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WILDCATS

Why does Nick Lopez dye his mustache? Explaining Kentucky INF's antics amid NCAA baseball tournament

USA TODAY NETWORK

The legend of mustache continued in the Lexington Super Regional, as did Kentucky baseball's antics.

With the donning their alternate blue tops Saturday, the graduate student infielder also donned a blue mustache in Kentucky's dominating 10-0 win over No. 15 Oregon State.

REQUIRED READING:Has Kentucky ever hosted the super regional? Wildcats history in NCAA baseball tournament round

And the power of the stache proved to be true for Lopez, as he went 2 for 5 at the plate with a double and a run scored. With the lopsided 10-0 victory over the Beavers, the Wildcats are one win away from heading to their first-ever College World Series appearance this week in Omaha, Nebraska.

Here's what you need to know about Lopez and his stache heading into Sunday's Game 2 of the Lexington Super Regional:

Why does Kentucky baseball's Nick Lopez dye his mustache?

In short, it's just color-die. Long story, it's part of the season-long antics from the Wildcats, in which Big Blue Nation has now included themselves.

According to Lopez dyes his mustache each game day to reflect the uniform the Wildcats are wearing that day. Quite the commitment from Lopez.

Now for the latter, which not only has Kentucky manager Nick Mingione's fingerprints on it but might be the reason that has led the Wildcats to having their best season ever, come the end of the season. Per Thompson, Mingione called for a team meeting following the Wildcats' series loss to Kennesaw State in early March. During the meeting, Mingione called for more energy out of his team in games, knowing SEC play was right around the corner.

REQUIRED READING:Who is Nick Mingione? What to know about Kentucky baseball coach heading into NCAA super regional

But that wasn't the only thing Mingione told his team, who ranked No. 25 in national polls at that time. He called for "weirdness." To the general baseball fan, that might raise the eyebrows, but to those who follow baseball on an everyday basis, it makes perfect sense: The season is long, and team chemistry is everything. That at least backs up Mingione's thinking in asking for more weirdness from his team.

"We kind of came out a little flat," "Coach Minge talked about how ... some of the most successful teams he had, they were all a little bit weird. They had some weird things."

Beyers and his teammates took Mingione's message quite literally. First, it was breaking out a celebration for when they scored a run. Cue the Spiderman meme celebration:

Then, Kentucky pitcher Mason Moore began to wear a pink fuzzy hat, which Wildcat fans started to wear in the stands. Then Wildcats right-hander Colby Frieda, while perhaps setting a Guinness World Record at the same time, started chewing bubble gum and blowing the biggest bubble gum bubble.

Here are some more antics that the Wildcats ֱ and fans ֱ do during games, per Thompson:

  • Wear pink fuzzy hats
  • Play "Jaws" theme when Kentucky hitters have a 3-0 count at the plate, leading to "Baby Shark" shark costumes from fans
  • Nick Lopez-inspired mustaches, either real or fake. Fans have even put tape mustaches on their pink fuzzy hats.

The "weirdness" not only has become contagious among Big Blue Nation, but also has gotten under the skin of Kentucky's opponents, including Florida star Jac Caglianone.

"Just all their nonsense that they do, I mean itֱs all what theyֱre known for," Caglianone said after Kentucky beat Florida (. "Theyֱre going to try and get in your head, theyֱre going to try chanting, doing all that nonsense. The fact that itֱs allowed blows my mind.ֱ

Since that team meeting in early March, Kentucky has gone 31-11 overall. Not bad, huh?