall. Reida finished the game with two hits, two runs and two runs batted in, while No. 9 hitter and catcher Greg Fettes went 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs. Fettes is now batting 8-for-14 (.571) in seven games (five starts).
The Cats will next take Georgia for a three-game series beginning 6:30 p.m. ET Friday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. In the meantime, here are video interviews with head coach Gary Henderson, Reida and Fettes.
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, March 24:
Baseball: Kyle Barrett
Kyle Barrett helped lead UK to a series win over No. 14 Mississippi State, making four starts in the outfield ... The speedy freshman outfielder hit .385 (5-for-13) with a pair of doubles and RBI, drawing two walks and stealing a base, starting all four games of the week ... The Douglasville, Ga., native helped lead UK's walk-off win in the rubber-match vs. the Bulldogs, starting the bottom of the ninth inning with a double and scoring the game-winning and series-clinching win.
Baseball: Jerad Grundy
Jerad Grundy worked eight strong innings to lead UK to a series-evening win over No. 14 Mississippi State, in the front end of a doubleheader on Saturday ... The senior worked into the ninth inning of UK's 3-2 win, allowing five singles and a solo homer, with two runs scoring ... He did not allow a walk and struck out 10 ... Grundy struck out the side in the second and fourth innings, not allowing a baserunner to reach scoring position till the fifth ... Retired 13 of the first 14 hitters he faced, with nine strikeouts in the first five innings ... It was Grundy's fifth quality start of 2013, with the southpaw owning a 5-1 record and a 1.99 ERA, working 40 2/3 innings, allowing 27 hits and only eight walks, striking out 38 ... In his two-year career, Grundy has made 22 weekend starts, owning a 11-4 mark and a 3.21 ERA ... In 2013, Grundy ranks third in the SEC in wins, fourth in innings pitched, sixth in strikeouts and seventh in opponent batting average (.189).
Softball: Alice O'Brien
Senior outfielder Alice O'Brien had a hit in every game last week to set a career-long hitting streak of five games. O'Brien had a career game in UK's game-one win over Mississippi State, hitting two home runs - including a leadoff, game-winning home run in the 10th inning - lifting UK to the win. In the win, O'Brien tied career highs in hits and RBI with three in each. She went 3-for-4 in the game Friday with her other hit being a double, while she posted four RBI for the week behind a .467 (7-for-15) average. O'Brien's two-homer game tied the most homers in a game in school history, marking the 20th time it has happened for the Wildcats. The native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is now hitting .288 (23-for-80) on the season with five doubles, three homers, 21 RBI and a .463 slugging percentage.
Softball: Kelsey Nunley
True freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley had an outstanding week in the circle, going 2-0 with a 0.29 earned-run average against quality opponents. Nunley started the week with three innings in relief against WKU, getting her first collegiate save, allowing only one hit with four strikeouts. She came on in relief the next day against Iowa, throwing five solid innings, allowing four hits and one run with five strikeouts ... Best performances of the week came against Mississippi State ... Came on in relief Friday night to throw nine innings, allowing six hits and no runs with eight strikeouts - one off her season high total - to get the win ... Started the series finale pitching brilliantly, allowing only two hits over seven innings and no runs with seven strikeouts ... In her 10 starts this season, Nunley is 7-3 with a 1.86 ERA, allowing 17 earned runs with 56 strikeouts ... For the season, Nunley leads UK in nearly every pitching category, throwing a team-high 117.1 innings with a team-best 96 strikeouts and team-low 1.91 ERA.
Men's basketball - Kentucky fell 59-57 at Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT, after advancing to postseason -play for the 22nd-consecutive year. - Freshman Archie Goodwin led the team in scoring with 18 points, while junior Jarrod Polson logged 10. - Goodwin went 8-of-8 at the free throw line, which was the second-most made free throws in an NIT game in UK history.
Women's basketball - DeNesha Stallworth scored 18 points and Jennifer O'Neill added nine of her 12 points in the second half to lead the second-seeded Wildcats to a 61-41 win over 15th-seeded Navy on Sunday in the opening round of the NCAA women's tournament. - After trailing by a point at halftime, UK outscored Navy 35-16 in the second half to move onto the second round of the NCAA women's tournament. - The 20-point win is the largest margin of victory for Kentucky in a NCAA Tournament game. - The 41 points surrendered by UK is the lowest total for an NCAA Tournament game in school history.
Gymnastics - The No. 19 Kentucky gymnastics team placed eighth with a 194.6 team score at the SEC Championship. - Kentucky finishes the regular season with a school-record regional qualifying score of 196.06. - The Wildcats now await their NCAA regional fate, which will be revealed on the NCAA Gymnastics Championship Selection Show on Monday, March 25 at 3 p.m. - UK tied its season-high floor score with a 49.125, a total which also tied for highest at session I. - Kayla Hartley's floor routine turned plenty of heads as she produced a career-high tying score of 9.9.
Softball - The No. 21 Kentucky softball team got back to its winning ways over the weekend with a three-game sweep of Mississippi State at home. The series win was the second of the season for UK, who is now 5-4 in Southeastern Conference play heading into its bye weekend. UK also earned a 7-1 midweek win over WKU on Tuesday. - The Wildcat offense was the difference in the weekend series, scoring 15 runs on 24 hits with two doubles and seven home runs against a MSU pitching staff that entered the weekend ranked 22nd nationally in earned-run average. Senior Alice O'Brien paced the Wildcats with a .500 average with one double, two home runs - one a walkoff, 10th-inning home run - and three RBI. Freshman Nikki Sagermann also hit .500 in the series with a home run and two runs scored. The other four home runs came from sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner, junior outfielder Emily Jolly and two from freshman Maisie Steed. - In Tuesday's 7-1 victory over Western Kentucky, Nikki Sagermann was the offensive star in the game for Kentucky, going 2-for-3 with two runs batted in, including her first collegiate home run. - True freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley was impressive in the series, going 2-0 and not allowing a run the entire weekend. Nunley pitched nine innings in relief Friday night to get the win before throwing a complete-game shutout in game two Saturday. Junior pitcher Lauren Cumbess went 1-0 on the weekend with a 2.62 ERA after earning a no-decision Friday night and a win in game one Saturday, allowing two runs on five hits over seven innings.
Baseball - The eighth-ranked Kentucky baseball team completed a four-game week with a series win over No. 14 Mississippi State, spurred by a doubleheader sweep on Saturday. - Kentucky won its second consecutive series to open league play, also claiming the conference lidlifter at Florida last weekend. - Freshman outfielder Kyle Barrett hit .385 (5-for-13) with a pair of doubles and RBI, drawing two walks and stealing a base, starting all four games of the week. He contributed to UK's walk-off win in the rubber match vs. the Bulldogs, starting the bottom of the ninth inning with a double and scoring the game-winning and series-clinching win. - Jerad Grundy worked eight strong innings to lead UK to a series-evening win over No. 14 Mississippi State, in the front end of a doubleheader on Saturday. The senior worked into the ninth inning of UK's 3-2 win, allowing five singles and a solo homer, with two runs scoring - On the mound, UK has a 2.55 ERA, walking just 55 and striking out 176 in 205 innings.
Men's tennis - No. 31 Anthony Rossi picked up one of the biggest wins of his career on Sunday as he collected a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 7 KU Singh as UK fell 4-2 to Georgia. The win for Rossi was his 98th-career win and he now is just two wins shy of becoming the 15th player in UK tennis history to eclipse the 100-win mark. - UK returns to action on Friday as the Wildcats take on No. 29 Alabama at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. The weekend will continue on Sunday as Kentucky faces off against Auburn.
Women's tennis - The Kentucky women's tennis team went 0-2 over the weekend, falling to Ole Miss 4-3 on Friday before defeating Mississippi State 7-0 on Sunday. - Freshman Nadia Ravita won two singles matches in the No. 1 singles slot, improving her record to 15-2. - Sophomore Stephanie Fox and freshman Kirsten Lewis both went 2-0 in singles over the weekend.
Women's golf - The UK women's golf team competed in their third tournament of the spring, finishing eighth in the 14-team field at the 2013 LSU Tiger Golf Classic. - Senior Ashleigh Albrecht recorded her second top-10 finish of the year, placing tied for seventh at 9-overpar. She was 7-over after the first round before firing team-lows and back-to-back rounds of 1-over-par to climb the leaderboard - Kentucky returns to the links April 5-7 at the Rebel Intercollegiate in Oxford, Miss.
Swimming and diving - Sophomores Christa Cabot and Christina Bechtel each made their NCAA Championships debut over the weekend in Indianapolis, Ind. Cabot competed in all three diving events while Bechtel swam in the 100-butterfly. - Bechtel was unable to qualify for the finals in the 100-butterfly, but finished in 25th overall with a preliminary time of 53.06, her best prelim time of her career. - Cabot's best finish came in the 3-meter springboard where she finished in 18th place with a six-dive score of 307.60.
Monday, March 25 Men's golf at Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate (Awendaw, S.C)
Tuesday, March 26 Women's basketball vs. Dayton - 7:00 p.m. (Queens, N.Y.) Softball at Western Kentucky - 8:00 p.m. Men's golf at Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate (Awendaw, S.C)
Wednesday, March 27 Baseball hosts Marshall - 3:00 p.m. Softball at Lipscomb - 7:00 p.m. Track and field at Texas Relays (Austin, Texas)
Thursday, March 28 Swimming and diving at Men's NCAA Championships (Indianapolis, Ind.) Track and field at Texas Relays (Austin, Texas)
Friday, March 29 Men's tennis hosts Alabama - 2:00 p.m. Women's tennis at Alabama - 4:00 p.m. Softball hosts Tennessee - 5:00 p.m. Baseball hosts Georgia - 6:30 p.m. Track and field at Texas Relays (Austin, Texas) Swimming and diving at Men's NCAA Championships (Indianapolis, Ind.) Track and field at Oliver Nikoloff Invite (Cincinnati, Ohio) Track and field at Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Saturday, March 30 Baseball hosts Georgia - 2:00 p.m. Track and field at Texas Relays (Austin, Texas) Swimming and diving at Men's NCAA Championships (Indianapolis, Ind.) Track and field at Oliver Nikoloff Invite (Cincinnati, Ohio) Track and field at Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Baseball America's Aaron Fitt - the nation's preeminent college baseball writer - was in town on Saturday for Kentucky's doubleheader sweep of Mississippi State. He spent time talking to a number of Wildcats postgame and saw some good baseball, so you can expect to see a few UK-related stories from him in the near future.
On Monday, he posted the first of them in his week six "Three Strikes" piece. He led off with a story about UK's lefty-heavy weekend starting pitching staff after Jerad Grundy and Corey Littrell pitched the Cats to a pair of Saturday victories. Here's an excerpt.
It's like the old adage says: momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher. After Mississippi State won Friday's opener 8-4, Grundy stifled the Bulldogs in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, allowing just two runs on six hits and no walks while striking out 10 over eight innings. And Littrell followed with seven gritty innings in the series finale, yielding three runs (one earned) on two hits over seven innings, persevering despite a career-high six walks.
Grundy started his career at Miami in 2010, then transferred back to Heartland (Ill.) Junior College for his sophomore year before landing at UK last year. He spent the entire season in the weekend rotation, going 6-3, 3.78, but he has become a much more consistent pitcher as a senior, going 5-1, 1.99 with 38 strikeouts and nine walks in 41 innings. Kentucky coach Gary Henderson said during the winter that it was very apparent to him that Grundy is "way better" than he was the previous spring.
"Yeah, I was right about that--it's nice when you are," Henderson said. "He was clearly better in the fall. He is an extremely steady kid--that's just his personality. He's grounded, knows who he is. I just felt that once I saw the skills and poise were indicative of growth, that he was going to be better, and he has been."