Cats rebound thanks to strong pitching performance


Freshman pitcher Zack Brown pitches during the game between the University of Kentucky baseball team vs. University of Louisville at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, Ky.,on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff 

Chris Angolia

No. 22 UK baseball rebounded from its defeat Friday with a 6-0 win over San Diego State Aztecs on Saturday night.

After Friday’s loss, the Cats knew exactly what they had to do to turn their play around, and it all began with the pitching.

UK would pitch to its Saturday arm, senior Dustin Beggs, to face the Aztecs lineup. Beggs turned in an excellent performance, picking up the victory for the Cats.

Beggs tossed eight innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits and walking just one. He also struck out 10 Aztecs in the process.

Along with Beggs’ strong performance, shortstop Riley Mahan added an exceptional performance of his own, going 2-2 with a three run homer, a double and a walk.

On offense, the Cats would struggle, picking up only four hits on the night with two of them belonging to Mahan, but they were still able to push across six runs.

The scoring began in the bottom of the fourth when Zach Reks singled and Luke Becker walked with two outs. Mahan then stepped in and belted a three-run homer to right, giving the Cats a 3-0, which would prove to be all that Beggs would need.

The Cats were able to add some insurance in the seventh after Becker would draw a leadoff walk, steal second and then advance to third on a throwing error. Storm Wilson then drew a two-out walk and first baseman Evan White was able to drive both Becker and Wilson in with a two-out double.

JaVon Shelby then followed White up by hitting one into center field which looked as if it would be an out but it was misplayed and White would come in to score, increasing the Cats’ lead to 6-0 heading into the eighth.

Beggs would retire the Aztecs in order in the eighth. That would prove to be the end of the night for the senior.

6’11” freshman Sean Hjelle would come into replace Beggs in the ninth, and after issuing a one-out walk, Hjelle was able to induce a game-ending double play giving the Cats the 6-0 victory.

The Cats improved to 3-2 on the season and will be back in action in the Tony Gwynn Classic Sunday against Bryant to close out the weekend.