It was yet another impressive week for the Kentucky baseball Cats, as they had 2 mid-week games and then a 3-game weekend series against the No. 3 team in the nation, Texas Tech. The Cats had a good showing going 3-2 for the week and winning the series against Tech.
That has the Cats coming in at No. 4 in the latest College Baseball Top 25. Baseball American also has Kentucky coming in at No. 4.
Kentucky opened the week with a matchup against Eastern Kentucky which was a big day at the plate for the Cats. Kentucky started the scoring early in the 2nd with a 2-run homer by TJ Collett who has been on fire lately. They would go on to add 3 more runs in the inning to take a 5-0 lead.
Eastern didn’t quit and kept fighting and had cut the lead to 5-4 going to the bottom of the 5th. That’s when Kole Cottam homered to left trying to get the momentum back from EKU and it worked. The Cats would score 2 in the 6th and 8 in the 7th to blow this one open and go on to get the win 16-5. Winning pitcher was Daniel Harper (1-0).
The first bump in the road of the week would occur the next day when they would host Northern Kentucky. The Cats fell behind 1-0 in the 2nd but quickly took the lead in the bottom half of the inning after mistakes by NKU.
But in the 4th, NKU scored 4 runs to take a 5-2 lead and for the rest of the game Kentucky was trying to come from behind. They made a good effort scoring 3 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th, but unfortunately, they couldn’t keep NKU off the board and lost their second game of the year, 8-6.
After the midweek games it was time to host the #3 team in the nation and show what we can do against top talent.
Kentucky didn’t get off to the best start as Texas Tech quickly put up 3 runs in the 1st to take an early lead. But in the 2nd, Kole Cottam got the Cats right back in it with a 2-run bomb to left, and the Cats trailed 3-2.
The Cats tied it in the 3rd and took the lead in the 5th with RBIs by Luke Heyer and Cottam a 2 RBI double to put the Cats up 6-3.
Kentucky would get another run in the 6th and 3 more in the 8th to take a 10-4 lead to the 9th. The Cats fans had some anxious feelings as Tech was able to score 3 in the 9th before Kentucky was able to close it out for the 10-7 win. The winning pitcher was Sean Hjelle (4-0).
Game 2 of the series was yet another good performance by the Cats but going into the bottom of the 4th they found themselves down 4-2. In the inning Troy Squires hit a big 3-run bomb to give the Cats a 5-4 lead.
Each team shut the other down until the 6th when Texas Tech score a run to tie it at 5. However, Kentucky answered by scoring 5 to take a 10-5 lead. In the 8th, each team added a run and the Cats went on to clinch the series with an 11-6 win. The winning pitcher was Alec Maley (1-0).
Sunday, the Cats were going for the sweep, but were not successful as Texas Tech got the final one win in the series. In the 2nd, Tech took a 3-0 lead, but Kentucky cut it to 3-2 in the 3rd. However, that was as close as they would get after Tech added 2 more in the 4th and Kentucky wasn’t able to get the bats going to make the comeback as Tech won 5-3.
Next week the Cats face Murray State in the midweek game on Tuesday at 4 pm, then get ready to make a trip to Fayetteville as they have a 3-game weekend series with Arkansas.