Cats Split Doubleheader, Aim to Win Series on Sunday

Cats Split Doubleheader, Aim to Win Series on Sunday

LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 10 Kentucky split a Friday doubleheader with No. 8 LSU, falling 4-3 in a tense nightcap that saw the Tigers manage one more hit in a critical spot than the Wildcats could muster. UK won the opener 12-5 behind a pair of home runs by Luke Becker and Riley Mahan’s five-hit game.
The Cats (27-13, 11-6 SEC) maintained their two-game lead in the SEC East, but certainly were looking for more on a night when they took a 3-0 lead through four innings against LSU’s top starter, Alex Lange. UK drew eight walks and had seven hits against Lange in 5.2 innings but were 0-for-6 with the bases loaded, leaving them juiced in the second, third and fourth innings. 
For the game the Cats left 14 runners on bases, going 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and 4-for-21 with runners on base. LSU played a big part of those numbers as well, particularly late in the game. First baseman Nick Coomes, who also had a game-tying two-run single in the fifth inning, made two tremendous defensive plays in the final two innings. He robbed Zach Reks of a game-tying double in the eighth with a diving stop and snatched a double away from Riley Mahan to begin the ninth.
The Tigers (27-13, 10-6) pushed across the winning run in the eighth with a two-strike single by Josh Smith, an infield hit by Michael Papierski and an RBI single by Antoine Duplantis. 
The teams will play the rubber game on Sunday at 1 p.m. as heavy rain is forecast for the area on Saturday.
Bot 2nd – Kole Cottam struck first with a solo home run to center field. Tyler Marshall singled before Marcus Carson was walked. Connor Heady added a single of his own to load the bases. Evan White was walked, which plated Marshall from third. UK 2, LSU 0.
Bot 4th – Tristan Pompey was walked to start the bottom half of the inning. White singled, and Pompey advanced to third on a throwing error from the shortstop. Zach Reks doubled down the left field line, scoring Pompey from third base. UK 3, LSU 0.
Top 5th – Michael Papierski singled up the middle and moved to second after Antoine Duplantis was walked. Kramer Robertson singled through the right side of the infield, which loaded the bases. Cole Freeman was hit by a pitch, walking in Papierski. Shortly after, Nick Coomes singled through the left side of the infield and scored Robertson and Duplantis. UK 3, LSU 3.
Top 8th – Josh Smith singled to right field. Papierski singled to shortstop, advancing Smith to second base. Duplantis also singled to right field, which plated Smith and turned out to be the game-winning RBI. LSU 4, UK 3.
• The Cats are now 18-3 at home this season.
• UK is 13-9 vs. ranked foes this season, including 2-2 vs. Top 10 teams.
• Junior 1B Evan White went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. 
     o White now has 194 career hits, good for 17th on UK’s all-time career hit list.
     o White has a hit in 16 of his last 17 games.
     o White now has 14 multi-hit games this season and 58 for his career.
• Sophomore C Kole Cottam went 1-for-4 with a solo HR.
     o It was Cottam’s second home run of the season and third of his career.
Kentucky will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via and iHeart Radio, as well as on 630 AM WLAP, and watch on the SEC Network+.

Related Stories

View all