Kentucky baseball suffers game two loss against Wright State


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats head coach Nick Mingione explains ground rules before the Kentucky vs. Evansville home opener baseball game on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 6-3. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Isaiah Pinto, Reporter

Kentucky baseball suffered a 12-9 loss to Wright State in game two of its series on Saturday.

The Wildcats entered the game with four straight wins, including an 8-3 victory over Wright State on Friday.

Tyler Bosma took the mound to start the match for the Wildcats while Wright State started Sebastian Gongora.

Wright State began the game by reaching second base off an error from first baseman Hunter Gilliam. Julian Greenwell then collected an RBI for the Raiders with a double on a hit down the right field line.

Greenwell advanced to third on a wild pitch from Bosma, in the same inning that he surrendered a walk, and in the next at-bat Greenwell scored on a fielder’s choice, which extended the Raiders’ lead to 2-0.

Kentucky Wildcats infielder Hunter Gilliam (14) stands at first base during the Kentucky vs. Evansville home opener baseball game on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 6-3. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff (Jack Weaver)

After a pick-off error from Bosma allowed a runner to reach second, Wright State’s Andrew Patrick capitalized with a home run smacked to left center.

Finally, Kentucky got out of the top of the first inning after allowing four runs.

Three Wildcats reached base via walks and two back-to-back hit by pitches, but Gongora struck out two Kentucky batters, leaving three runners stranded to close the first inning.

The second inning saw both teams finish scoreless.

In the top of the third Bosma retired the first two batters but gave up a single up the middle that saw the Raider runner reach second base. The next two batters recorded hits to bring in two more runs for Wright State.

Bosma would be relieved by Austin Strickland, who proceeded to throw a strikeout to close the top of the third.

The Wildcats entered the bottom of the third down 6-0 and were once again unable to score, only getting one batter on base.

Strickland gave the Cats a fighting chance, striking out three of the four batters faced in the fourth inning. In response to the scoreless top half of the inning, Jackson Gray reached first after being hit by a pitch from Gongora. The next batter, Grant Smith, laid down a sacrifice bunt that allowed Gray to score the first run of the day for Kentucky and the only run of the inning.

The fifth inning began with a runner on second for Wright State as a result of a hit by pitch and a pick-off error by Strickland.

Unfortunately for Kentucky, Wright State’s next batter doubled to right field, driving home another run.

Things would get worse as Patrick hit his second home run of the day to right field, extending the Raiders’ lead to 9-1 over Kentucky.

Strickland managed to close the inning by retiring the next two Wright State batters, but the Cats’ hole had already gotten deeper.

In the bottom of the fifth Emilien Pitre hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home James McCoy for the second Kentucky run of the day.

Both teams promptly went scoreless in the sixth inning.

Prior to beginning the seventh inning, Kentucky replaced Strickland with Seth Logue, who proceeded to strike out the first batter he faced.

Kentucky Wildcats outfielder James McCoy (13) stands in right field during the Kentucky vs. Evansville home opener baseball game on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 6-3. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff (Jack Weaver)

Logue then gave up a home run to Jay Luikart, which extended Wright State’s lead to 10-2 over the Cats before he retired the next two batters to escape with one run allowed.

Tristan Haught took the mound for Wright State and struck out Kentucky’s first batter before two Wildcats reached base and were subsequently scored by Devin Burkes’ double to right center.

Following a fly out by Kentucky, Burkes stole third and Gilliam was walked before Gray batted both runners in with a three-run homer to left center.

Wright State responded by replacing Haught with Chris Gallagher to close the inning.

Gallagher stopped the bleeding but not before five Wildcat runs scored to bring the score to 10-7 heading into the eighth.

Kentucky brought Colby Frieda out of the bullpen to replace Logue and, in the bottom half of the inning, Gallagher was also relieved by Luikart to start the bottom of the eighth, facing pinch hitter Nolan McCarthy first.

McCarthy proceeded to homer to right field, bringing in the only run of the inning for Kentucky before the next three Wildcat batters were retired by Luikart.

The ninth inning began with Wright State leading 10-8 and in need of a dagger.

The Raiders would get just that, batting a double that forced Kentucky to replace Frieda with Ryder Giles.

Unfortunately for Giles, Wright State scored with a single before Luikart hit another homer.

Down four in the bottom of the ninth, Burkes flew out for Kentucky before Pitre doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Pitre managed to score to cut the lead to 12-9, but his run would go down as the last of the day for the Cats.

As a team Kentucky batted under .200 and only produced six hits, allowing 13 hits to Wright State.

The Wildcats are set to close out the series against Wright State on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 1 p.m. EST.