With a new ballpark on the horizon, the Kentucky Wildcats are preparing to play their final regular-season series at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
There is a long tradition of Kentucky baseball at Cliff Hagan Stadium, which was originally built as the Bernie A. Shively Sports Center in 1969 and later renovated at several points over the years. After spending decades at the facility, Kentucky is closing out its run at Cliff Hagan Stadium and will play next season at a new ballpark.
That makes this weekend’s slate at Cliff Hagan Stadium a special one, as it marks Kentucky’s final regular-season series at the facility. Several promotions are in the works to celebrate the ballpark’s history. Senior night, a Cliff Hagan Stadium print giveaway, and a postgame fireworks display will highlight the slate of offerings on Friday when Kentucky faces Mississippi State, with more events to follow on Saturday and Sunday. More from the Lexington Herald-Leader:
Saturday’s festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a pregame ceremony honoring UK’s 1988 team, which finished one win short of the College World Series. Members of the team as well as Coach Keith Madison will participate. Kids will be welcomed onto the field to run the bases after the game.
Madison is one of several former UK coaches who will help close out the 50th and final season at The Cliff. A couple of Bulldogs will also join in.
Sunday’s game will kick off with ceremonial first pitches from Madison, current head coach Nick Mingione, Dick Parsons and Steve Horne, the son of former coach Jordan Horne. Also throwing out first pitches will be Mississippi State interim coach Gary Henderson, who led the Wildcats for eight years prior to Mingione taking over, and Mississippi State Athletic Director John Cohen, who coached the Cats from 2004-08.
The team will celebrate Mother’s Day by giving flowers to moms in the stands on Sunday. After the game, fans will be allowed to take the field and throw ceremonial “last pitches” from the mound. The first 3,000 participants will receive commemorative baseballs.
First pitch for Friday night’s game is scheduled for 7:30, followed by a 5:00 p.m. start on Saturday and a 3:00 p.m. start on Sunday.