Gators Top Cats 10-1 In Series Finale

Spencer Howleover 6 years

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Aritcle written by:Spencer HowleSpencer Howle
[caption id="attachment_177983" align="aligncenter" width="454"]Photo by Tim Casey, Florida (Photo by Tim Casey, Florida)[/caption] Kentucky's six game winning streak finally came to an end Sunday, as No. 5 Florida salvaged a 10-1 win to avoid the weekend sweep. After claiming the series on Saturday, UK was searching for its first three-game series sweep of the Gators since 1993. Unfortunately, the Wildcats just did not have enough left in the tank. The Cats (25-17, 10-10) got out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning with Zach Arnold driving in Storm Wilson on an RBI single through the left side. That was the extent of the offensive excitement for the day, however, as the Gators scored 10 unanswered runs in the remaining seven innings of play. The Cats couldn't capitalize at the plate, leaving eight base runners stranded on seven total hits. UK starter Andrew Nelson, coming off a solid start last weekend against Tennessee, picked up his third loss of the season. In 3.2 innings of work, Nelson allowed five earned runs on eight hits, striking out two batters and walking one. Coach Henderson turned to relievers Zach Logue, Dylan Dwyer, Robert Zeigler, and Bo Wilson to stop the bleeding, but the Gators' bats were too hot.   Weekend Takeaways: 1. Zack Brown and Dustin Beggs are blossoming into great SEC starting pitchers. In the series-opener on Friday, Brown threw 115 pitches in seven innings with six K's and two walks. He also surrendered just five hits and zero runs in his fourth win of the season. Beggs tossed 8.1 strong innings of his own in the 7-6 win Saturday, giving up three earned runs on six hits, striking out six and walking two. Brown and Beggs are a combined 10-6 this season, but it's how impressive they've been lately that stands out. 2. The Cats really need a reliable Sunday starter on the mound. It's been documented how Kyle Cody entered the season as the 19th best MLB prospect but has struggled tremendously thus far. In fact, Cody has been so inconsistent that he was benched last weekend in the series win versus Tennessee. Instead, Coach Henderson has now turned to Andrew Nelson and a flurry of relievers in SEC series-finales. But that tactic was unsuccessful today. This means UK has placed a lot of pressure on the aforementioned Friday and Saturday starters, Brown and Beggs, to ensure victories. We'll see how long this can last. 3. The bottom of UK's batting order was sensational. While the top of the order was not its usual freakish self, with an underwhelming .184 average ( 7-for-38) at the plate, the Cats' 7-8-9 hitters went 11-for-31 with a .355 combined batting average. To be fair, Evan White tallied four hits on the weekend in the number two spot. However, when sluggers Ka'ai Tom and Kyle Barrett failed to produce, guys like Thomas Bernal, Greg Fettes, Connor Heady, and Zach Arnold rose to the occasion. The 4-5-6 hitters held their own, batting .257, but the unlikely heroes were the story of the series.   Up next for the Cats is an in-state showdown with the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. in Louisville, followed by a three-game series versus No. 13 Vanderbilt next weekend at Cliff Hagan Stadium. @STHowle

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2021-09-23

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