A less-than ideal end to the 2018 season
Finishing the season sub .500 (.411) in conference play became the deciding factor for the selection committee as the University of Kentucky Wildcats baseball team was left out of the NCAA Tournament. Out of the 64 teams competing for the 2018 national championship, the Cats failed to make the cut and ended their season on a bad note.
Although most fans complained solely about Northeastern taking UK’s spot in the postseason, the committee made the right decision. No matter what conference a team is in, they should have a better record than 13-17.
So what happened?
Strength of schedule and RPI were also factors but the conference record could not be overlooked. Especially after losing the series to Tennessee, who did not even qualify for the SEC Tournament, and getting swept at Vanderbilt.
This was a much different season end to that of 2017. Last year, the Cats made it to their first super regional in the history of the program and hosted for only the second time. The fans expected much more out of this year’s club.
The team got cocky after starting the season so well and rested on their laurels, resulting in a number of unreasonable losses.
The five straight losses in conference play, including the SEC Tournament, would finish UK’s season and send them packing for Lexington for the last time.
The club did not show up ready to play and were knocked out in the first round. They faced an Auburn club that was hungry and determined.
Looking forward to the 2019 season and the new facilities
With the new stadium, things should turn around. Hopefully the fresh start and new beginnings for the program will be the key to success because these other SEC schools certainly are not slowing down in their development.
Many players in the typical starting lineup will also be returning which will give the team an edge and advantage.