A stumble down the stretch and a 13-17 regular season SEC record did not play well in the selection committee’s eyes as Kentucky baseball missed out on an NCAA Tournament bid Monday.
The Wildcats were on the bubble for the 2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament, but most projections had them as a tournament team.
So we went 63-for-64 in our final projection. The one miss: Northeastern gets in over Kentucky. UK only 13-18 in the SEC… but five really, really good weekends, and Northeastern didn’t win a single series over a regional team. 16-16 vs. top 50, compared with 3-9 vs. top 50.
— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) May 28, 2018
Kentucky (34-22) was swept by Vanderbilt in its final SEC series and the Cats entered the SEC Tournament as the No. 10 seed. Coach Nick Mingione’s squad dropped their conference tournament opener 4-3 to Auburn in extra innings.
That bumpy finish put Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament aspirations in jeopardy, and the worries materialized on Monday. Starting pitcher Justin Lewis was held out of the SEC Tournament with an injury and fellow starter Zack Thompson dealt with an injury for much of the season.
Kentucky hosted a regional last year in Mingione’s first season in Lexington. The Wildcats, in dramatic fashion, won the regional and advanced to the super regionals for the first time in program history. Louisville swept Kentucky in two games to end the Wildcats’ season and their road to Omaha.