No. 10 Kentucky baseball secures 7-4 game one victory at Georgia


Olivia Hall

Kentucky Wildcats infielder Reuben Church (6) runs to third base during the No. 18 Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky baseball game on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Kentucky won 10-8. Photo by Olivia Hall | Staff

Jonathon Bruner, Reporter

No. 10 Kentucky Baseball (27-3) put together a late inning rally to take game one against the Georgia Bulldogs (16-14) by a score of 7-4. 

Senior Logan Martin got the ball for the first game of the series, and he gave the Wildcats four innings of work. Martin would finish his day giving up no hits on two walks and three strikeouts. 

Senior Darren Williams was the first pitcher out of the Wildcats’ bullpen, and he ran into some immediate trouble. A single and an error gave the Bulldogs two runners on with no outs. Luckily for Kentucky, an unassisted double play by first baseman senior Hunter Gilliam cleared the bases and gave Williams the bounce back he needed before a flyout would end the inning for Williams. 

With the game still tied at 0-0, the sixth inning is where the game would get away from Willaims and the Wildcats. Willaims would be greeted with a leadoff home run over the left field wall to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. 

Kentucky Wildcats outfielder Nolan McCarthy (19) runs to first base during the Kentucky vs. Morehead State baseball game on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 15-1. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff (Jack Weaver)

A double followed by a single would get Williams in deep trouble and a hit-by-pitch would not help him as the bases became loaded. Luckily a fielder’s choice would allow the Wildcats to get an out at home to prevent another run.

The Wildcats would be in further trouble as a single would plate two more runs for the Bulldogs and extend their lead to 3-0.

The Wildcats would get behind further when a line out would now put them in a four-run hole against the Bulldogs before they could escape the inning.

This unraveling closed the book on Williams, who finished the evening with four innings played, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks. He also recorded two strikeouts. 

Sophomore Mason Moore came to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning, now only down one run after the offense came to life. It was critical that he stopped the Bulldogs offense in their tracks, and he was able to do just that as a strikeout and two groundouts retired the Bulldogs three up and three down. 

Now in a tie ballgame, Moore pitched another three-up-three-down inning with two groundouts and a strikeout in the bottom of the eighth inning. 

After the offense rallied to lead, Moore continued his dominant outing by getting another three-up-three-down inning to close out the game and secure the victory for the Wildcats. 

Moore finished the game with three perfect innings of work in which he struck out two batters. His efforts gave him the win, which moved his season record to 2-0. 

On the other side of the innings the Wildcat offense was kept quiet for the majority of the game as it was no-hit through five innings.  

A two-out single by senior Jase Felker would get the Wildcats in the hit column but would amount to nothing as a groundout ended the Wildcats top of sixth. 

The Wildcats came to bat in the seventh inning now with only nine outs remaining before they lost the game in a four-run hole. Sophomore Émilien Pitre led off the inning with a single and, after a pop out, a single by sophomore Ryan Waldschmidt gave the Wildcats their first runner in scoring position. 

Kentucky Wildcats infielder Hunter Gilliam (14) swings his bat during the No. 18 Kentucky vs. No. 25 Missouri baseball game on Sunday, April 2, 2023, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 3-1. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff (Travis_Fannon)

After a strikeout, the Wildcats’ hopes were slipping before a double by junior Reuben Church brought home both runners and got the Wildcats within two runs as they now trailed 4-2. 

After both senior Grant Smith and senior Jackson Gray drew walks, the bases were now loaded with Wildcats and Felker would put his plate discipline on display in a high-pressure moment as he was able to draw a walk to put the Wildcats within one run. 

In the eighth inning a single by Waldschmidt would keep the Wildcats alive before a passed ball would get the tying run into scoring position as Waldschmidt took second base.

Sophomore Nolan McCarthy would come through in the clutch with a double that brought home Waldschmidt and tied the game at 4-4. 

The Wildcats came to bat in the ninth looking to take the lead before Gray drew a walk and a single by Felker put the go-ahead run-in scoring position.

Sophomore Devin Burkes was able to draw a walk to load the bases full for the Wildcats before Pitre was able to force a walk for the Wildcats and give them a 5-4 lead. 

Gilliam was up next, and he sent a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home Felker and extend the Wildcats’ lead to 6-4. 

Waldschmidt then sent a single into left field and brought home Burkes and brought the Wildcats lead to the decisive 7-4 score. 

The Wildcats will look to take the series as they play the Georgia Bulldogs in game two of the series on Saturday, April 8, at 2 p.m. EST. The game will be available to watch on the SEC Network+.