No. 25 Kentucky Mounts Comeback in Win at EKU

No. 25 Kentucky Mounts Comeback in Win at EKU


RICHMOND, Ky. – Senior Reuben Church smacked a two-run double to left field and provided No. 25 Kentucky with the run support it needed to escape a rare midweek trip with a 5-2 victory over Eastern Kentucky. With the win, the Wildcats claimed the season sweep over the Colonels and matched the best start to a season since head coach Nick Mingione took over.

Despite not registering a hit until the eighth inning, the Wildcats  (12-1, 0-0 SEC) were able to build off the backs of another strong pitching performance to rally in the late innings. Offensively, Church’s big hit was supported by junior Emilien Pitre, who broke up the no-hitter in the eighth with a clean single to right field, scored the tying run, and added a second base knock in a ninth-inning rally. Additionally, graduate Nick Lopez drove in three RBI on the day, thanks to a pair of sacrifice flies and a fielder’s choice.

On the mound, the Kentucky staff was exceptional once again, holding the Colonels without an earned run. Graduate Johnny Hummel earned his first win as a Wildcat, pitching 1.2 innings, allowing no hits, and striking out three. Graduate Trey Pooser earned his first save in blue, pitching the final two innings of the game and protecting the Kentucky lead with four strikeouts. Overall, Kentucky pitchers have only given up four runs over the past 41 innings, with only two of those being earned.

The Wildcats opened the scoring in the first, turning a pair of walks and a HBP into a run after a Lopez SAC fly. The Colonels responded in the bottom of the frame, capitalizing on a Kentucky error to tie the game. The two teams traded scoreless innings until the sixth, when a pair of EKU infield hits and a HBP loaded the bases. Hummel entered the game in the jam and rolled a ground ball, but an error on the throw home gave the home team the lead. The run ended a 23-inning scoreless streak by the Wildcat bullpen. Kentucky loaded the bases in the seventh, but still trailed 2-1 heading into the final two innings.

Pitre led off the eighth with the team’s first hit, sparking a three-run frame that put the game away. He advanced to third on a passed ball and a failed pickoff, allowing Lopez to tie the game with his second SAC fly of the night. Later in the inning, Church came to the plate with the bases loaded and blasted a ball to left field, hitting the wall and driving in the go-ahead runs.

In the ninth, junior Ryan Waldschmidt was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on Pitre’s second hit of the game and scored on a ground ball by Lopez. The Colonels did not have a baserunner in the final two innings, as Kentucky pitching shut down the game, securing the Wildcat win.



  • Kentucky now is 12-1 in 2024.
    • The Wildcats are 4-0 on the road and 6-1 total away from Lexington.
    • Kentucky is 1-0 in night games.
    • Kentucky has won 28 of its last 30 regular season non-conference games.
      • Kentucky is 36-5 vs. non-conference foes (including the Lexington Regional) since the beginning of the 2023 season.
      • This matches the program’s best start under Mingione, tying the 2018 squad with a 12-1 record.
    • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 228-151 career record.
      • Mingione needs 30 victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
      • UK is 90-34 in the month of March under Coach Mingione.
      • Mingione is 145-41 in non-conference games overall.
      • Mingione is 126-16 vs. non-Power Five opponents.


  • Kentucky is now 74-27-1 all-time vs. Eastern Kentucky.
  • Kentucky drew six walks and four hit by pitch.
  • The Kentucky bullpen’s consecutive scoreless innings streak ended at 23.0 on an unearned run in the 7th
  • Kentucky pitchers tossed 14 strikeouts, a new season high.
  • Junior RHP Cooper Robinson earned his first start at Kentucky.
    • He pitched 2.0 innings, allowing two hits, one unearned run, and one walk on four strikeouts.
  • Junior RHP Robert Hogan pitched a career high 3.0 innings in relief.
    • He pitched three scoreless innings with no hits allowed and two strikeouts.
  • Graduate RHP Johnny Hummel earned his first win at Kentucky.
    • He pitched 1.2 innings, allowing no runs and striking out three batters.
  • Graduate RHP Trey Pooser earned his first save as a Wildcat.
    • He pitched 2.0 innings, allowing no runs and striking out four.
  • Junior Émilien Pitre went 2-for-4 with a run and a walk.
    • It was his seventh multi-hit game of the season and 25th of his career.
    • He was reached safely in 12 straight games.
  • Senior Reuben Church went 1-for-1 with a two-RBI double.
    • His eighth-inning double drove in the game-winning runs.
  • Senior IF Nick Lopez went 0-for-3 but picked up 3 RBI.
    • His 3-RBI tied a career-high, set in last night’s win over EKU.
    • It was his third multi-RBI game of the season.
    • Lopez finished the midweek series against EKU with six RBI.



No. 25 Kentucky will host Kennesaw State for a weekend series that opens Friday afternoon at Kentucky Proud Park. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. on Friday, March 8. The game will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network, with streaming available on SECN+.

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