Vanderbilt, Rocker edge past Wildcats in walk-off victory


Kentucky Wildcat John Rhodes (1) throws the ball to first during the University of Kentucky vs. Murray State University baseball game on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK lost 13-8. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Eric Decker

Kentucky’s NCAA hopes have been hanging by a thread for weeks now, and tonight it hit a major knot.

In their final series of the regular season, Kentucky baseball fell victim to potential No. 1 pick in the upcoming MLB Draft Kumar Rocker and the No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores by a final score of 4-2 on a walk of bomb off the bat of Troy LaNeve. Rocker was mostly lights out in his final regular season start. He went for seven innings while striking out 11 and only allowing three hits. His one blunder coming on the John Rhodes two run home run that tied the game up in the fifth.

“He got us pretty good there for a while,” Nick Mingione said regarding Rocker’s performance. “He got on a roll and we weren’t able to get anything going.”

Cole Stupp took the mound for Kentucky and didn’t disappoint in his first trip down to Nashville. The sophomore finished after seven innings of work, limiting the Commodores to only two runs and working out a jam with multiple people on in the seventh.

“The margin of victory is so small, we had our chances and quite frankly we didn’t capitalize and they did,” Mingione said. “They won and we didn’t but we had our chances, we just didn’t capitalize.

The task doesn’t get any easier tomorrow, the ‘Cats will now go against Jack Leiter tomorrow, the other potential top-5 pick in the Commodore pitching rotation.

The game is set for 7:30 p.m. EST and will be shown on the SEC Network Plus.