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Kentucky's bullpen should be near 100 percent in Game 2 of College World Series

Adam Luckettby:Adam Luckett06/15/24


Kentucky Baseball Advances To Omaha

You play to win the game. Nothing else matters. That’s what Pete Rose told Nolan McCarthy, and that is what Herm Edwards tried to tell us all. But winning the College World Series is a marathon and not a sprint.

Whenever you win an extra innings game in the college baseball postseason your mind immediately shifts to the status of the bullpen after the win. Despite needing 10 innings from pitching coach Dan Roszel’s staff to beat NC State, Kentucky will face the winner of Florida/Texas A&M on Monday night at very close to full strength.

We saw the Wildcats throw four arms out of the bullpen on Saturday at Charles Schwab Field. Only one went over 20 pitches.

  • Cameron O’Brien: 1.0 innings (16 pitches)
  • Jackson Nove: 0.1 innings (9 pitches)
  • Robert Hogan: 0.1 innings (12 pitches)
  • Johnny Hummel: 1.2 innings (30 innings)

The bullpen allowed only one run in 3.1 innings of work allowing only one hit with three strikeouts and four walks. The only run came on a wild pitch. After some strong work in the super regional, Kentucky’s relief pitchers delivered again on the biggest stage in college baseball.

“I thought Dan Roszel called a great game. I thought Cam O’Brien came in and made a good play on a bunt,” Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione said about his pitching staff. “He did his deal as a fireman.”

“Jackson Nove got us a couple, got us a big out against a good hitter. We went left on left there. And then Johnny was phenomenal.”

Everyone but Hummel should be 100 percent full go on Monday. Kentucky will also have a full-strength Ryan Hagenow available. Kentucky had to go the extra mile to knockoff NC State, but they will still have high-quality arms available thanks to the 6.2 innings eaten by starter Trey Pooser and the committee approach in the late innings we saw from Mingione and Roszel.

Follow KSR at the College World Series

KSR the show may not be headed to Omaha this weekend, but the website will be well-represented. KSR baseball beat writer Daniel Hager and videographer Steven Peake hit the road on Friday to capture all the action and excitement for Kentucky’s first College World Series appearance. They’ll be sharing all of their adventures on the site, social media, and special editions of “Bat Cat Beat” and Rapid Reactions on the KSR YouTube Channel, so make sure you’re following and subscribed to keep up with the Cats.

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