Kentucky baseball secures series win with 7-2 game two victory over Southern Illinois


Travis Fannon

Kentucky Wildcats outfielder Ryan Waldschmidt (21) rounds third base heading for home plate during the Kentucky vs. Indiana State baseball game on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 4-2. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

Jonathon Bruner, Reporter

Kentucky Baseball (13-2) increased its winning streak to nine straight and secured a series victory over the Southern Illinois Salukis (6-9) by a score of 7-2 on Saturday. 

Lefty graduate student Tyler Bosma got the ball to start game two of the series for the Wildcats. Bosma would go five innings for the Wildcats and give up two runs on three hits and three walks, also tallying three strikeouts in the outing. He would finish as the pitcher of record with the win bringing his record to 3-1.

Sophomore Jackson Nove would come in after Bosma and wouldn’t surrender any runs over two and two thirds innings. Nove finished his day with three hits, no walks and one strikeout.

The Wildcats would then bring in senior Ryder Giles for one out, with Giles doing just that as he forced a fly out for his only out of the day.

Kentucky Wildcats outfielder Ryan Waldschmidt (21) stands in the outfield during the Kentucky vs. Indiana State baseball game on Sunday, March 5, 2023, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 7-6. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff (Travis Fannon)

The final pitcher of the game for the Wildcats was junior Ryan Hagenow, who would give up one hit and strikeout two as he secured the victory for the Cats.

The bats for the Wildcats looked sluggish to begin the game, with the first two batters striking out, but this would quickly change as redshirt sophomore Devin Burkes would get the bats going with a triple to right field.

Sophomore Émilien Pitre would follow the triple with a base hit through the left side, sending home Burkes and giving the Cats a 1-0 lead. 

Following the hit, Pitre would advance to second and third on wild pitches by Southern Illinois before the Salukis’ pitcher gave up another wild pitch that scored Pitre and increased the Cats’ lead to 2-0. 

The Wildcats would be kept off the scoreboard until the fourth inning when senior Jase Felker singled and senior Jackson Gray advanced to third before the right fielder’s off-line throw to third base allowed Gray to make it home and increase the lead to 3-0 Wildcats. 

Pitre would continue the Wildcat scoring in the fourth when he sent a ball down the left field line for a double to bring home Felker. 

Redshirt senior Hunter Gilliam added to the lead in the fourth by sending a single to right field that brought home Pitre and Burkes to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead after four. 

After having their lead cut by two runs in the fifth inning, the Wildcats would add some insurance in the seventh inning when a single by Gray would bring home senior Grant Smith for the final run of the game.

The Wildcats two-out hitting was on full display in the win as they scored six of their seven runs with two outs.

Kentucky will look to increase its winning streak to double digits and get the series sweep in the series finale against the Southern Illinois Salukis on Sunday, March 12, from Itchy Jones Stadium at 2 p.m. EST.