Kyle Cody made his last game at Cliff Hagan Stadium a memorable one. Cody pitched the first complete game of his career as UK won 7-2 to take the series against Missouri. The senior pitcher struck out nine and allowed eight hits in a must-win game for the Cats. Cody’s offense backed him up after an error led to Missouri taking a 1-0 lead in the 3rd. The Cats used 13 hits to boost Cody to his sixth win of the season. Kentucky will now travel to Hoover as either the eight or nine seed and a 32-24 (15-15) record. Before the coverage starts for next week, here are today’s game notes.
Cody shines in final home start
This was one of the finer starts Cody had in his UK career. Cody threw over 130 pitches in his nine inning complete game. But he was brilliant on almost every one of those pitches. Cody struck out nine, including the final out of the game. His command was remarkable as he only walked one batter. Cody never got in a jam that he couldn’t wiggle out of against the Tigers, as Missouri left ten on base against Cody. This was a special moment for a guy who came back for his senior year. Returning meant turning down six figures as a second round pick of the Twins, but it has panned out for him in his last few starts.
— Mark Cornelison (@markcornelison) May 21, 2016
Cats show a better look at the plate
Granted they weren’t going up against the likes of Tanner Houck or Reggie McClain, UK still had a good day at the plate. The Cats used four infield singles and an RBI double by Riley Mahan to take a 3-1 lead in the 3rd. Evan White got his first of three RBIs with a sac fly in the fourth and drove in another run on a groundout in the sixth. White was 3/4 with three RBIs and a double. Connor Heady, Dorian Hairston, JaVon Shelby, and Zach Arnold all drove in runs alongside White. It was great to see Heady pick up a pair of hits, including a double in the win.
Heading to Hoover
Today’s win was huge for UK heading into the postseason. The BatCats have an RPI of 55, which would be the second lowest ranking to ever make the tournament. History is on the side of UK, as only one team with 15 SEC wins has ever missed the NCAA Tournament (Missouri last year). A win over Alabama in the first game of the SEC would almost certainly give UK an at-large bid. Yours truly will make the trip down on Monday to cover the tournament for the second straight season. We will have more previews and breakdowns for the tournament once all the seeding is final.