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May 26, 2012

Cats fall to Bulldogs, await NCAA seeding

The Kentucky baseball team's strong season has taken its share of hits from the Wildcats' former coach.

The latest came on Saturday, when John Cohen's Mississippi State club beat Kentucky 2-1 in a Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinal in Hoover, Ala.

The loss - UK's fourth in five games over a 10-day stretch against the Bulldogs - knocked the Cats out of the SEC Tournament. Mississippi State advanced to the tournament final on Sunday.

The Bulldogs swept Kentucky last weekend to spoil the Wildcats' chances at an SEC regular-season championship.

On Saturday, Mississippi State beat UK ace Corey Littrell (8-2) for the second time this season.

The Cats' only run came on a second-inning solo home run from second baseman J.T. Riddle. UK left nine runners on base, including one in the ninth, when potential game-tying run Lucas Witt was stranded on third base on a game-ending pop out by Austin Cousino.

Kentucky (43-16) beat Mississippi State 5-1 on Thursday to reach Saturday's semifinals, but the tournament format switches from double elimination to single elimination in the semifinal round, so the Wildcats are headed home despite a lone loss at Regions Park.

Next, Kentucky finds out how long it's staying in Lexington.

The Wildcats are a lock for the NCAA Tournament field of 64. But Gary Henderson's club won't know until Sunday whether it will host a regional at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The regional host sites and top seeds will be named Sunday at about 2:30 p.m. ET. On Monday, the NCAA will reveal the entire tournament field.


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