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news News Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Tuesday, May 1, 2018 10:09 AM - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 10:09 AM

University of Kentucky Baseball claims Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic championship trophy

Cats recognized by Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center

University of Kentucky Baseball claims Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic championship trophy

Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center — Lexington presented the University of Kentucky baseball team with the 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic championship trophy on Friday, April 27, at the Lexington Shriners Medical Center. The Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic was held at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, March 2–4.

The Wildcats swept through the prestigious tournament at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, with three victories over the University of Houston, Sam Houston State University and the University of Louisiana. Several Wildcats earned All-Tournament honors, highlighted by the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic Most Outstanding Player, third baseman Luke Heyer. Heyer hit .727 (8x11) throughout the weekend with three home runs, two doubles, five runs scored and six RBI. All-Tournament Team honors were received by five Wildcats, including Luke Heyer, Ben Aklinski, Ryan Johnson, T.J. Collett and Zack Thompson .

Shriners Medical Center Patient Ambassadors J.P. David and Grace Anna Rodgers were in attendance this morning at the press conference to recognize and thank the team for playing in the college classic, which helps fund the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children to provide care to children and teens regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

“We did not go down to Houston with the thought in mind to win the trophy, but to serve,” said Kentucky Head Coach Nick Mingione as he accepted the championship trophy. “To watch our student athletes interact with those children at the college classic, I just knew we were going to play great!”

The University of Kentucky baseball team invited Lexington Shriners Medical Center Patient Ambassador J.P. David to be the honorary team captain during the college classic tournament. J.P. had the privilege of spending all three days with the baseball team, riding on the bus, participating in pre-game warmups, and experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“The reason why we wanted to go down to the tournament was because we wanted to develop relationships with the patients, like J.P. and others,” Coach Mingione said. “They [baseball players] have been given a platform that they have to use and to watch them give back and do that for such a great hospital and great cause was really neat to be a part of. I will never forget that trip!”

At the end of Coach Mingione’s remarks he asked J.P. to sing the UK fight song. Players, patients and Lexington Shriners Medical Center staff all joined J.P. and sang the fight song together. It was a great way to start the day! After the trophy presentation Coach Mingione and the players received a tour of the medical center from patients J.P. and Grace Anna. They interacted with the patients and passed out t-shirts from the college classic. Shriners Medical Center will present the championship trophy again this evening before the UK vs. Missouri game at 7:30 p.m. at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Patient Ambassadors J.P. and Grace Anna will be special guests at the game to help present the trophy.

UK Wildcats visit Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center — Lexington

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