Game of Firsts: Two Wildcats Homer in First Career Game

Game of Firsts: Two Wildcats Homer in First Career Game


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – A pair of Kentucky freshman clobbered home runs in their first collegiate games to lead the Wildcats to a 9-3, series-sweeping victory over USC Upstate on Sunday afternoon at Harley Park.

Redshirt freshman Lukas Schramm clubbed his shot off the scoreboard in his second collegiate plate appearance after earning the start in right field and true freshman Eli Small delivered a pinch hit blast on an 0-2 count in the late innings. Small is the first UK player to smack a home run in his collegiate debut since T.J. Collett in 2017, a pinch hit grand slam versus Ole Miss at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Junior Mason Moore earned the win in first start on the mound, allowing just two runs on four hits in a career-high 5.1 innings. A parade of UK relievers kept the dangerous Upstate bats off balance the rest of the way. The homer Moore allowed on his final pitch of the day ended his consecutive scoreless innings streak at 20.

UK (3-0) jumped all over the Spartans early, capitalizing on four new faces to the lineup. Mitchell Daly, Patrick Herrera, Ty Crittenberger and Schramm all made immediate contributions. Crittenberger smacked three hits, including a base hit bunt and two-run homer. He also stole a pair of bases and UK was successful on all 14 of its attempts on the weekend.

The Cats now return to Kentucky Proud Park for the home opener on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. ET.



  • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 219-150 career record.
    • Mingione needs 39 victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
    • UK is 39-16 in the month of February under Coach Mingione.
    • Mingione is 136-40 in non-conference games overall and 117-16 vs. non-Power Five opponents.
    • Mingione now is 5-0 vs. USC Upstate.
  • Kentucky had two players – OF Lukas Schramm and C/INF Eli Small – hit home runs in their first collegiate game.
  • Kentucky pitchers threw 14.1 consecutive scoreless innings before a home run in the sith inning ended the streak.
  • Kentucky stole five bases in the game and went 14-for-14 in the series.
  • Junior RHP Mason Moore made his first career start on the mound.
    • His final line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K
    • He extended his consecutive scoreless inning streak to 20.0 IP dating to last season before giving up a home run on his final pitch.
    • Set new career-high with 5.1 innings pitched and tied career-high with 84 pitches.
  • Senior INF Mitchell Daly drilled an RBI double off the fence in his first at-bat in Kentucky blue.
  • Senior INF Ty Crittenberger went 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and two stolen bases.
    • He displayed his speed with a bunt single in his first at-bat in blue.
  • R-Freshman OF Lukas Schramm walked in his first collegiate plate appearance and hit a towering home run off the scoreboard in his first official at-bat.
  • Freshman C/INF Eli Small homered in his first collegiate at-bat, a solo shot to centerfield on an 0-2 count. It also was a pinch hit home run.
    • The last UK player to homer in their first at-bat in blue was Dalton Reed in 2019.
    • The last UK player to homer in their first collegiate at-bat was T.J. Collett in 2017 (a pinch hit grand slam).
  • The following Wildcats made their debut in blue: OF Ty Crittenberger, INF Mitchell Daly, INF Ethan Hindle, RHP Cameron O’Brien, RHP Cooper Robinson, OF Lukas Schramm and C/INF Eli Small.



Kentucky will open its home schedule on Tuesday, February 20 at 4 p.m.  The game is on SECN+, with radio on the UK Sports Network (98.5 FM in Lexington).



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