Lucky 13: Kentucky Baseball Explodes for 13 Runs in Series Finale
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Backed into a corner for the first time this season the Kentucky baseball team responded in resounding fashion, punching its way to a 13-4 victory over LSU on Sunday afternoon at Kentucky Proud Park. It was the 20th win of the season and capped a week that began with a road win over No. 5 Louisville.
The top four batters in the Wildcats’ order each had two hits and combined to drive in eight runs to set the tone. The win improved UK to 20-9 on the season and 6-6 in Southeastern Conference play.
Coltyn Kessler got the Cats going with a two-run home run in the first inning to continue his torrid hitting in league play and Austin Schultz clubbed his first homer of the season – a two-run shot over the bullpen in left field in the third inning – and later added the 100th hit of his career as part of a day that saw him reach four times. T.J. Collett capped an eight-run seventh inning with a three-run double that put the nail in the Tigers’ comeback chances.
After a rough Friday night and early deficit on Saturday the Cats found their rhythm and outscored LSU 18-5 over the final 12 innings of the series. Not for nothing, UK scored 13 runs in the seventh inning in the series, again proving its ability to grind through at bats and get into opponents’ bullpens.
On the mound, Zack Lee was excellent in 5.0 innings of work, striking out six and allowing just one run on four hits to earn his third win of the season. Freshman Austin Strickland punctuated the win by striking out the side in the ninth.
Bottom 1st – John Rhodes reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Coltyn Kessler’s home run to RCF. UK 2, LSU 0.
Bottom 3rd – Cam Hill reached on a bunt single and scored on a home run to LF by Austin Schultz. UK 4, LSU 0.
Top 4th – Sanford reached on a fielder’s choice and Thompson reached on an infield single. Beloso singled through the right side, scoring Sanford and moving Thompson to third. UK 4, LSU 1.
Bottom 4th – Chase Estep singled up the middle, stole second and scored from second when tagging up on a SAC fly to RCF by Jake Plastiak. UK 5, LSU 1.
Top 7th – Arnold singled through the left side and scored on Morgan’s home run to RF. UK 5, LSU 3.
Bottom 7th – Schultz was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a groundout. Rhodes reached on a throwing error, Schultz advanced to third and scored on the errant throw, Rhodes to second. Kessler singled to CF, scoring Rhodes. Oraj Anu homered to RF, scoring Kessler. Estep walked and Ryan Ritter singled. Estep and Ritter executed a double steal, Estep scored on throwing error by catcher. Hill was hit by a pitch and Schultz walked to load the bases. T.J. Collett cleared the bases with a double to RF. UK 13, LSU 3.
Top 8th – Sanford doubled to CF and scored on Thompson’s triple to CF. UK 13, LSU 4.
- UK is 20-9 overall, 6-6 in SEC play.
- The Cats are 16-6 at home this season.
- The Cats had five players with multiple hits and four with multiple RBI.
- The Cats scored 13 runs in the seventh inning during the series, including eight on Sunday.
- The Cats outscored LSU 18-5 over the final 12 innings of the series.
- All 12 of UK’s SEC games have been against teams nicknamed Tigers or Bulldogs.
Sophomore IF Ryan Ritter went 2-for-5 with a run and stolen base.
- Ritter had his eighth multi-hit game of the season and third this week.
- Ritter finished the week 8-for-17 with six runs, seven RBI, a steal, a double and two home runs.
- Senior C Coltyn Kessler went 2-for-4 with two runs, three RBI, a home run and HBP.
- It was Kessler’s ninth multi-hit game of the season and 21st career.
- Kessler has six multi-hit games in SEC play.
- Kessler has reached safely in 16 of his past 17 games.
- Kessler tied his career highs in runs (2) and RBI (3).
- Junior IF/OF Austin Schultz went 2-for-3 with three runs, two RBI, a walk, a HBP and a home run.
- Schultz has reached base safely in 82 of 89 career games.
- Schultz became the 54th member of UK’s career 100-Hit Club.
- It was his 14th multi-hit game of the season and 29th career.
- It was his ninth career multi-RBI game.
- Sophomore RHP Zack Lee pitched 5.0 strong innings, allowing four hits and one run. He struck out six Tigers.
The Cats welcomes Bellarmine to Kentucky Proud Park for the second time this season on Tuesday evening. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network Plus. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.