Baseball Ranked as High as No. 6, Climbs into Baseball America Poll
March 19, 2012
*Updated: In the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll just released at 12:18 p.m. ET, UK has moved from No. 20 last week to No. 6. The ranking is UK’s highest since a No. 2 ranking by Collegiate Baseball in 2008.*
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After sweeping the two-time defending NCAA Champions, No. 2 South Carolina, Kentucky has made its first appearance of the season in the latest Baseball America weekly top-25 poll, it was announced on Monday afternoon.
Kentucky (21-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) remains the only undefeated team in the nation while in the midst of a school-record 21-game winning streak to open the season. The Wildcats sit just two wins shy of equaling the SEC record for the longest winning streak in the storied history of the program, as the 2010 NCAA Champion LSU Tigers won 23 games. The 2000 South Carolina club posted 22 consecutive wins.
The Wildcats No. 16 ranking in Baseball America is their highest since a No. 16 ranking on March 17, 2008. Last week, UK was ranked as high as No. 16 in the Collegiate Baseball weekly poll, ranking No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and No. 24 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers top-30 ranking.
UK's three-game sweep of the two-time defending NCAA Champion South Carolina Gamecocks was its first since the 2006 UK SEC Championship season. The Gamecocks entered the series ranked as high as No. 2 and as low as No. 3 in the weekly polls, leading the SEC in ERA and opposing batting average.
UK posted a 4-3 walk-off win on Luke Maile's two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth in the series lidlifter and used a game-winning RBI and a winning effort on the mound from freshman two-way standout A.J. Reed for a 4-3 win Saturday. On Sunday, UK posted a 6-3 win over the Gamecocks to clinch the series sweep, UK's first to open SEC play since winning a school-record 44 games in 2008.
Kentucky's school-record 21-0 start set a new school record, eclipsing the previous mark of 19-0 set in 2007 and 2008. The Wildcats are the lone unbeaten team in college baseball, leading the nation with the 21-game winning streak and the 21-0 overall record.
With the thrilling start and after a season-high 2,571 fans attended the UK series sweep on Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium, the Wildcats have moved up to No. 28 in the NCAA in total attendance, in rankings compiled by the NCBWA.
UK returns to action on Wednesday, traveling to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats at 4 p.m. ET at Marge Schott Stadium.