UK baseball comeback comes up short against Georgia


Kentucky sophomore Coltyn Kessler swings and misses during a game against Canisius College on Friday, Mar. 1, 2019, in Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Rick Childress | Staff

Hailey Peters

To finish their weekend series against the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs, the Kentucky Wildcats hosted the tiebreaker game early Saturday morning. After 10 long innings, the Cats dropped the game 10-8, pushing their season record to 16-12 (1-8 SEC).

The good fortune from Friday night’s upset was flipped quickly into the final game. In the top of the first, Georgia notched five runs. The first one came from an RBI double, and the remaining four were a result of a home run with the Bulldogs’ bases fully loaded.

Sophomore Coltyn Kessler hit his first career home run in the second to creep on the Bulldogs’ lead. In the top of the third, the Cats picked up their defense with a double play to end the possibility of two Bulldog batters scoring.

The Cats scored another run off senior Ryan Shinn’s RBI double. On his third pitch, Shinn sent freshman Austin Shultz, who has touched base in 18 straight games, home for the second Kentucky run of the day.

In the fourth, the Cats amped up their offensive pressure. Netting two hits to fill up the bases was the first step, followed closely by Shinn walking and a throwing error on behalf of the Bulldogs to allow two Cats to score unearned.

Before the Wildcats could ring in a tie, Georgia torched the Cats’ defense in the fifth. With two outs already on the board, the Bulldogs scored their second home run of the day. Three more hits immediately following the homer gave Georgia two additional runs off a double RBI to double Kentucky’s score halfway through the game.

Kentucky owes the majority of its success against Georgia in game two of the series to incredible pitching from Zack Thompson, who pitched all nine innings of play. In the final game, the Wildcats’ pitching was on and off. Starting pitcher Dillon Marsh was relieved after only one inning of five runs, three hits and one walk. Carson Coleman brought the pressure back on with 17 strikes and only one ball in two innings, slightly offsetting the rocky start.

In the eighth, Kentucky tied the score in a pinch. Shinn hit his seventh home run of the season, this one scoring three extra runs for the Cats to narrow the scoring gap to one point. Shortly after, junior Jaren Shelby hit a solo home run to extend the game into extra innings.

Although the Cats fought for the chance for a comeback in the 10th, the opening of the inning saw two more runs from the Bulldogs, giving them the game and the series against Kentucky.

The Kentucky Wildcats will continue their schedule against in-state rival Louisville on Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m.