Sidelines with John Clay

BBL: Recruiting consensus goes with Kentucky over Duke

Auburn first baseman Jade Rhodes (8) celebrates her home run over Florida State in the third inning of a Women's College World Series game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 5, 2016.
Auburn first baseman Jade Rhodes (8) celebrates her home run over Florida State in the third inning of a Women's College World Series game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Monday:

Final basketball recruiting rankings put Kentucky at No. 1, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. “The University of Kentucky basketball program has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country once again, according to the final rankings released this weekend by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. The RSCI has been computing consensus recruiting rankings since 1998, and its numbers include individual player rankings from all of the major recruiting services.”

Darius Miller stars in German League finals, reports the Herald-Leader. “Former Mason County High School and University of Kentucky star Darius Miller is trying to add to another championship to the three he already has collected. Miller — who has won a state title with the Royals (2008), an NCAA title with UK (2012) and a German league title with Brose Baskets (2015) — scored a game-high 26 points in Game 1 of Germany’s Beko Basketball League finals. Brose Baskets defeated Ratiopharm Ulm 101-82. “

Louisville baseball wins its fourth straight regional baseball title, reports Eric Crawford of WDRB. “Home or away, on Sunday mornings during the season, the University of Louisville baseball team holds a chapel service. It was no different this Sunday, even with an NCAA Regional on the line later that afternoon. What was different is that instead of U of L Fellowship of Christian Athletes chaplain Chris Morgan, or a former athlete or local pastor leading the service, Cardinals junior lefthander Drew Harrington wanted to speak.”

Former Louisville star Adam Duvall is making most of opportunity with Reds, says my column. “I don’t know if anybody could have expected 15 homers in the first third of the season from a guy who was really kind of a platoon outfielder to start the year,” Price said on Saturday, adding, “The ball just jumps off his bat.”

Lamar Thomas likes Cats that want to do right, writes Larry Vaught of Vaught’s Views. “What coach (Mark) Stoops is doing is developing a culture. Guys are starting to step up and be leaders. In my room, those guys are starting to take it to heart,” Thomas said. “They want to be outstanding people. They want to do right.”

Auburn advances to final at Women’s College World Series, reports Cliff Brunt of AP. “Auburn regained its composure late to move within two wins of a national title. Pinch-runner Morgan Podany beat a tag at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the Tigers edged Florida State 8-7 on Sunday night in the Women’s College World Series to advance to the best-of-three championship round. “

Mississippi State baseball dominates in Starkville Regional, reports Robbie Faulk of the Biloxi Sun Herald. “MSU (44-16-1) swept three games in their NCAA Tournament Regional capped off by a suffocating 4-0 win over Louisiana Tech on Sunday night at Dudy Noble Field. After a two hour rain delay, MSU shut down a hot Louisiana Tech lineup, getting a combined nine innings of shutout baseball from Poplarville’s Zac Houston and Ryan Rigby. Houston threw six innings, Rigby added three from the bullpen. “

Florida baseball to host Florida State in Super Regional, reports Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun. “Florida finished off the NCAA Gainesville Regional in convincing fashion on a soggy Sunday night. Behind a dominant pitching performance from sophomore Alex Faedo and more timely hits from first baseman Pete Alonso, the top-seeded Gators beat Georgia Tech 10-1 before 2,293 at McKethan Stadium to clinch the regional crown.”

South Carolina baseball in a winner-take-all rematch, reports Matt Connolly of The State. “The Gamecocks blasted Rhode Island 23-2 Sunday afternoon and pounded UNCW 10-1 in the nightcap to move within a win of advancing to the Super Regionals. USC has won three straight in the Columbia Regional after dropping its opener, and will face the Seahawks on Monday at 6 p.m. with the winner moving on.”

SEC in NCAA Baseball Tournament

Florida: Reached Super Regional with wins over Bethune-Cookman (9-3), Connecticut (6-5) and Georgia Tech (10-1).

LSU: Beat Utah Valley 7-1 and Rice 4-2 to reach spot in Baton Rouge Regional final. Rainouts Saturday pushed schedule back a day. Rice and Southeastern Louisiana play at 2 p.m. Monday with the winner facing LSU at 7 p.m. Monday.

Mississippi State: John Cohen’s Bulldogs rolled through the Starkville Regional, beating Southeast Missouri State (9-5), Cal State-Fullerton (4-1) and Louisiana Tech (6-2).

Ole Miss: The Rebels were bounced out of the Oxford Regional after losing 6-5 to Utah and Tulane 6-5.

South Carolina: Gamecocks play UNC-Wilmington in a winner-take-all final on Monday night in Columbia. After losing to Rhode Island 5-4 in opener, South Carolina beat Duke 4-2, Rhode Island 23-2 and UNC-Wilmington 10-1 to force an extra game.

Texas A&M: Advanced to Super Regional with wins over Binghamton (4-2), Wake Forest (22-2) and Minnesota (8-2).

Vanderbilt: No doubt affected by the tragic drowning of freshman pitcher Donny Everett the night before the start of NCAA play, Vandy lost 15-1 to Xavier and 9-8 to Washington to be eliminated from post-season play.

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