Kentucky 4, Ball State 0

Travis Smith and Mason Moore pitched a combined shutout on Friday as Kentucky beat Ball State 4-0 in the first game of the 2023 NCAA Baseball Lexington Regional at Kentucky Proud Park.

Smith went four innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out four. Moore, who earned the win in relief, pitched the final five innings, retiring all 14 batters he faced in the contest.

The game was scoreless until Kentucky catcher Devin Burkes led off the fourth inning with an opposite field home run, giving UK a 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until the eighth inning, when the Cats scored three more times to provide the final margin of victory. The big hit came off the bat of Emilien Pitre, who singled home Burkes and Jase Felker.

Ball State starting pitcher Trennor O’Donnell was outstanding for the Cardinals. O’Donnell pitched 7.1 innings, allowing just four hits, one walk and two earned runs while striking out five.

Kentucky advances in the winner’s bracket of the Lexington Regional and will face the winner of the West Virginia-Indiana game at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday. Ball State slips into the loser’s bracket and will face the loser of the WVU-IU game on Saturday at noon ET.

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