Pooser's Pitching Performance Lifts Cats on Saturday

Pooser's Pitching Performance Lifts Cats on Saturday

by Tim Letcher

In perhaps the biggest game in the history of the Kentucky baseball program, starting pitcher Trey Pooser came up huge, blanking a potent Oregon State lineup for seven innings in a 10-0 UK victory.

Pooser pitched seven innings, allowing just one hit while walking four and striking out eight. He threw 108 pitches while picking up his seventh win of the season. UK head coach Nick Mingione praised Pooser following the game.

“The guy to my left (Pooser) was amazing tonight,” Mingione said. “Picked the perfect time to throw one of his best games in a Kentucky uniform. That lineup, I have so much respect for that coaching staff. That lineup is amazing. Through seven innings as you guys know, no earned runs. Had a couple walks, couple two-out walks; did not let it affect them. Just kept going.”

For Pooser, he just continues to stick with what’s working for him.

“Yeah, I feel like — I don’t know, I feel like I’ve been trying to do the same thing; it’s just worked out better for me honestly,” Pooser said. “That’s pretty much it. I’ve just been doing the same thing I’ve been trying to do all season and it’s just worked out a lot better for me this postseason.”

One of the key moments in the game came in the top of the fifth inning. OSU’s Mason Guerra was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Jabin Trosky laid down a bunt that Pooser fielded in front of the mound. He wheeled and threw to second base but his throw was wild and both runners were safe.

Pooser then got a key strikeout of Oregon State catcher Tanner Smith. Pooser walked OSU’s Travis Bazzana to load the bases with one out. But he fought back to strikeout Micah McDowell before getting Gavin Turley to bounce out to third to end the threat. How was Pooser able to pitch out of the jam?

“Yeah, just trusting my stuff,” Pooser said. “I was trying to get a ground ball, trying to get a double play. Whatever I did I was just focused on throwing strikes and filling up the zone.”

How much focus did it take in that particular situation?

“A lot,” Pooser said. “(Pitching) Coach (Dan) Roszel came out and had a good visit with me and told me to attack the zone, get back to what I was doing.”

Pooser gave Roszel credit for calling pitches in Saturday’s game.

“Yeah, Coach Roszel called a great game, and he allows us to choose whatever we want to pitch,” Pooser said. “If we want to choose a different pitch we’re allowed to, but I think he was calling a great game and switching it up just how we’ve been doing.”

Pooser also drew praise from his second baseman, Emilien Pitre, following his outstanding performance.

“I think Coach Minge would agree with me, that’s what a Kentucky pitcher looks like,” Pitre said. “It attacks, works really fast, and has a really slow heartbeat on the mound, and that’s what we teach here.”

On Saturday night, Pooser pitched Kentucky to within one game of the College World Series. It was a perfect time for the right-hander to come up with the best performance of his UK career.

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