Samford Ambushes Kentucky in First Inning, Ends Cats’ Streak at Eight

Samford Ambushes Kentucky in First Inning, Ends Cats’ Streak at Eight

HOMEWOOD, Ala. – Kentucky’s proclivity this season to incur significant early deficits in its midweek games caught up to the Wildcats on a dreary late Tuesday night in the first of a five-game road trip as a quality Samford University club upset the No. 8 Cats 9-7 at Joe Lee Griffin Field.

The loss ended UK’s winning streak at eight games.

Samford jumped all over the Wildcats after first pitch was delayed an hour due to heavy rain in the area throughout the day. Before fans had settled into their seat the Bulldogs used four hits, two walks and a wild pitch to take a 5-0 lead in the first inning, chasing starter Drew Lafferty after 0.2 innings.

Kentucky (27-5) fought back numerous times over the back half of the game but could never quite get over the hump. Home runs by Grant Smith and Devin Burkes and a two-run single by James McCoy pulled the Cats within 6-5 but the Bulldogs (22-10) jumped back out by three after a two-run blast and RBI double of their own in the sixth. The Cats never got close than two the rest of the way.

UK continues its tour of Alabama with a series at Auburn that opens Thursday night on the Plains.



  • Kentucky now is 27-5 in 2024, 11-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
    • Kentucky has won 15 of its past 17 games.
    • This ended UK’s eight-game win streak.
    • Kentucky is 9-1 in night games.
    • Kentucky is 9-2 in “true” road games, 11-3 away from Lexington.
    • Kentucky is 3-1 in April.
  • The Cats’ current seven-game win streak in SEC play is the longest in the Mingione era.
  • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 243-155 career record.
    • Mingione needs 15 victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
    • UK is 52-55 in the month of April under Coach Mingione.
    • UK is 130-19 vs. non-Power Five opponents in his tenure.
  • Senior RHP Ryan Hagenow returned to the mound after an extended absence and tossed a scoreless 1-2-3 frame, striking out a pair.
  • Senior INF Grant Smith smacked a two-run home run in the fifth.
    • It was his 7th multi-RBI game of the season and 12th
  • Senior INF Nick Lopez went 2-for-4 in the game.
    • It was his 14th multi-hit game of the season.
  • Sophomore INF/OF James McCoy went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
    • It was his 5th multi-RBI game of the season and 11th
    • It was his 5th multi-hit game of the season and 11th



The Wildcats travel down to the Plains for a Thursday-Saturday series at Auburn. The Cats and the Tigers will be featured on ESPNU on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET, before wrapping up the series on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. ET and Saturday, April 13 at 3 p.m. ET. The final two games of the weekend will be streamed on the SEC Network + with all four games featuring an audio broadcast via the UK Sports Network.

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