March 22, 2013
The season is heating up for UK baseball. They kicked off the SEC schedule by taking two of three games in a weekend series at Florida last week, pushing their record to 16-4.
This weekend, Gary Henderson and the Cats, ranked in the top 10 nationally, have their SEC home opener in a three-game series against Mississippi State and former UK coach John Cohen. Henderson took a minute on Thursday to speak to the media about his team:
When you go to Florida and take 2 of 3, what does that tell you about your team?
"Well, it's hard to win anywhere on the road in this league. There are two things I got out of last weekend. One, we really got punched in the nose the first game-and-a-half at the plate. The pitching was good. We scored one run through 14 innings, I think it was. For us to come back trailing three on Saturday showed me a lot and told us a lot about our kids. I think that tells our kids a lot about themselves. That was really good. Just the overall fact that you went on the road to somebody's place and played three and were able to win was very positive."
What kind of job has Michael Thomas done to hold off the other catchers to this point in the season?
"Michael Thomas has played really well. He has communicated as good as I had hoped, the catch and throw part has been outstanding. The offense has been the added bonus, obviously. We've been able to keep him in the bottom half of the order and get him pitches to see. His drive, he's done a really good job for us, his leadership is outstanding. It's fun when you're coaching to see the growth in the individual and Michael has done a really good job for us."
What have you seen out of AJ Reed as he tries to balance his two roles?
"Well, I think the biggest thing you see with that is somebody that's learning to do it on a daily basis. AJ did it last year but we didn't ask him to fill the same role last year. It was a much different role, a much less taxing role, I think mentally and emotionally from the pitching standpoint. Obviously, he hit a bunch for us. I think he's got to continue to learn to balance both of them. He's done a great job to this point. He's showing up, the bigger the game, the bigger the situation, the better he concentrates. If we can continue to get that out of him and continue to get growth in that aspect of his game, he'll continue to get better."