Kentucky Offense Handcuffed in First Road Defeat
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Playing its fourth road game in less than a week the Kentucky baseball team fell to No. 5 Mississippi State, 8-1, on a cold, windy night at Dudy-Noble Field. The Wildcats dropped to 18-5 overall, 5-2 in Southeastern Conference play with the loss.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Hagenow acquitted himself well in his first taste on SEC play, battling through 3.1 innings in one of the most well-known home field advantages in college baseball. The Bulldogs loaded the bases after their first three hitters but Hagenow buckled down and got out of the inning with only one run scoring on a sacrifice fly. The only blemishes on the highly touted rookie’s line were three walks and three hit by pitch, which contributed to all three runs charged to him.
Although the game got away in the eighth inning the Cats’ high-powered offense was held in check most of the evening, managing just five hits and striking out 15 times against the Bulldogs (18-7, 3-4), who lead the nation in strikeouts. When the Cats hit the ball hard it often found leather, although senior catcher Coltyn Kessler was a bright spot with three hits, tying his career high.
Bottom 1st – Skinner doubled to open the inning, Jordan was hit by a pitch and Allen walked to load the bases. Skinner scored on Hancock’s SAC fly to RF. Miss. State 1, UK 0.
Bottom 3rd – Jordan hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a James single and scored on SAC fly by Hancock. Miss. State 2, UK 0.
Bottom 4th – Dubrule walked, Forsythe was hit by a pitch and Allen was hit by a pitch. James drew a bases loaded walk, scoring Dubrule. Miss. State 3, UK 0.
Bottom 5th – Jordan homered to RF. Miss. State 4, UK 0.
Top 7th – T.J. Collett reached on an error, Coltyn Kessler singled and Reuben Church walked. Collett scored on a wild pitch. Miss. State 4, UK 1.
Bottom 8th – Dubrule reached on a check swing infield single and advanced to second on a SAC bunt. Skinner reached on an error, Dubrule to third. Jordan reached on an error, Dubrule scored, Skinner to second. Allen walked. James doubled to LCF, clearing the bases. Miss. State 8, UK 1.
- UK is 18-5 overall, 5-2 in SEC play.
- The Cats are 3-1 on the road this season.
- The UK pitching staff has struck out at least seven in 36 of the past 37 games, including 25 with 10 or more.
- The UK pitching staff has struck out 242 batters and walked just 81 this season.
- UK is 33-for-33 on stolen base attempts this season.
Junior IF/OF Austin Schultz has reached base safely in 77 of 83 career games.
- Schultz has a hit in 18 of his last 19 games.
- Sophomore OF John Rhodes walked to extend his reached base safely streak to 22 games.
- Senior C Coltyn Kessler reached base three times in four trips to the plate. He now has reached safely in 27 of his past 40 plate appearances.
- Kessler had three hits, tying his career high.
- Senior 1B T.J. Collett has reached base safely in 22 of 23 games this season.
The Cats look to get back in the win column on Friday night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.