Kentucky Bats Get Going Too Late in Super Regional Opener

Kentucky Bats Get Going Too Late in Super Regional Opener

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and had the tying run at the plate but could not climb all the way back against Louisville, dropping a 5-2 decision in the first game of the Louisville Super Regional.
The Cardinals lead the best-of-three Super Regional 1-0 as the two rivals return to the field Saturday at noon with each team throwing its ace. The Cats (43-22) will turn to Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year Sean Hjelle to extend the season, while Louisville will counter with All-American dual threat Brendan McKay.

In a game eerily similar to UK’s 5-3 loss at Louisville on April 4, the Cats faced an early deficit as the Cardinals (51-10) scored two runs in the first inning. Freshman left-hander Zack Thompson swiftly worked through the next two innings, striking out three. The freshman left-hander also got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth inning with his sixth – and final – strikeout of the day. 
The Cardinals pushed their lead to 5-0 in the fifth on a pair of walks and a two-strike, two-out home run to left field by Drew Ellis, his 18th of the season but lefty brad Schaenzer pitched three perfect innings to keep the Cats in the game.
Evan White, who led off with a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, recorded his 29th multi-hit game this year, while Louisville native Tyler Marshall finished with two hits and a RBI for his eighth multi-hit game of season. 
Bot 1st – Logan Taylor doubled and scored when Devin Mann singled inside the first base line. Mann moved to second base when Brendan McKay was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced a base on a failed pickoff attempt, and Mann scored when Drew Ellis grounded out to Connor Heady. UL 2, UK 0.
Bot 5th – Taylor walked and stole second base. Mann Walked. Ellis homered to left field. UL 5, UK 0. 
Bot 9th – Evan White led off with a home run down the RF line. Riley Mahan singled to second base and scored when Tyler Marshall singled up the middle. UL 5, UK 2.
• The Cats are now 18-18 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
• Kentucky struck out eight Louisville hitters in the game, extending its single-season record to 564 total strikeouts.
• Junior 1B Evan White went 2-for-4 with a solo home run.
     o White now has 231 career hits, moving him into 6th on UK’s all-time list, just one hit behind Jeff Abbott (1991-94) for 5th.
     o Extended reached base safely streak to 29 of last 32 games. 
     o White hit his 10th home run of the season and now has 35 extra-base hits despite missing 13 games this season due to injury.
     o White has 29 multi-hit games this season and 73 in his career.
• Sophomore OF Tristan Pompey 0-for-3 with a walk.
     o He extended his reached base safely streak to 36 straight games.
• Sophomore C Kole Cottam went 1-for-3 with a walk.
     o Cottam is 18-for-37 (.486) in the last 10 games, including eight extra-base hits.
     o Cottam is riding a career-long 11 game hit streak.
• Junior IF Riley Mahan went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
     o Mahan’s 171 career hits tie him for 22nd in school history, joining fellow All-American Collin Cowgill (2005-08).
     o Mahan has 87 hits this season, the ninth most in school history.
Kentucky will attempt to stave off elimination on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for noon and will air on ESPN. The game can be heard on 630 AM and 

Related Stories

View all