The final weekend of non-conference play came to a close this weekend after the Kentucky Wildcats hosted the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders for a three-game series.
Kentucky would get back on track after their loss to Boston College Wednesday with a series sweep over the Blue Raiders.
Game 1: UK 4, MTSU 1
Game 1 of the three-game set saw Kentucky get another dominating start from ace Zack Thompson.
Thompson threw seven innings of one-run ball striking out nine.
Offensively, the Cats were able to provide Thompson with run support thanks to a solo home run by Breydon Daniel and the first home run of Cam Hill’s college career that was good for two runs.
Zeke Lewis also drove in a run as Kentucky cruised to a 4-1 win in the series opener.
.@UKBaseball took down the Blue Raiders 4-1 in the series opener to advance their record to 9-4. pic.twitter.com/I3cv2INWja— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) March 9, 2019
Game 2: UK 7, MTSU 0
Game 2 of the three-game series was pushed back to Sunday as part of a doubleheader due to storms in Lexington Saturday.
For the second straight game, the Cats got an excellent starting pitching performance this time from Grant Macciocchi.
Macciocchi tossed 6.1 scoreless innings while striking out seven Blue Raiders. This, however, would not be enough to be the games winning pitcher because Middle Tennessee’s Carson Lester also pitched six scoreless innings.
However, Kentucky’s offense would finally get to Lester and the Middle Tennessee bullpen in the seventh. With the game scoreless the UK offense attacked for six runs led by a three-run double by Jaren Shelby.
The Cats would add insurance with another run in the eighth as relievers Cole Daniels and Daniel Harper finished the shutout as the Cats won Game 2 by a score of 7-0.
.@UkBaseball gets a gem from Grant Macciocchi, and the bats came alive late for a 7-0 win over MTSU. pic.twitter.com/zFRXKxmASb— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) March 10, 2019
Game 3: UK 5, MTSU 4
In Game 3, starting pitcher Dillon Marsh became the first UK starter of the series to give up a run.
The Blue Raiders jumped out to a 2-1 lead as Brycen Thomas, and Blake Benefield hit back to back solo home runs in the second inning.
Kentucky would tie the game at two in the bottom of the third after a TJ Collett RBI single but they wouldn’t hold off Middle Tennessee for long.
In the top of the sixth, the Blue Raiders struck for two runs off of Kentucky reliever Hunter Rigsby making it a 4-2 ball-game.
The Cats would get a run back in the bottom half of the inning cutting the lead to 4-3.
In the 9th the Cats capped the comeback on one swing as Ryan Shinn hit a two-run walk-off home run to clinch the series sweep.
Walk us off, @TheRealShinny !!! #SundayFunday ends in grand style with a #VictoryKentucky!!! #WaveTheFlag #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/tkZQ9EtcsQ— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 10, 2019
Kentucky (11-4) will be home for the final two games of non-conference play this coming Tuesday against Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Wednesday against Western Kentucky. Both games can be watched on SEC Network +.