Kentucky smushed 17-3 in series finale against Texas A&M


Kentucky Wildcats infielder Chase Estep (12) fixes his hair during the UK vs. Morehead State baseball game on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 7-5. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Scott Clarke

Kentucky lost the third and final game against Texas A&M in College Station on Saturday, falling 17-3 in brutal fashion.

Tyler Bosma took the bump for UK while Micah Dallas started on the mound for the Aggies.

Dallas made quick work of Kentucky, setting down the Cats first three hitters down in order in six pitches.

Bosma would not have the same luck in the bottom half of the inning. He only allowed one baserunner before accumulating two outs. A wild pitch allowed the Aggie to reach second base, before he was driven home right after a Troy Claunch RBI single, giving A&M an early 1-0 lead.

Claunch, using heads-up baseball, advanced to second base on the throw to home, furthering troubles for UK.

Brett Minnich singled home Claunch, extending the lead to two. In the next at bat, Austin Bost singled, but Bosma was able to strike out Ryan Targac to end the inning.

In the top of the second, Dallas looked like he was cruising through another inning with two outs, until Jacob Plastiak hit a solo home run to center field, cutting the lead in half.

Bosma sat the Aggies down in order in the bottom frame, bouncing back from the troublesome inning prior.

The third inning was a disappointing one for Kentucky. After getting two runners on base to start the inning, UK’s one through three hitters (Hunter Jump, Daniel Harris IV, and Chase Estep) were all unable to drive home runners, leaving the score at 2-1.

Bosma cruised through his third inning of work, only allowing a measly two-out-walk before Minnich flew out to end the inning.

Dallas struck out the first two batters he faced in the fourth and forced the third to fly out, getting through his fourth inning of work with ease.

The game would never get closer after that.

Bosma allowed a one-out single to Targac. What followed began the end for Kentucky on Saturday. Three straight wild pitches allowed Targac to go from first to home, giving Texas A&M a 3-1 lead. 

If three straight wild pitches wasn’t enough, a throwing error from Ryan Ritter allowed Taylor Smith to reach base. The next batter would reach base from another error from the sure-handed shortstop Ritter, putting runners on first and second.

Kole Kaler singled to load the bases with one out. Mere moments later, Dylan Rock emptied the bases with a three-run RBI triple, giving the Aggies a 6-1 lead. 

Bosma was able to get Jack Moss to ground out, however not without Rock scoring and stretching the lead to six. 

That would spell the end of the day for Bosma, as Nick Mingione opted to go with Seth Logue to get out of the inning.

Bosma allowed three earned runs, but when he needed his defense behind him to step up the most, they provided him with two errors, putting him in a difficult predicament.

Logue struck out Claunch to end the inning.

The Cats were able to get two runs back in the fifth.

Alonzo Rubalcaba led off the inning with a single. Reuben Church doubled to the left-center-gap, putting runners on second and third with no out. John Thrasher singled to drive them both home, cutting the lead to four and giving UK some much needed momentum.

In a year where any comeback from any deficit seems attainable, would Kentucky be able to come back from another early lead?

With the heart of its order up, the time was right to keep the momentum going. Instead, UK’s one through three hitters failed to drive home runners again. 

Jump struck out, Harris IV popped up and Estep grounded out. Those would be the last runs Kentucky scored.

After Logue struck out Minnich to start the fifth, Boat got on base with a bunt. The small ball would pay off as Targac followed with a towering two-run-shot over the right-center-field wall, pushing the lead back to six.

Adam Fogel got on base via error to start the sixth, but two straight fielder’s choices quickly put an end to the rally.

Logue struck out Kaler to start the bottom half, but a walk to Rock and a double from Moss forced Mingione to take out Logue and opt for Austin Strickland.

Strickland’s day started by hitting Claunch with a 1-2 fastball to load the bases. A walk to Minnich scored another run, making the score 10-3.

A Bost sacrifice fly scored another Aggie, making it 11-3. A Targac triple scored two, making it 13-3. The rout was on.

Wyatt Hudepohl took over for Strickland. After getting the first two batters he faced to ground out, Rock homered to left field, stretching the lead to eleven. 

At the end of seven, it was 14-3.

Will Johnston took over for Dallas in the eighth and sat down all three Kentucky bats in order.

Jackson Nove took over for Hudepohl. He walked Minnich, the first batter he faced, on four pitches. Targac doubled home Minnich to make the score 15-3. After more Aggies reached base, Kaler tripled home two of them to make the score 17-3.

The Cats went down quietly in the ninth and thankfully for Kentucky, the game was over.

UK (19-13, 4-8 SEC) will look to bounce back against Bellarmine on Tuesday, April 12 at Kentucky Proud Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST.