Cats drop series opener to Florida


Junior outfielder Storm Wilson (8) bunts the ball during the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the game 8-4. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Chris Angolia

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UK Baseball dropped its SEC home opener to No. 1 Florida on Friday by a final of 12-5. The loss brings UK’s record to 15-6 on the year.

Gators starter Logan Shore went five innings, allowing four runs on four hits along with six strikeouts in the victory. Nelson Maldonado led the way for the Gators offensively going 3-5 with two homers, three RBI and three runs scored. Buddy Reed also added a 2-5 day of his own with an RBI and one run scored.

Zack Brown struggled on the mound for the Cats, allowing five runs on four hits along with three strikeouts. Perhaps the most glaring stat for Brown Friday was the six walks he allowed to Florida hitters, with two of them turning into scores for the Gators.

Brown however was forced to exit early after an apparent injury to his pitching hand caused him discomfort and thus he was replaced in the fourth by Logan Salow.

As for UK’s offense, both Gunnar McNeill and Evan White extended their hitting streaks to 16 and 14 games, respectively. McNeill added two RBI and White added one of his own. Luke Becker and Tristan Pompey picked up the other two RBIs for UK.

The Cats will now give the ball to senior Dustin Beggs who will put his 5-0 record on the line against Gators junior and top prospect A.J Puk on Saturday. Beggs, along with the rest of the Cats will look to even the series and snap the Gators 17 game winning streak.

First pitch is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.