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JAMIE H. VAUGHT: Colorful Baseball Yearbooks Projecting Opposite Paths for Kentucky Wildcats &

Even though most folks are still focusing on basketball right now with March Madness just around the corner, UK’s highly-respected baseball team has already begun its 2018 campaign on a high note, posting a remarkable 7-1 record in nonconference action going into this week’s games.

As you probably remember, Kentucky baseballers – who will face Arkansas for their first SEC weekend series in mid-March -- are coming off an outstanding 43-23 performance last spring that saw the program advance to its first-ever Super Regional and finish with a Top 10 ranking. The Wildcats last year were one of SEC’s nation-leading eight selections to the NCAA baseball tournament with the championship series of the College World Series featuring an All-SEC final between Florida and LSU.

And the popular baseball yearbooks, which are now available on newsstands, are forecasting another great campaign for second-year head coach Nick Mingione and his Kentucky squad in 2018. Just like the other preseason polls such as Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball which have listed UK as a Top 10 squad.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based Street & Smith’s, which has an eight-page spread on NCAA baseball, has picked Kentucky at No. 8 in its preseason top 25 poll. The other SEC teams ranked among the top 10 are Florida (No. 1), Arkansas (No. 6) and Mississippi (No. 10).

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