Cats rebound, take game two from the Vols

Chris Angolia

UK baseball bounced back from its loss Friday with a 5-4 victory Saturday over Tennessee in game two of their weekend series.

Cats starter Dustin Beggs came into the game with the Cats trailing by one in the series. Beggs, continued his stellar season Saturday going eight innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out eight Volunteers in the victory.

The win brings Beggs’ record to 7-0 on the year, the best start for a pitcher in UK baseball history. Beggs has made a living in the strike zone for the Cats and of his 106 pitches on Saturday, 80 went for strikes.

Beggs seventh straight victory was put in jeopardy in the ninth when the Vols were able to use a pair of RBI doubles to cut the UK lead to 5-4. Sean Hjelle came in to replace Beggs in the ninth, and Hjelle was able to fight off the Vols’ comeback and pick up the save, securing the Cats’ victory.

The save marked Hjelle’s fourth on the year, tying him with Justin Lewis for the team lead.

On offense, five UK hitters picked up two hits led by JaVon Shleby who went 2-5 with a double, a RBI and two runs scored. Gunnar McNeill added an RBI of his own, extending his team lead to 33 and with his single in the eighth extended his record-setting hitting streak to 22 games.

Evan White also extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a single in the first.

With the win, the Cats have now won all three of their conference games following a loss. Game 3 will see Kyle Cody get the ball for UK. Cody is coming off a solid outing last Sunday against Florida, and the senior will now look to give UK its third straight SEC series victory.

The rubber match is set for 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon with the winner taking the series between the Vols (17-10) and the Cats (19-8).