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Kentucky Drops Series At Tennessee

Trey Huntsman05/06/18


Article written by:On3 imageTrey Huntsman
Tennessee got a game-winning two-run home run from Brandon Chinea as they upset #13 Kentucky (30-17, 11-13) 5-3 in today's rubber match in Knoxville. The Cats lost their fourth SEC series of the season and their second to teams in the bottom third of the conference.  The Vols jumped ahead early against UK starter Justin Lewis. A fielding error by Luke Becker and a wild pitch from Lewis helped UT take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Andre Lipcius singled in the Vols' third run of the inning against Lewis before the junior righty finally got out of the frame. Much like last Sunday, the UK offense was forced to claw back after getting in an early hole. The spark plug for this team's offense Kole Cottam put the team on the board with a sac fly in the fifth inning against Tennessee starter Will Neely. Before Cottam's RBI, Neely had allowed two hits and struck out two. Neely left after the fifth inning with an apparent blister on his finger. UK was hurt in the third inning by two unearned runs, but the top of the sixth inning helped to even it out. With a runner on first, Kole Cottam lined a single under the glove of Tennessee's centerfielder Brodie Leftridge that allowed a run to score and put Cottam at third. Luke Becker drove Cottam home on an RBI squeeze bunt to tie the game at three. The fun for the BatCats would be short-lived. Brandon Chinea hit Lewis' 96th pitch of the day over the wall in left for a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. Chinea, a .136 hitter on the season, had never hit a home run in his career at UT. His first career dinger would prove to be the difference as UK could not make up the two-run deficit in a 5-3 loss in Knoxville. This weekend's defeat to Tennessee was the first series loss to the Vols since 2014. Losing to the 12th best team in the conference will certainly hurt the Cats' chances at hosting a regional. It appears that UK will now need to win their final two series of the year against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt as well as this week's top 25 midweek game at Indiana if they want to host a regional.

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