Kentucky Shattering Expectations

Weekend Spotlight

It takes time to build a program.

He will need a few years of recruiting classes.

They will just try to break through and make the postseason.

Nick Mingione has heard all of these. He may have even wondered about it himself privately a time or two. But his Kentucky Wildcats are not only proving all those statements false, they are making a run at the SEC title, a regional host, a national seed and perhaps the program’s first trip to Omaha.

With SEC series remaining at South Carolina, home versus Tennessee and Georgia and closing at Florida, Kentucky has a load of goals to play for. They are in great shape to have home baseball in June.

They were not supposed to be atop the SEC this year, Mingione’s first as head coach at Kentucky. But here they are, 29-13, 12-6 in the SEC with a top five RPI rank.

“The wins and losses are great,” Mingione said. “The number one RPI in the Southeastern Conference is great. The reason why I am pleased is I can lay my head down at night and know that our players have totally bought in to what we are doing. Every single one of them are getting better as students, people, and players.”

After an 0-4 start to this season, Kentucky did not look like any sort of projected title contender. Then they rolled off 21 wins in the next 24 games. They swept Texas A&M in College Station and won series over Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and LSU. Folks are believing now.

“People believe in the person before they believe in the vision.”

Mingione likes that saying.

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