Georgia Peach: Cole Stupp Dominant in Return Home
ATHENS, Ga. – Cole Stupp pumped his fist, turned and let out a primal yell, the final act of a dominant performance that pushed Kentucky to a 6-1 victory over No. 20 Georgia at Foley Field on Friday night.
Taking the mound barely more than an hour from his hometown of Milton, Georgia, with a large family contingent in attendance, Stupp delivered arguably the best outing of his career, spinning 8.0 innings of one-run baseball as the Wildcats earned their second road win over a ranked team. The sophomore right-hander blanked the Bulldogs for the first 7.2 innings before they scratched across a single run, but Stupp blew a fastball past Chaney Rogers to end the inning, finally allowing the stoic pitcher to let his emotion explode.
The win moved UK to 22-9 overall on the season and 7-6 in Southeastern Conference play with an opportunity to secure a second road series win in the first half of the league schedule. Georgia, coming off a series win over No. 1 Vanderbilt, fell to 21-12 overall, 5-8 in SEC play.
The Cats found ways to manufacture runs all evening and produced three two-out runs, including a pair in the seventh that made it 4-0. In the second, Austin Schultz singled with two outs, stole second and then scored on T.J. Collett’s RBI single. In the seventh, Collett was hit by a pitch to load the bases after a nine-pitch at bat before John Rhodes and Coltyn Kessler each walked to force in runs.
Top 3rd – Schultz singled to CF, stole second and scored on T.J. Collett’s single to LF. UK 1, Georgia 0.
Top 4th – Coltyn Kessler was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on Oraj Anu’s single. Ryan Ritter hit a SAC fly to RF, scoring Kessler. UK 2, Georgia 0.
Top 7th – Reuben Church walked, Schultz reached on an error and Collett was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. John Rhodes drew a walk, forcing Church home. Kessler walked, Schultz scored. UK 4, Georgia 0.
Bottom 8th – Blaylock hit a two-out double and scored on King’s single to LF. UK 4, Georgia 1.
Top 9th – Schultz singled to RF, advanced to second on a passed ball and third on a throwing error by the pitcher. Rhodes doubled to RCF, Schultz scored. Rhodes stole third and scored on Kessler’s fielder’s choice. UK 6, Georgia 1.
- UK is 22-9 overall, 7-6 in SEC play.
- The Cats are 5-3 on the road this season.
- The Cats are 2-3 vs. ranked opponents this season, with all five games coming on the road.
- UK is 48-for-51 on stolen base attempts this season.
- The Cats had a shutout streak of 17.2 innings end in the 8th inning.
- The Cats now are 19-1 this season when leading after seven innings and 115-9 under Coach Mingione.
Senior C Coltyn Kessler has reached safely in 18 of his past 19 games.
- Kessler drove in a pair of runs on a walk and fielder’s choice.
- Junior IF/OF Austin Schultz went 2-for-5 with three runs.
- Schultz has reached base safely in 84 of 91 career games.
- It was his 16th multi-hit game of the season and 31st career.
- Schultz stole a base and now is 15-of-16 on the season.
- The three runs tied Schultz’s career high. He has scored eight runs in the past three games.
- Sophomore RHP Cole Stupp was magnificent in earning the win.
- Stupp pitched 8.0 innings, a new career high, allowing one run, walking one and striking out eight.
- Stupp did not allow a run through the first 7.2 innings, pushing UK’s shutout streak to 17.2 consecutive innings.
- He allowed just one extra-base hit.
- Stupp lowered his season ERA to 3.02.
The Cats seek a series win at No. 20 Georgia on Saturday. First pitch on is set for 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.