Despite loss, No. 6 UK Baseball takes series from No. 3 Texas Tech


Sophomore pitcher Zack Thompson pitches in UK’s game on March 10, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. UK won 11-6. Photo by Edward Justice | Staff

Charlee Schaefer

On Sunday, the No. 6 UK Baseball team lost their first non-midweek game of the season.

Coming into the weekend, the Texas Tech Red Raiders had a 14-game winning streak that the Cats snapped.

The Cats took two games away from the No. 3 team in the country and claimed the series.

On Saturday, left-handed pitcher Zack Thompson got his fourth start of the season in another average performance. He was granted a no-decision.

Head coach Nick Mingione mentioned after the game that his starting pitchers are not always going to be on but he sees it as an opportunity for someone else.

Thompson only got through three innings and the Cats were forced to get deep into the bullpen early. He hit two batters, walked four and allowed three runs, bringing his ERA to 6.11.

The Cats ultimately won 11-6 and proved yet again how deep the pitching is for the Cats. They used six pitchers including Thompson.

Freshman left-hander Mason Hazelwood came in clutch for his team yet again, showing how valuable he will be to the team this season. He went 2.1 innings, allowed only one hit and struck two out.

The Kentucky native said after the game that a relief pitcher is known for how he handles tough situations and he felt that he got the job done. He also thinks that it proves how good they are and what they’ll do this season.

“If we can do this to Texas Tech, it makes me believe that we can do it to anybody,” Hazelwood said.

Becker had a scary moment in the seventh when he ran into the brick wall in shallow right field. Becker was adamant about continuing the game while his teammate was doing well on the mound.

“We’ve got to get Maley going. He’s throwing strikes right now. He’s ready, let’s get him going,” Mingione said after the game. “We’ve got a team full and a locker room full of guys that are selfless.”

Both head coaches had issues with the strike zone in all games this weekend and made it quite clear. Nick Mingione and the Red Raiders head coach Ted Tadlock both received official warnings.

On Sunday, it was a battle of the changeup specialists. Right-handers Justin Lewis and Caleb Kilian played, neither of which had impressive outings, forcing their bullpens to put in work.

Lewis went six innings and recorded ten strikeouts but two pitches kept the Cats from pulling off the win, as they caught the wind flying out to right field and left the park.

The Cats headed to the bottom of the ninth needing two to tie the game or three for a walk-off win but fell short to the Raiders, 5-3.

UK opens SEC play next weekend vs. the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, in what will be another big test for the Cats.