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Nick Mingione pleads for Omaha to adopt Kentucky as its team

IMG_8756by:Daniel Hager06/13/24


Nick Mingione made his pitch to the city of Omaha on Thursday during Kentucky’s MCWS press conference.

That pitch exactly? For the city to adopt the Cats as their own during the College World Series.

“If the people of Omaha are looking for a team to root for, this is your team,” Mingione said. “This is your team! We are the first-timers, we want to have a great experience, we want to be lifted up. I’ve seen this city and I’ve seen the people of this city lift up opposing teams. I’ve watched this thing over and over. If they’re looking for a team that competes at the highest level and has an amazing time doing it, we would love for you to jump on board. There are so many seats on the Kentucky bandwagon.”

The Cats even have some Nebraskan blood on the team, as freshman catcher/infielder Eli Small hails from Elkhorn, NE. Small came through big for Kentucky against Florida on May 10, when he belted a game-tying RBI-double in the eighth inning. He also homered in his first career at-bat on February 18 against USC-Upstate.

Video via UK Athletics/SEC Network

“We have Eli Small, who is from Elkorn. He’s a Nebraska guy who just loves this place. We’ve been talking about bringing him home all year. If you can hear my voice and see this and wonder who you’re gonna root for, let it be the Cats.”

Of the eight teams in the 2024 field, Kentucky is the lone team making its College World Series debut. It seems like they’re embracing the “underdog” role.

Kentucky arrived to Omaha Wednesday afternoon, but won’t play its first game until Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CT/2:00 p.m. ET. First up for the Cats? The NC State Wolfpack, who took down Georgia in the Athens Super Regional to clinch its fourth ever College World Series appearance.

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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