Early Deficit Proves Too Much For No. 8 Kentucky to Overcome

Early Deficit Proves Too Much For No. 8 Kentucky to Overcome

HOOVER, Ala. – No. 6 LSU capitalized on extra opportunities, posting a pair of five-run innings to defeat No. 8 Kentucky 10-0 in seven innings in the nightcap of Thursday’s action at the SEC Tournament. 

The Wildcats (39-19) will face South Carolina on Friday at 4 p.m. ET in an elimination game. The winner will square off with LSU in Saturday’s single-elimination semifinal round. 
Newly-minted SEC Pitcher of the Year Sean Hjelle had a strange outing, striking out a career-high 10 batters in five innings but falling victim to uncharacteristic mistakes by the UK defense that extended innings and led to an early deficit the Cats were unable to overcome. Hjelle yielded 10 runs – nine earned – but was hurt most by several infield hits in the Tigers’ five-run second innings.
Meanwhile, UK struggled to find turf in its at bats. Tristan Pompey and Kole Cottam each sent balls to the warning track in the first inning, while Marcus Carson and Evan White each were robbed on tremendous catches by LSU centerfielder Zach Watson. LSU starter Alex Lange scattered six hits and struck out seven in a complete game effort.
Bottom 2nd – Beau Jordan reached on an infield single and Michael Papierski singled to RF. Zach Watson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kramer Robertson grounded a ball off the 3B’s glove to score Jordan and Papierski on the error. Cole Freeman chopped an infield hit to score Watson. Antoine Duplantis singled to RF to score Robertson. Greg Deichmann singled to CF, scoring Freeman. LSU 5, UK 0.
Bottom 5th – Deichmann hit a ground rule double to LF. Nick Coomes singles to CF, scoring Deichmann. Josh Smith doubled to RF. Jordan grounded out to SS, scoring Coomes. Watson beat out an infield hit. Robertson hit a three-run home run to LF. LSU 10, UK 0.
• The Cats are now 22-33 all-time in the SEC Tournament.
• The shutout ended Kentucky’s 76-game scoring streak, the seventh-longest such streak in school history.
• Sophomore OF Tristan Pompey went 1-for-3.
     o He extended his reached base safely streak to 29 straight games.
     o Pompey now has hit safely in 42 of his past 47 games.
• Senior OF Zach Reks went 1-for-3.
     o Reks has reached base safely in 27 of last the 28 games.
• Sophomore C/DH Kole Cottam went 1-for-3 with a double.
     o Cottam now has 10 hits in the past five games, including five extra-base hits.
• Senior SS Connor Heady went 2-for-3.
     o Heady now has 13 multi-hit games this season and 18 for his career.
     o Heady joined the 100-hit club for his career.
• Sophomore RHP Sean Hjelle struck out a career-high 10 batters in 5.0 innings.
Kentucky will face South Carolina in an elimination game on Fri., May 26 at 4 p.m. You can listen on 630 AM WLAP and watch on the SEC Network. Follow along with the Cats on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on the web at

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