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Kentucky Baseball drops series to Florida

The Cats lose two out of three in the swamp.

UK Athletics

This weekend, the Kentucky Wildcats traveled to the swamp to take on the Florida Gators looking for their second series win of SEC play.

Though the Cats did leave Gainesville with one win, they were unable to take the series from the Gators, as they dropped two out of three on the road.

Despite the series loss, each game was highly competitive and full of big moments. Here’s a recap of all the action:

Game 1: UF 10, UK 8

The first game of the series was a slugfest as both teams combined for 18 runs. Jimmy Ramsey got the start on the mound for the Wildcats and simply did not have his best stuff.

Florida jumped on the right-hander immediately as lead-off hitter Brady McConnell slugged a solo home run in the bottom of the first to give the Gators an early 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, it was Nelson Maldonado who went deep drilling a three-run home run to left center field and putting Florida on top 4-0.

Even with the two first runs, the Kentucky offense gave Ramsey a chance to earn a win.

Kentucky rallied to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning, as Ryan Johnson scored on a double-play, and Coltyn Kessler hit a towering two-run home run to right field to cut the lead to 4-3.

In the top of the fifth, the red-hot Johnson delivered an RBI single as the game evened up at four.

Unfortunately, the game wouldn’t stay tied for long. The Gators got to Ramsey in the bottom of the fifth as Wil Dalton hit a two-run home run and Jacob Young doubled home a run putting the Gators up 7-4 and knocking Ramsey out of the game after giving up seven earned runs.

Kentucky wouldn’t go away quietly however as RBI’s from Jaren Shelby, and Zeke Lewis pulled the Cats back within one, but the Gators again would respond with a three-run inning in the bottom of the sixth.

All in all the Cats comeback effort would fall short as the Gators took game one of the series by a final score of 10-8.

Game 2: UK 5, UF 1

The second game of the three-game set was the Zack Thompson show.

Kentucky’s ace and soon to be first round MLB Draft pick pitched a complete game for the second time this season as he struck out 11 Gators and only allowed three hits over nine innings of one-run ball.

Offensively, the Wildcats finally provided Thompson with enough run support to earn a win.

The Cats struck for three runs in the top of the second as Cam Hill ripped an RBI single and later came around to score on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Ryan Shinn was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded putting the Cats up 3-0.

Up 3-1 going into the ninth Kentucky provided Thompson with two more runs as Elliot Curtis hit an RBI double and Alex Rodriguez drove him in with a sacrifice bunt as the Wildcats roared to a game two victory.

Game 3: UF 12, UK 8

The rubber-match of the three-game series was yet another slugfest that did not go Kentucky’s way.

After both teams went scoreless in the first inning, Nelson Maldonado hit his second home run of the series in the bottom of the second inning off Mason Hazlewood to open the scoring.

Kentucky would tie things up quickly however as Dalton Reed hit a two-run shot of his own tying the game at two.

The game would slip away from there however as Florida rallied to take a 6-2 lead. Coltyn Kessler would go hit a two-run home run to cut the lead in half, but the comeback bid would fall short as the Wildcat offense could not keep up with the Gators as they went on to drop the series finale 12-8.

Kentucky will be off until next weekend when they return home for a three-game series with the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks.