Fawley’s First Blast, Impenetrable Pitching Lead Kentucky

Fawley’s First Blast, Impenetrable Pitching Lead Kentucky


Austin Fawley swatted a 418-foot home run and eight pitchers stymied Western Kentucky in a 5-0 three-hit shutout on Tuesday at Kentucky Proud Park in front of 2,226 fans.

Kentucky (7-1) scored three runs in the third inning and saw redshirt freshman drew Lafferty set the tone on the mound with three clean innings as it posted a second shutout just eight games into the 2024 season. Cameron O’Brien and James McCoy both produced massive strikeouts to snuff out potential Western Kentucky threats.

Fawley, a redshirt freshman catcher from Florida playing just his second game, walloped an 0-2 pitch deep into the Kentucky evening in the sixth inning to cap the scoring. He became the third Wildcat player this season to homer for their first career hit, joining Lukas Schramm and Eli Small.

The win moved UK coach Nick Mingione to 9-1 career against the Hilltoppers. The Wildcats will host Lipscomb this weekend, who previously lost to the same Western Kentucky club.



  • Kentucky now is 7-1 in 2024.
    • This is UK’s best start since 2022 when the Cats started 7-0 as part of a 10-1 run to open the season.
    • The Wildcats are 41-29 vs. Western Kentucky all-time.
  • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 223-151 career record.
    • Mingione needs 35 victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
    • UK is 43-17 in the month of February under Coach Mingione.
    • Mingione is 140-41 in non-conference games overall.
    • Mingione is 121-16 vs. non-Power Five opponents.
    • Mingione is 9-1 vs. Western Kentucky.
  • This was Kentucky’s eighth shutout in the past two seasons and second in eight games this season.
  • Kentucky has used 35 different players in eight games.
  • The Wildcats were hit by a pitch three times.
    • Kentucky batters have been hit by 18 pitches in the past four games.
  • Redshirt Freshman RHP Drew Lafferty pitched 3.0 hitless innings in his second career start.
    • He has not allowed a run through his first five collegiate innings.
    • The 3.0 innings are a career high.
  • Freshman RHP Jake Titus faced four batters in his collegiate debut and retired all four.
  • Junior Patrick Herrera went 0-for-1 with an RBI, two hit by pitch and a walk.
  • Redshirt Freshman C/IF Austin Fawley went 1-for-4 with a solo home run.
    • He is the third Wildcat this season to hit a home run for his first career collegiate hit.
    • The others are Lukas Schramm and Eli Small.
  • Wildcats to make their career or season debut: LHP Evan Hart (collegiate), RHP Robert Hogan (season, UK career) and RHP Jake Titus (collegiate)



Kentucky hosts its first weekend series at Kentucky Proud Park when Lipscomb arrives this Friday for a 4 p.m. ET start. The game will be streamed on SECN+.  Audio coverage will be provided by the UK Sports Network on and 98.5 FM (Lexington).

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