Kentucky drops game two of LSU series 8-6, falls below .500 in SEC play


Kentucky Wildcat Cam Hill (37) catches a fly ball during the University of Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky University baseball game on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 6-3 Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Eric Decker

After getting shellacked yesterday, the Cats found their bats on Saturday night. But it was too little too late.

Kentucky suffered another defeat to LSU, this time by a final score of 8-6. Dating back to the team’s series with Mississippi State, the Wildcats have now lost five straight SEC games. Over those five contests, they’ve struck out 57 times and weren’t able to produce more than three runs until tonight.

“We gotta do a better job with two strikes and put the ball in play,” head coach Nick Mingione said briefly after the game.

UK’s pitching staff was able to keep games mostly competitive down in Starkville, but that theme drastically changed through two meetings with the Tigers. LSU has proceeded to score 22 runs over both of its outings in Lexington, offering Wildcat hitters little chance to return the favor the staff provided against the Bulldogs.

Much like Cole Stupp did Friday night, Ryan Hagenow had his worst appearance in his short stint as a Wildcat. The freshman lasted only four outs before being pulled. He didn’t allow a hit, but clearly had control issues from the jump. By the end of the first inning, he had hit a batter and walked three, forcing in one of two runs in the opening frame.

“Ryan didn’t have his stuff tonight.” Mingione said.

The Cats made a faux comeback attempt late, scoring five runs in the seventh and eighth innings. An RBI from Cam Hill – who had a solo shot earlier in the game – and T.J. Collett brought Coltyn Kessler, batting .417 on the season, to the plate with the tying run on base. But he grounded into a double play, effectively kill the rally. Kentucky loaded the bases with less than two outs the next frame, but only managed to score once.

The Wildcats look to salvage one win from the series and get back to .500 in SEC play tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. E.T. on SEC Network Plus.