Kentucky baseball no-hit in 10-0 loss to Vanderbilt


Kentucky Wildcat Ryan Hagenow (24) pitches during the University of Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky University baseball game on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 6-3 Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Cole Parke

Kentucky baseball (21-17) was defeated 10-0 by Vanderbilt (27-10) inside Kentucky Proud Park on Friday, with the Wildcats being no-hit in the process.

The loss is arguably the worst of the season for Nick Mingione’s Cats, with the 10-0 final score going down as UK’s first shut-out loss of the season even without the lack of hits.

Despite what the game would become, the night did not start off as a poor one for Kentucky, with veteran pitcher Mason Hazelwood getting the call to start.

Hazelwood had put together his longest start of the season just one week prior in Columbia against the Missouri Tigers, going five innings deep and securing the win on the mound.

Hazelwood’s start wasn’t perfect, allowing the Commodores their first two runs of the ballgame after walking two batters and giving up a pair of singles in the third inning.

That said, he held sturdy, tying his season high total for strikeouts with five, and going five innings deep once again before he was relieved.

While Hazelwood took the loss on the mound purely for allowing the first runs of the ballgame, he was far from the worst pitcher to take the mound against the Commodores.

To relieve Hazelwood, Mingione brought in sophomore Ryan Hagenow, who had also been sturdy in game one against the Tigers.

Unfortunately for Kentucky, the same could not be said for the righty on Friday, with Hagenow pitching just 0.1 innings and giving up two runs on the mound, with his final total being four earned runs after two runners he allowed to reach base scored after he’d been taken out.

Four runs scored on just five batters faced saw Hagenow take the blame for the Commodores tripling their lead in the sixth inning, a disastrous showing that would only seem to represent the night as a whole for the Cats as the game went on.

After Hagenow, Daniel Harper tried his luck on the mound, but he too was unsuccessful, walking in the aforementioned two runs that counted against Hagenow and going 0.1 innings before he was pulled in favor of the third Wildcat pitcher in one inning.

Needing to get out of the sixth, Mingione entrusted freshman right-handed pitcher Mason Moore, who did what was asked of him, escaping the inning and pitching the next one as well.

While Moore was able to prevent any runs from being scored on him, his reliever, freshman Colby Frieda, could not say the same.

Frieda pitched 1.1 innings during the game, allowing four more Commodore runs to score before being pulled in the ninth, with his ERA skyrocketing up to 15.43.

Desperate to just escape the ballgame, Mingione called in Wyatt Hudepohl to secure the final two outs of the ninth inning, with the sophomore answering the call and securing two outs against a total of four batters.

After Hudepohl had stopped the bleeding, Kentucky hardly went down with a bang, striking out in order to end the ballgame, a brutal representation of how the night went in the batter’s box as a whole.

As a team, Kentucky went 0-27 in the hitting department, leaving just four batters on base from walks during the contest and striking out 13 times.

Mingione even opted to bring in returning graduate student Oraj Anu, who stepped up to the plate for the first time since his injury was announced following UK’s March 9 loss to Ohio, but like many before him, Anu also struck out.

“He’s obviously a key piece and we need him,” Mingione said. “I’ve seen guys not come back from that for a really long time and the fact that he’s back and he was able to swing, that was good.”

With the disastrous showing in game one, all focus turns to game two if the Wildcats hope to secure a series victory over Vanderbilt, something they haven’t done since the miraculous 2017 season.

Despite burning six arms to get out of game one, Mingione seemed ready to get at it in game two, hoping to just put the Friday loss in the past.

“Each day is a new day,” he said. “We got to turn around and find a way to get a win tomorrow. It starts with Zack [Lee] tomorrow, he needs to give us a good start and we’ll go from there.”

Game two against Vanderbilt is scheduled for noon on Saturday, April 23, with the game set to air on the SEC Network.