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Kentucky baseball shuts out Oregon State 10-0 in game one of Super Regional

Cole Parke
Kentucky Pitcher Ryan Hagenow delivers a pitch to home plate. Kentucky beat Oregon State 3-2 to win the Lexington Super Regional and advance to the 2024 College World Series on Monday, June 10, 2024, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Cole Parke | Staff

Kentucky baseball (44-14, 22-8) used dominant pitching to defeat Oregon State (45-15, 19-10 PAC-12) by a score of 10-0 in game one of the Lexington Super Regional.

With the win, the Wildcats are one win away from reaching the College World Series for the first time in program history. The team got that win in front of the biggest crowd in Kentucky baseball history with 7,441 fans.

“I think it’s almost like having an extra defender out there,” Ryan Nicholson said about BBN. “They really can flip momentum.”

With so much at stake in a pivotal game one, Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione gave Trey Pooser the start on the mound and he worked around a walk to pitch a scoreless first.

After giving up a leadoff single in the second, Pooser got a grounder and back-to-back strikeouts to retire the side. 

His offense plated him a run in the bottom half as Nicholson drove a ball deep to centerfield that stayed in the yard, but brought home Nick Lopez and gave Kentucky a 1-0 lead.

Now pitching with a lead, Pooser worked around a walk to keep the Beavers scoreless in the third.

“That’s what a Kentucky pitcher looks like,” second baseman Émilien Pitre said. “Attacks, works really fast and has a really slow heartbeat on the mound.”

The righty’s first clean inning came in the fourth as he tossed a three-up, three-down inning.

The fifth inning was his most difficult as he worked himself into trouble by walking Mason Guerra. Pooser fielded a grounder off the bat of Jabin Trosky and attempted to throw it to second to start a potential double play, but he sailed the throw into center, allowing all runners to reach safely. 

“You have real toughness if you can stand on the mound, and that mound can be a lonely place,” Mingione said. “When something does go your way, the guy just sits there and just smiles and he shakes his head and goes on to the next thing.” 

Pooser helped himself by striking out Tanner Smith for the first out, but made things more difficult by walking Travis Bazzana to load the bases. 

Micah McDowell stepped up to the plate next for the Beavers and Pooser struck him out for the second out before getting a ground ball to get him out of the jam unscathed. 

“It was that moment in the game where it comes time where you have to make pitches and he did it at the highest level,” Mingione said.

While Pooser escaped trouble, the Beavers were unable to as Pitre hit a blistering double into right center with the bases loaded that scored James McCoy and Grant Smith. 

Now with a 3-0 lead, Pooser tossed a three-up, three-down sixth inning.

Coming back out for the seventh, the Beavers deployed two pinch hitters to try and throw Pooser off of his game, but it was unsuccessful as he worked around a one-out walk to complete his masterful 108-pitch outing.

“He’s like one of the best pitchers in the country that nobody knows about,” Nicholson said. “He just goes out and shoves and he doesn’t really talk about it.” 

The Bat Cats put the game away on offense in the seventh in an inning that began with a run scoring on a sacrifice bunt and a run scoring on an error. Nicholson added to the inning by launching a two-run home run over the right field wall. 

This was not it for the Wildcats in the inning as a throwing error and a wild pitch plated two more runs. 

The seventh and final run of the inning came across on a bases-loaded walk by Pire, which extended the lead to 10-0. 

Jackson Nove came on for Pooser and finished out the final two innings to secure the victory along with the shutout. 

The Wildcats held a potent Beaver offense to one hit and shut it out, which broke a streak of 91 consecutive games without being shutout. 

Kentucky will try to punch its ticket to Omaha while Oregon State will be playing to keep its season alive in game two at Kentucky Proud Park on Sunday, June 9, with first pitch scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.

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About the Contributors
Jonathon Bruner, Assistant Sports Editor
Cole Parke, Sports Editor

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