Cats offense quiet in loss to Vanderbilt

Chris Angolia

No. 18 UK baseball dropped the first of its three game series with No. 5 Vanderbilt Friday night by a final score of 3-0.

The starters for both teams, each top-60 prospects, delivered solid performances on the mound for their respective teams with Vanderbilt’s Jordan Sheffield getting the better of the matchup.

Sheffield tossed a complete game five-hit gem for the Commodores recording a career high 14 strikeouts.

Zack Brown delivered six innings of one run ball before giving up two more in the seventh, but regardless Brown’s start was of high quality for UK. Over his 6.2 innings of work, Brown allowed the three runs on seven hits while striking out six in the loss.

The lone bright spot for the Cats’ offense was first basemen Evan White who went 2-4 with a pair of doubles. White now has 11 doubles on the year, one less than he had in all of 2015.

As for JaVon Shelby, he continued to struggle at the plate, going 0-3 against Sheffield. Shelby’s average is now down to .236 on the year and since his 7 RBI explosion at Georgia in March, this slump has dropped his average nearly .100 points. 

UK will now turn to undefeated Dustin Beggs to try to even the series on Saturday. Beggs currently holds the nations-best record at 7-0 and boasts a 2.40 ERA which is good for ninth in the SEC.

Beggs will face off against Commodores right-hander Kyle Wright who is 4-2 and his 1.99 ERA puts him at fourth in the conference.

Game two of the three game series between the No. 18 Cats (22-11) and the No. 5 Commodores (27-7) is set to kick off at 3 p.m. in Nashville.