Baseball College World Series

2024 NCAA Baseball College World Series For First Time In Program History

A historic season for Kentucky baseball is rolling on. The next stop: Omaha, Nebraska, for the College World Series.

It marks the first time the Wildcats have ever reached the grandest stage in the sport. After two previous NCAA Tournament Super Regional appearances — both ended with UK losing in sweeps in best-of-three series on the road in 2017 (Louisville) and 2023 (LSU), respectively — Kentucky broke through at Kentucky Proud Park in a game that wrapped up after midnight Monday, taking out three-time national champion Oregon State, 3-2, to seal its spot in this year’s CWS field. UK’s one-run win in Game 2 came after a dominant, 10-0 triumph in Saturday’s opener.

The run to their maiden College World Series is the latest example of the Wildcats exceeding outsiders’ expectations. Despite winning 40 games and advancing to a super regional last year, SEC coaches expected little of UK in 2024: in a preseason poll, voted on by the league’s coaches, Kentucky was picked to finish fifth in the seven-team Eastern Division.

UK proceeded to author the best start in conference play in SEC history, winning 14 of its first 15 games. The Wildcats finished with a 22-8 record in league play during the regular season. Kentucky’s 22 SEC wins set a single-season record for victories in conference competition and helped it claim a share of the league’s regular-season title for only the second time in program history.

The Wildcats enter the College World Series with a 45–14 record. The 45 wins are tied with the 2012 club for most in a single campaign in school history. It’s Kentucky’s eighth 40-win season, and coupled with its 40 triumphs last year, it marks the first time in the program’s annals it reached that mark in consecutive seasons.

Individually, Kentucky coach Nick Mingione was named the conference’s coach of the year (voted on by his coaching counterparts in the league), while five players earned All-SEC honors: designated hitter Nick Lopez (first team), outfielder Ryan Waldschmidt (second team), second baseman Émilien Pitre (all-defensive team), third baseman Mitchell Daly (all-defensive team) and pitcher Mason Moore (all-defensive team).

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