Kentucky Falls in Walk-Off Fashion
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Jaren Shelby blasted a clutch eighth-inning home run for the second straight game but it was short-lived exultation as Missouri scored a 5-4 walk-off victory over Kentucky on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Taylor Stadium. The clubs will square off on Sunday with the three-game series in the balance.
Shelby, who obliterated a baseball over the bullpen beyond the left field wall on Friday night as the Wildcats took the opener, erased a 3-1 deficit with a no-doubt, three-run home run to left. It was his second homer in as many days and put the Cats in the driver’s seat to win a hotly-contested Southeastern Conference road series.
Missouri answered right back though with a solo home run by Paul Gomez to open the bottom half of the inning and then executed situational baseball in the ninth to even the series. A leadoff single and sacrifice bunt put the winning run on second with one out but the Cats recorded a strikeout to set up the final play. Austin James, who was hitting .154 coming into the game, took a big hack and lined a ball to left that found grass in left field just before a charging Ryan Shinn could haul it in, scoring pinch runner Connor Brumfield to end the game.
Junior left-hander Zack Thompson followed up his complete game shutout of No. 4 Georgia with six quality innings, allowing three runs – one earned – and striking out six as he got a sixth no-decision in eight starts.
Bottom 4th– Kameron Misner singled to CF and scored on Peter Zimmermann’s double to LF. Mizzou 1, UK 0.
Bottom 6th – Josh Holt hit by pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch. Chris Cornelius reached on an error, Holt moved to third. Peter Zimmermann laid down a squeeze bunt, scoring Holt and moving Cornelius to second. Chad McDaniel singled to LF, scoring Cornelius. Mizzou 3, UK 0.
Top 7th – Coltyn Kessler homered to CF. Mizzou 3, UK 1.
Top 8th – Austin Schultz and Ryan Shinn singled. Jaren Shelby homered to LF. UK 4, Mizzou 3.
Bottom 8th – Paul Gomez homered to LF. UK 4, Mizzou 4.
Bottom 9th – Zimmermann singled to RCF. Connor Brumfield ran for Zimmerman and advanced to second on McDaniel’s SAC bunt. Austin James singled to LF, scoring Brumfield. Mizzou 5, UK 4.
- Kentucky has scored in 95 consecutive games and 171 of the past 172 dating to the 2016 season. The lone shutout came in a seven-inning game. The current streak now is the third-longest in school history.
- Freshman IF Austin Schultz extended his reached base safely streak to 21 games with a single in the eighth inning.
- Junior OF Jaren Shelby went 1-for-2 with a run, three RBI, two walks and a home run.
- Shelby homered for the second straight game.
- He now has seven multi-RBI games this season.
- The three RBI tie his career-high.
- Sophomore C/INF Coltyn Kessler went 2-for-3 with a run, RBI and home run.
- Kessler has homered in two of the last four games.
- He has seven multi-hit games this season.
Senior OF Ryan Shinn was 2-for-5 with a run and a double.
- It was his second multi-hit game of the series and 12th of the season.
- He clubbed his 15th double of the season and 22nd extra-base hit.
- Junior LHP Zack Thompson gave up just one earned run in six innings, walking none and striking out six.
- He now has 212 career strikeout and needs three more to enter the school’s career top 10.
- On the season, Thompson has 74 strikeouts in 49.2 IP.
Kentucky goes for a series win on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET and airs on the SEC Network Plus. Audio coverage on UKathletics.com.