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Fans cheer for Kentucky Wildcats during sendoff to College World Series

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Jun 12, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Fans lined up outside of Kentucky Proud Park to send the University of Kentucky Wildcats baseball team some well wishes before they departed for Omaha.

Before the team walked out, Head Coach Nick Mingione made an announcement.

“Alright, I have good news. We are going to Omaha,” he said, as the crowd cheered. The not-so-great news is that our flight has been delayed.”

A little delay didn’t damper the celebration, as players gave out high-fives, hugs, and a few autographs and fans shared some final words of encouragement.

“Omaha? I mean, they're going to crush it. It's not even really a question,” said one fan, Quinn Slaughter.

“It's really cool to see history being made,” said another fan, Morgan Cameron. “This is Homer,” she said, pointing to her dog, “named after home run. He's a big baseball fan, especially the Cats.”

“It's so exciting. We're so proud of this team,” said Shannon Collins. Not only does Shannon cheer on the Cats, her step-father also drove the team on the bus to the Blue Grass Airport.

“We've been following them, not just this season, but in seasons prior. We're happy for Coach Mingione, the players, the families of the players. It’s just exciting,” Collins expressed.

Collins also pointed out that baseball should earn more respect within Kentucky athletics.

“We're a baseball school. Let's go, hashtag baseball school. We’re not done yet. We’re here for the long run. Go Big Blue!”

While most players and fans had cleared out, Coach Mingione stayed behind, talking to two more fans.

“He just said ‘thank you for supporting us,’ and he said, ‘you’re going to be watching us this weekend’ and I said yeah,” said Myles Bell.

“He's very very nice,” said Myles’ mother Mary. “We came up from Danville, Myles has been really excited, so we just, spur of the moment, came up this morning.”

The Bat Cats play NC State this Saturday at 2 p.m. in their first-ever game in the College World Series.