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Grant Smith expected back for Vanderbilt series

IMG_8756by:Daniel Hager05/13/24

DanielHagerKSR

After missing the last three games with a lower leg injury, senior starting shortstop Grant Smith is expected back for Kentucky’s series finale against Vanderbilt this weekend according to coach Nick Mingione.

Mitchell Daly filled in at shortstop for Smith in the Florida series, going 6-6 on put-outs. Reuben Church started at third in the series opener, but Pat Herrera took over the hot corner for the final two games of the series. Herrera’s three-run double in the 10th inning of Sunday’s game against Florida was the deciding factor in Kentucky’s 7-5 win.

Smith has missed 10 games this season due to injury. In 38 games played, the shortstop is batting .293 with five home runs and 31 RBI. He’s also made just three errors to 51 putouts and 92 assists. Smith was a finalist for the Rawling Gold Glove Award at the shortstop position last season.

Smith and RS junior catcher Devin Burkes have battled injuries nearly all season long, so getting Smith and Burkes back to as healthy as they can be as Kentucky is about to embark on a postseason run is extremely important.

Kentucky rounds out the regular season this weekend against Vanderbilt at home. If the Cats can win at least two of three over the Commodores, Kentucky can clinch at least a share of their second ever SEC Regular Season Championship. A sweep would clinch the outright crown.

Smith was 2-8 in last season’s series in Nashville.

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2024-05-23