UK baseball defeats Jacksonville State 6-2 in game two of series


Kentucky Wildcat Ryan Hagenow (24) pitches during the University of Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky University baseball game on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 6-3 Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Scott Clarke

Kentucky baseball’s record remains perfect in the 2022 season as they defeated Jacksonville State 6-2 on Saturday. 

Magdiel Cotto took the bump for the Wildcats, while Tanner Jones took the hill for the Gamecocks.

Kentucky got to Jones quickly in the first inning, as they took a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a sacrifice fly from Chase Estep and a throwing error by JSU to allow Hunter Jump to score.

Cotto got through the bottom of the first unscathed.

In the top of the second inning, Alonzo Rubalcaba led-off with a triple and was driven home by an RBI John Thrasher groundout, pushing the lead to three. 

Ryan Ritter followed with a double and was driven home by a Jump single, giving UK a 4-0 lead.

After a lead-off triple by JSU’s Alex Strachan, Cotto struck out the next three batters, escaping the jam.

The third inning went scoreless as both teams couldn’t bring home a run.

In the bottom half of the fourth, the Gamecocks scored their first two runs off of a two-run-homer from T.J. Reeves.

After pitching two-and-a-third innings yesterday in relief, Ryan Hagenow came in to relieve Cotto, pitching a scoreless fifth inning.

The next three innings would be scoreless as the Cats got three blank innings in relief from Darren Williams. JSU got four innings of relief from Isaiah Magwood. Magwood produced three scoreless innings until the final frame.

With the score 4-2 in the top of the ninth, Kentucky provided crucial insurance runs in due part to an RBI single from Oraj Anu and an RBI bunt single from Daniel Harris IV which pushed the score to 6-2.

Kentucky’s Austin Strickland shut the door on JSU, only giving up a walk and securing the victory for the Cats.

Kentucky’s bats picked up where they left off with 14 hits on Saturday. Every player in the lineup got on base against the Gamecocks.

As for UK’s pitching, Cotto was credited with the win after four innings of work, six strikeouts and only allowing four men to reach base.

The Cats (2-0) will look to sweep the Gamecocks and improve to 3-0 in game three of the series against Jacksonville State. That game is scheduled to take place this Sunday, Feb. 20,  at 2 p.m. EST.