The weekend proved to be nerve wracking for both the No. 8 UK baseball team and fans alike.
The Cats traveled to Athens, Georgia to take on the No. 18 Bulldogs in what was going to be a monumental win for either team.
Kentucky has not performed well on the road since SEC play started in March and had a lot to prove. They have consistently dropped in the rankings since that time as well.
When conference play started in Fayetteville, Arkansas against the Razorbacks, the Cats had moved all the way to No. 4 in the rankings, but have not been close since.
The weekend series
UK’s pitching was not the strong suit this weekend but the offense again bailed them out. The Friday nightcap was sent into extra-innings after the rally in the top of the ninth. The Cats finally won in the 11th inning after Trey Dawson stepped to the plate and drilled a two-run double into the gap in left-center field.
Due to weather, a double header was played on Saturday. In the first game, the Cats fell after early pitching struggles. Georgia’s Keegan McGovern hit his second home run of the weekend, a three-run blast that began the seven-run frame.
The Cats again attempted a rally but fell short, 9-7, sending the decision to a rubber match in game three to decide the series win.
In the second game of the doubleheader, both the Cats and Bulldogs fought hard but could not get a run on the board until late in the game. The Cats put up their first and only run of the game in the eighth inning.
Georgia attempted their own rally and got the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth but did not have anything to show for it.
The 1-0 win was the first since 2015.
Fan response to the series/how the Cats have been performing
Fans took to Twitter and made negative comments about Zach Haake’s performance on the mound in recent weeks and how they believe he has not given his team a chance to win.
Throwing a pitcher on the mound in the middle of a season to pitch a D1 game after only throwing out of the bullpen is very challenging. As a JUCO transfer, Haake had some big shoes to fill when he was asked to step in for Zack Thompson while he is out for injury.
Unfortunately, fans sometimes only look at the outcome and not the outing a pitcher has. One of his losses was due to poor decisions from the coaching staff.