Kentucky baseball: Closing the book on Cliff Hagan Stadium
The Kentucky baseball program will see the end of era this weekend. The Cats host their final home game at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Sunday.
The Kentucky baseball team hosts their final regular season this weekend at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Wildcats have a three-game home stand against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, before closing out the season at Murray State. Kentucky will have a brand new $49 million stadium to call home next season.
Cliff Hagan Stadium, commonly referred to as “The Cliff”, has been home to Kentucky baseball for the past 50 years. The stadium opened in 1969, as part of the Bernie Shively Sports Center. It was renamed in 1993.
The stadium’s namesake, Cliff Hagan, was a small forward for the Kentucky basketball team from 1950-54. The former All-American was part of the 1951 National Championship team, coached by Adolph Rupp. Hagasn’s No. 6 hangs in the rafters of Rupp Arena.
Last year, Cliff Hagan Stadium hosted its first regional since 2006. The Cats are looking to host their first-ever back-to-back regional. The Kentucky baseball team will need a strong close to the SEC conference-play.
Kentucky is, ironically, hosting their former head coach this weekend. Gary Henderson coached the Kentucky baseball team from 2009-2016. He returns to Lexington as the interim head coach for Mississippi State.
The Wildcats need a good showing against the Bulldogs if they hope to host another regional. Kentucky, ranked No. 19 in the country, currently sits at 11-13 in conference. While Kentucky has had a dominant run, and carry a regular-season record of 31-17, the Cats really need to be above .500 in SEC play to have a shot at hosting a regional.
One thing is for sure, the Cats will be postseason eligible and are sending The Cliff out on a good note. Coach Nick Mingione has his Wildcats rolling, and he’s building something special in Lexington.