Free Bases Haunt Kentucky in Elimination Defeat to South Carolina

Free Bases Haunt Kentucky in Elimination Defeat to South Carolina

HOOVER, Ala. – Kentucky has thrived this season by taking advantage of opponents’ inability to pound the strike zone but got beat at its own game on Friday at the Southeastern Conference Tournament, dropping a 6-5 elimination game to South Carolina.

UK (40-14) now will await their potential road to Omaha. The full NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Monday, May 27.

The Wildcats got out to a 2-0 lead but an opportunistic Carolina club waited out UK starter Mason Moore, who was more erratic than usual. He allowed a towering three-run home run to Gavin Casas and then allowed four straight walks and hit by pitch to end his day in the fifth. Another walk allowed a third run to score in the inning and gave the Gamecocks a 6-4 advantage.

UK made another run at a comeback in the eighth inning after some terrific relief work by Cameron O’Brien and freshman Ben Cleaver. Ryan Nicholson pounded an RBI double to pull UK within one and Nolan McCarthy hit a screaming line drive toward first that appeared as though it would drive in the tying run but Carolina first baseman Ethan Petry snared it just above the dirt and doubled off Nicholson to end the threat.



  • Kentucky now is 40-14 in 2024.
  • Kentucky is 24-11 in day games.
  • Kentucky is 7-5 in May.
  • Kentucky is 14-5 vs. ranked teams and 22-7 vs. Quad 1 opponents.
  • Kentucky owns the most Quad 1 wins in Division I.
  • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 256-164 career record.
  • Mingione needs three victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
  • UK is 47-46 in the month of May under Coach Mingione.
  • Junior Emilien Pitre extended his streak of games reaching base safely to 31.
  • Freshman Ben Cleaver tossed two scoreless innings.
  • Junior Nolan McCarthy drove in a pair on runs.



Kentucky will await its NCAA Tournament fate.

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