LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky needed a sweep to stay among the leaders in the SEC, and the Wildcats got just that in a weekend romping of Tennessee.
The Cats (36-16, 18-9 SEC) clubbed the Vols 15-5 in the series opener Friday, and it was a foreshadowing of a weekend full of hot hitting. UK earned an 8-3 win in Game 2 and finished off the sweep with a 7-2 win Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The No. 9 Wildcats are on the bubble of a national postseason seed heading into their last conference series next weekend at No. 5 Florida. Eight national seeds are awarded, and a season-ending series victory at Florida could put Kentucky in contention for one. A potential national seed would be the first in school history.
The big stick + arm
Tennessee couldn’t get him out.
The Wildcats second baseman went 3 for 4 on Friday with his 11th home run of the season. He was a triple short of the cycle, and his bat only got hotter.
Mahan hit 2 more long balls on Saturday, his 12th and 13th of the season, en route to Kentucky’s 8-3 win. Both homers were 2-run shots.
And for an encore on Sunday, Mahan went 3 for 4 with a triple, double and 2 RBI. His total stat line for the series was 9 for 13 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI.
Kentucky turned in its best day at the plate on Friday with 15 runs, and Hjelle turned in the best pitching performance of the weekend. The Friday starter tossed 7 inning of 1-run ball, allowing just 2 hits. The 6-foot-11 righty struck out 6 Vols and improved his record to 8-2.
What’s next for Kentucky?
The Wildcats host Northern Kentucky in a midweek nonconference matchup at 6:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. UK concludes regular-season play in a weekend series at Florida. That series starts at 7 p.m. ET Friday in Gainesville.
Kentucky baseball schedule
May 16: vs. Northern Kentucky
May 18-20: at Florida