Kentucky thumped 15-2 by LSU in return to Kentucky Proud Park


UK outfielders jog off the field during the University of Kentucky vs. Bellarmine baseball game on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 4-3. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Eric Decker

In physics there’s a universally accepted law: for every action there’s an equal but opposite reaction. The same apparently applies to baseball.

Following an 11-run, 15-hit performance against Louisville that resulted in Kentucky’s first road win over a top-five team in four years, the Cats returned to Kentucky Proud Park and had arguably their worst offensive performance of the season, mustering up only a couple of runs in their 15-2 loss in game one of a weekend series with the LSU Tigers.

UK went 1-8 with runners in scoring position as a whole. John Rhodes’ RBI single in the sixth and Ryan Ritter’s solo shot in the seventh provided to be the only scoring for the Cats.

“We’ve played 27 games so far and I’d say that’s the first game we were not in,” head coach Nick Mingione said after the game. “Even if you look at our losses, there’s been a bunch of one and two run losses.”

Despite the low offensive output, blame shouldn’t be exclusively assigned to Wildcat hitters. They were matched up against Landon Marceaux, who entered the game with an ERA of 2.01 and a WHIP of 0.92. Marceux, who has had extended pressure put on him since the news broke that projected top-five MLB Draft pick Jaden Hill would miss the rest of the season with a UCL injury, responded to the noise with a masterful eight strikeouts and one earned run in 7.2 innings of work.

On the bump for the Cats was Cole Stupp, who had one of his worst performances in his two years as a Cat. The right-hander allowed 12 hits and eight earned runs in five innings of work. His 1.91 season ERA ballooned all the way up to 3.37 after the start.

“He doesn’t usually give up that many hits and hard contact,” Mingione said. “So something was up there. I don’t know what it was, but give them a ton of credit too. They hit a lot of balls hard.”

Kentucky looks to even the series on Saturday with the first pitch set to be thrown at 2 p.m. and Ryan Hagenow on the mound.