Cats take out Redhawks in midweek matchup

Junior Kole Cottam high fives teammate Troy Squires during the game against Miami-Ohio on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

Charlee Schaefer

No. 6 UK baseball team hosted the Miami (OH) Redhawks in a midweek matchup on Tuesday evening. The Cats came out on top 13-7 behind another offensive surge.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Daniel Harper had his best outing of the year, going scoreless through six innings while recording six strikeouts and only walking one batter. He was within two of his career-high punchouts and had his longest outing of the season. 

With this outing, he has most likely locked in the midweek start position, in his sixth appearance on the mound.

Right-handers Carson Coleman and Jimmy Ramsey both had stellar performances out of the bullpen, securing Harper’s second win of the year.

“When you think of Harper, you think of Coleman and you think of Ramsey, those are three freshmen,” head coach Nick Mingione said. “Those are three freshmen that just came in and threw the ball exceptionally well.”

The Cats did not get on the board until the third, but quickly made up for it by scoring three runs. Tristan Pompey doubled down the left field line to score Kole Cottam and Luke Becker hit a two-run double in the same frame.

Becker has now reached base in every game this season and attributes that to his approach.

“I am just trying to have quality at-bats, whether it’s walks or hits or whatever it is,” Becker said. “I’m just trying to grind out the pitcher and have a quality at-bat. I think that’s what I’m good at.”

The Cats scored a run in both the fourth and fifth innings and scored eight runs in two of the four remaining innings. Four out of the five runs that the Cats scored in the sixth inning were because of a wild pitch or an errant throw, clearing the bases at one point.

The Cats got some much-needed insurance in the eighth after the Redhawks put up a seven-spot in the seventh, with Ben Aklinski’s chopper to shallow right field.

Both starting pitchers had good outings and the bullpen caused problems, an issue UK needs to focus on. 

“Right now we aren’t exactly where we want to be but we’ll get there,” Becker said.

Tuesday’s win gives the Cats momentum as they head to Alabama this weekend to take on the Crimson Tide. The SEC is stacked this year and the Cats need to have a good showing in every game to do well, especially in their second road series of conference play. 

First pitch for Friday’s season opener in Alabama is set for 7 p.m.