ukathleticsKentucky finishes up their lengthy opening homestand with a 15-0 beatdown of Western Kentucky this afternoon at Kentucky Proud Park. This game was ugly from the start, after three errors to start the first three UK batters today, TJ Collett hammered a three-run shot before the Hilltoppers could even a record an out, and that would set the tone for the rest of the game. WKU would get two more errors in the inning that allowed Dalton Reed to score, and Rook Ellington to get an RBI as well. Also in the first Coltyn Kessler extended his hit-streak to a notable 11 games.
https://t.co/CS1qu7Ekpa pic.twitter.com/S1f8Cu8T0T — Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 13, 2019"I think I've had two triples now in my entire life," Collet joked. "The the outfielder dove and missed that one too. They were messing with me, telling me I needed some oxygen." Dalton Reed also had a four-RBI day at the plate, with a two-RBI single in the fourth and another one in the seventh. Keeping with a couple of active streaks for the Bat Cats: tonight Ryan Shinn extended his on-base streak to 16 games, Coltyn Kessler extended his hitting streak to 11 games, and Jaren Shelby has reached base safely in 11 straight games. Kentucky won today throwing six pitchers. The first seven innings were tossed by freshmen; the final two were by sophomores. Kentucky's pitching and defense were near immaculate this afternoon with no walks or errors. Dillon Marsh was near perfect on the mound going four innings in the start, facing the minimum and only allowing a hit. He finished with three strikeouts as well. Ben Jordan would relieve him and continue the Johnny-all staff one-hitter through five. Then Tyler Burchett would carry that through the sixth. WKU finally broke the minimum curse in the seventh inning when they got two hits off Braxton Cottongame. Those hits were WKU's first since the second inning. Brett Marshall and Trip Lockhart would finish the Hilltoppers in the final two innings. Not only was the pitching amazing, check out this Jeter-jump throw from Austin Schultz.
After having to come from behind to win most of their games to start the season, it was emphasized that the Bat Cats needed to get out to a lead early, and it all finally came together this afternoon. "We always have confidence, we just couldn't string stuff together early," said Collett. "Before the game, we had a pretty honest conversation with everybody, that we needed that adjustment and when we got the chance to score early in the games. I'm proud because we delivered." Nick Mingione added, "Finally we challenged our team like can we put something together early? We've proven we can come back on some teams but can we get a lead, expand on a lead and get to our big inning? Our coaches did a good job of making that a point of emphasis to our offense today about 'hey we got to get to our big inning, can we get it early, so we feel like we don't have to chase our tail?' We were able to do that." Not only was getting out early a good sign for the Cats before they head to Baton Rouge to face the preseason number one team in America LSU, but Kentucky got production from top to bottom in the lineup in these two-midweek games. Last night it was the bottom of the lineup that put together the comeback that enabled the Cats to win, and in this one, the first six guys in the lineup either scored or had an RBI. On deck for the Cats, they will make the trip to Baton Rouge this weekend to begin SEC play against the No. 13 LSU Tigers. First pitch will be Friday at 8:00 p.m. You can catch the game on SEC Network+ or 98.5 FM Lexington on the UK Sports Network.
Stop it, @AustinSchultz23! Just stop it!What a ridiculous #SCtop10 play by the freshman 2B, ranging into shallow LCF and finishing the Jeter jump throw! #WeAreUK #AddictedtoGlove @NCAACWS pic.twitter.com/vdb3IOfdYZ — Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 13, 2019