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Home run ball carries Kentucky Baseball to an opening day win

The Bat Cats are 1-0.

Via @UKBaseball on Twitter

The Kentucky Wildcats baseball team began their 2019 season with a comeback road win over the Austin Peay Governors by a final score of 8-4.

For Kentucky, it was the home run ball that guided them in a back and forth opening day win.

Junior College transfer Dalton Reed hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning to score Kentucky’ first run of the season and give them an early 1-0 lead.

With the homer, Reed became the first Wildcat since current MLB catcher Luke Maile to hit a home run in his first Kentucky at bat.

After a quiet few innings, another junior college transfer re-opened the scoring. Lexington native and Tates Creek High School alum Jaren Shelby hit a solo home run of his own to give the Cats a 2-0 lead in the 6th inning.

It seemed the Cats were coasting to an easy victory, but the Governors fought back.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth freshman center fielder, Garrett Spain hit a two-run triple off of Daniel Harper.

In the seventh, the Governors two-out magic continued as junior Malcolm Tipler hit a two-run triple of his own to give Austin Peay a 4-2 lead.

Despite losing all momentum, the Cats would fight back.

In the top of the eighth Sophomore, Cam Hill cut the Austin Peay lead to one with an RBI double. Later that inning with two men on TJ Collett put the Cats up for good. The star junior knocked a three-run home run over the left field fence giving Kentucky the lead.

Up two, the Cats made sure to add insurance in the ninth as junior Breydon Daniel slugged Kentucky’s fourth home run of the day, and Jaren Shelby picked up his second RBI of the game with a run-scoring single to give the Cats an 8-4 lead they would not relinquish.

Kentucky’s Ace Zack Thompson got a no-decision despite a strong first start of the season that saw him throw four scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Thompson struck out nine in a strong start to a critical season for the soon to be MLB Drafted pitcher.

Red-Shirt sophomore Carson Coleman picked up the win while sophomore Harley Gollert took the loss for Austin Peay.

The two teams will go out it twice more in Clarksville, Tennessee on Saturday and Sunday to wrap up the first series of the 2019 baseball season.