Thursday Night Live: Nicholson’s Mammoth Blast Paces No. 8 Kentucky

Thursday Night Live: Nicholson’s Mammoth Blast Paces No. 8 Kentucky

AUBURN, Ala. – For only the second time in its history, Kentucky has won eight consecutive Southeastern Conference baseball games after Ryan Nicholson pulverized a ball 444 feet into the Alabama night to give the No. 8 Wildcats a 6-5 victory over Auburn at Plainsman Park.

The Cats (28-5, 12-1 SEC) slithered out of potential trouble in both the eighth and ninth innings with Johnny Hummel emphatically slamming the door closed both times, including a game-ending double play. He also made a textbook fielding play an inning early to throw out the game-tying run at home plate.

UK took the fight to the Tigers right away, stringing together four straight two-out hits in the first inning to claim a 2-0. After a bases loaded fielding error allowed two more runs to score the Cats held a 4-0 lead after three. But the Tigers rallied with four runs in the fourth after the first three batters walked.

There was nothing doing until the seventh when Mitchell Daly smoked a two-out double to left and Nicholson followed with mammoth shot well over UK’s bullpen. In the past two SEC games the Louisville, Kentucky native has three home runs and eight RBI.

UK now can set its sights on a fifth conference series victory with a win on either Friday or Saturday.



  • Kentucky now is 28-5 in 2024, 12-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
    • Kentucky has won 16 of its past 18 games.
    • Kentucky is 10-1 in night games.
    • Kentucky is 10-2 in “true” road games, 12-3 away from Lexington.
    • Kentucky is 4-1 in April.
    • Kentucky is 25-0 this season when leading after the 7th inning and 206-13 in Coach Nick Mingione’s tenure.
  • The Cats’ current eight-game win streak in SEC play is the longest in the Mingione era.
    • The last time UK won eight straight league games was 2006. It is the only other time UK has accomplished that feat.
  • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 244-155 career record.
    • Mingione needs 14 victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
    • UK is 53-55 in the month of April under Coach Mingione.
    • Mingione now is 9-3 vs. Auburn.
  • Sophomore Travis Smith earned the win with 3.0 innings of relief.
    • He allowed one run on two hits, walking one and striking out three.
  • Senior Johnny Hummel earned his third save.
    • He threw two scoreless innings, working out of jams that were not of his own making in both innings.
    • He struck out two.
  • Senior Ryan Nicholson went 3-for-3 with a run, three RBI, home run and walk.
    • He blasted a 444-foot, two-run go-ahead home run in the seventh inning.
    • He now has 197 career hits.
    • He ties his career-high with three hits, previously set last weekend.
    • It was his seventh multi-hit game of the season and 8th multi-RBI game.
    • In the last two SEC games he has six hits, including three home runs, and eight RBI.
    • He is the second Wildcat this season to have home runs in back-to-back SEC games.
  • Senior Mitchell Daly went 2-for-3 with two runs, an RBI, a double and hit by pitch.
    • It was his sixth multi-hit game of the season.
  • Junior Devin Burkes went 2-for-5 with two runs, a double and stolen base.
    • It was his fifth multi-hit game of the season and 25th
    • He also threw a runner out trying to steal for the second straight game.



The Wildcats will try to win their fifth SEC series in as many attempts on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed on SECN+ and there will be an audio broadcast via the UK Sports Network.

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