Kentucky falls 7-5 to WKU for first loss of the season


Kentucky Wildcats infielder Chase Estep (12) throws the ball to first base during the UK vs. Bellarmine baseball game on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-2. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Ian Alvano

Kentucky baseball lost to WKU 7-5 after nine innings on Tuesday afternoon. WKU moves to 4-4 on the year, while the Wildcats drop their first game of the year putting them at 7-1.  

The Hilltoppers had not beaten Kentucky since 2016. 

Sophomore Seth Logue was the starting pitcher for the Wildcats and WKU’s Bill Duby was on the hill to begin for the Hilltoppers.  

Logue retired WKU’s first three hitters before giving up a two-run homer to designated hitter Justin Carlin in the top of the second.  

Logue went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He also had three 1-2-3 innings and nine strikeouts before his number was called.  

After giving up the early home run, Logue regained his command to keep Kentucky in the game.  

“There was just a few pitches I left over the middle of the plate that they hit out and left for a couple doubles, and that kind of punched me in the mouth a little bit and opened my eyes and made me redial and refocus and get better as the game went on,” Logue said.  

Down two early in the game, UK tied it up over the course of two innings. Catcher Alonzo Rubalcaba hit an RBI single to right field scoring Adam Fogel, cutting WKU’s lead in half in the bottom of the second.  

In the bottom of the third, Chase Estep hit a solo shot to right center field and the score was tied 2-2.  

WKU took the lead back after Jackson Gray’s line drive home run to left center.  

Luke Stofel came in to relieve Duby in the bottom of the fourth. Stofel was 0-2 on the year with a 6.75 ERA before entering the game. With two runners already on board, Stofel’s pickoff move to first went behind the bag and Daniel Harris IV scored, tying it up 3-3 for UK.  

Kentucky took its first lead of the day in the bottom of the fifth after Fogel hit into a fielder’s choice, bringing home Jake Plastiak. 

Zack Lee came in to relieve Logue in the top of the seventh. After getting two straight outs, WKU would mount a two-out rally on Lee. AJ Fiechter singled to right and Matthew Meyer was hit by a pitch, and WKU suddenly had two on with two outs.  

Aidan Gilroy would proceed to hit an RBI single, scoring Fiechter and advancing Meyer to third. In the next at bat, Ty Batusich hit a single to left field allowing Meyer to score and the Hilltoppers were up 5-4.  

Kentucky would be quick to answer, after Hunter Jump scored from third on a wild pitch and the contest was tied again, this time at five.  

The eighth inning was a scoreless one for both sides. In the top of the ninth, WKU would pull away and the Wildcats were not able to respond.  

With one away in the top of the ninth, Meyer was hit by a pitch and then stole second base. Gilroy singled to left and Meyer moved to third for WKU.  

Batusich would step up to the plate in a crucial spot and deliver again for the Hilltoppers. His two-run single to left field put WKU up 7-5.  

When asked about his mentality while at the plate, Batusich answered, “Just put the ball in play, I saw both pitches, he was a two-pitch guy (Austin Strickland) so just sitting fastball and I think he went back-to-back fastballs in a row. I knew there was a good shot that a curveball was coming there, so basically sit on that right there”.  

Kentucky was not able to add two runs on the board in the bottom of the ninth to extend the game and they fell 7-5 to WKU.  

After the game, WKU’s head coach, John Pawlowski, talked about what this win meant for his team and what it does going forward.  

“I think it gives the team confidence. To go on the road and play an outstanding team like Kentucky, you go toe to toe and we were fortunate to get a win today. I think it can certainly help the confidence in our club and knowing that if we play like we’re capable of on any given night you can play with anybody on your schedule.” 

Next up for Kentucky is the University of Evansville on Wednesday, March 2. The Wildcats will look to get back to winning ways and improve to 8-1 on the year.