Division Nice, but 'Cats Eye SEC Championship

Kentucky survived a ninth inning rally to complete the sweep against the 19th ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs 10-9 on Sunday afternoon and clinch the SEC Eastern Division title.

With a series against the other Bulldogs of the SEC looming on the horizon, the Batcats are on the verge of doing something that has never been done.

Sunday's win improved the Batcats to 40-11 (19-8 in the SEC) and kept them two games ahead of Alabama for first place overall in the conference. With one more series against the red-hot Georgia Bulldogs remaining on the schedule, Kentucky sits one win away from claiming their first SEC Championship in school history.

The Batcats have not gone unaware of the accomplishments they have already made. With Friday's win, the team earned a spot in the SEC tournament for the first time since 2000. Kentucky's 19 conference wins and seven conference series wins are both school records. UK clinched a share of the SEC Eastern Division title for the first time since 1976.

"By far this is the greatest achievement I have ever been a part of on a baseball team," said Shaun Lehmann, who was key in UK's win on Sunday. "To do it in the SEC and to do it after the season we had last year… In the preseason we were ranked last in the SEC. To be on top all by ourselves is an unbelievable feeling."

Though looking back gives off an unbelievable feeling of accomplishment, looking forward the Batcats are living by an ageless sports cliché.

"We have a long road ahead of us," Wildcat reliever Andrew Albers said. "We are hoping to do some big things this year, so we have to take it one game at a time. That is what [this weekend's] games were; they were building blocks on what we hope to be a great finish to our season."

Kentucky has been very successful with that approach, having won 15 of their last 16 games, including 12 of their last 13 against SEC opponents. Although the players and coaches aren't looking past Belmont, fans can not help but anticipate the upcoming three game series at Georgia, where with a single win the Batcats will make history by claiming the school's first conference title.

It will be no easy task. At 35-16 (16-11 in the SEC) Georgia sits three games behind UK in the SEC Eastern Division standings. With a sweep, the Bulldogs would claim a share of the division crown with the Wildcats. Aside from this as motivation, Georgia will also enter the series as the hottest team in the conference, having won their last 11 straight SEC games.

But none of these things have affected Kentucky's confidence level.

"We believe that we can beat anybody in the country on any day," said Albers, "and I think it shows on the field. Our lineup is tremendous, we've gotten the pitching we've needed. Right now, things have really been falling into place, and if we keep playing the way we've been playing we are going to be tough."

Recent history bodes well for the UK. The last time Kentucky faced a conference opponent that had won 11 straight SEC games was Ole Miss last weekend. The Batcats swept.

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