Sidelines with John Clay

The season is likely over for Kentucky baseball

Alabama outfielder Hunter Webb (19) reaches first as Kentucky infielder Connor Heady (7) tries to catch the throw in the first round of the Southeastern Conference NCAA college baseball tournament in Hoover, Ala., Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
Alabama outfielder Hunter Webb (19) reaches first as Kentucky infielder Connor Heady (7) tries to catch the throw in the first round of the Southeastern Conference NCAA college baseball tournament in Hoover, Ala., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. AL.com/Associated Press

It doesn’t look all that promising for Kentucky baseball after the Cats needed a win it didn’t get at the SEC Tournament, falling 5-2 to Alabama in a first-round game on Tuesday in Hoover, Alabama.

Both the Cats and the Crimson Tide entered tourney play on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament and Kentucky may have been pushed off.

Kentucky dropped to 32-25 overall. The Cats finished fourth in the SEC East with a 15-15 record and were the No. 8 seed in the post-season tournament. (Alabama was seeded ninth.) They were 55th in the College Baseball RPI heading into the SEC Tournament. Since 2010, no team has made the NCAA Tournament with an RPI lower than 56.

If not selected, it would be the second straight season and third in the last four years that Gary Henderson’s club failed to make the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky has made two NCAA appearances in Henderson’s previous seven seasons, eliminated in the 2012 and 2014 regionals.

Before UK’s loss to Alabama, Baseball America’s projections had the Cats in the field of 64 as the No. 3 seed in the Raleigh Region behind North Carolina State and East Carolina.

Last year, seven SEC teams made the NCAA Tournament. This season, seven teams finished with winning records in the league -- South Carolina, Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, LSU and Ole Miss.

Kentucky finished 30-25 overall and 14-15 last season and did not make the tourney.

This year’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show takes place next Monday at noon on ESPNU.

Gary Henderson’s record at Kentucky

Year

Overall

SEC

NCAA

2009

28-26

12-18

2010

31-25

13-17

2011

25-30

8-22

2012

45-18

18-12

2-2

2013

30-25

11-19

2014

37-25

14-16

2-2

2015

30-25

14-15

2016

32-25

15-15

Totals

258-199

105-134

4-4

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