Kentucky falls to Missouri 9-4 in game two of series


Kentucky Wildcat Sean Harney (34) pitches during the University of Kentucky vs. Georgia State game on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 4-2. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Ali Cetinok

Kentucky lost the second game of a three-game series against Missouri in Columbia on Friday night, falling 9-4. After impressing the night before, scoring 15 runs, the Cats were unable to repeat the magic at Taylor Stadium.  

Tony Neubeck took the mound for the Tigers while Sean Harney started for the Cats.   

To start the game, Neubeck showed how the rest of the night was going to go by making light work of the Cats with a 1-2-3 inning  

Neubeck would continue to show his skills off in top of the second by making it look easy against Kentucky’s batters by facing six and retiring six in the first two innings after axingAdam Fogel.  

The bottom of the second however, is where Mizzou’s offense would start to match the defense. Tre Morris was able to break the deadlock by driving in Boise State transfer Torin Montgomery, who was hit by Harney. Ross Lovich was then able to double the advantage for Missouri by recording an RBI double. The score was then increased again when Josh Day was able to record his 21st RBI this season with a shot into left field.  

With the bases loaded, Harney was able to settle into the game and get out of a sticky situation by striking out Luke Mann, who is tied for first place in the SEC in home runs, with seven to his name.  

Kentucky was unable to record its first hit of the night until the third inning, as Ryan Ritter led off the inning with a punch to right field. 

With an opportunity to advance runs after wild pitch got away from home, which allowed Ritter to take second, Alonzo Rubalcaba popped out into right field, which allowed Ritter to further advance. John Thrasher was injured after taking an attempted bunt to the knuckles, which will be a concern moving forward for Kentucky.

The Cats were then able to get on the board after freshman Nolan Mccarthy replaced Thrasher and was able to drive in Ritter.  

In the fourth, Missouri further increased the lead with aggressive base running from Nander De Sedas, after Ross Lovich dropped the ball into no man’s land in the middle of the Wildcats’ defense. Harney was then able to recover nicely again after zero outs with two runners in scoring position.  

The game was relatively slow, besides a run for the Wildcats in the fifth.With both Neubeck and Harney showing great pitching, neither team was able to score again until the seventh, when Harney was taken out of the game to allow Daniel Harper to take over.  

This, however, proved to be the difference maker in the game, with the bullpen unable to help. Missouri was able to put the game to bed with a moon shot two-run homer by Fox Leum who was able to show homage to Jackie Robinson on Jackie Robinson Day, whom he shares the No. 42 with.  

Day was able to then add two more insurance runs with a big triple just off the glove of Fogel. 

Neubeck saw the end of his impressive outing, with Austin Cheeley coming in to take his place in the eighth. Cheeley allowed Kentucky to score two runs off him in the bottom of the ninth, with runs from both Ritter and Fogel, but it was not enough for Kentucky in the end with Missouri getting the 9-4 win  

Friday night’s loss will be a learning lesson for Kentucky, (21-14, 5-9 Southeastern Conference) who will be back in action to end the series versus Missouri(20-12, 4-10 SEC)on Saturday, April 16at Taylor Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.EST.