Nick Mingione got a signature win early in the season with a 3-2 victory over #23 UC Santa Barbara. Zach Logue’s seven shutout innings led Kentucky (6-5) to a series win over the Gauchos on Saturday. Riley Mahan homered and Zach Reks went 2/3 with an RBI double to lead the way for the Cats.
Logue set the tone on the mound early for UK. Colton Burns led the game off with a single, but Logue got two groundouts and a strikeout to end the frame. Logue was able to work out of every jam that he got into against UCSB. The offense was able to back up Logue early, just like they did last night for Sean Hjelle. Connor Heady singled to lead off the third inning, and was brought all the way around to third. Reks delivered a two-out double to bring in Heady and give UK the first lead of the day.
The one run would be all that Logue needed through seven innings. The closest the Gauchos came to touching Logue came in the 5th inning when Kenny Corey reached on an error and Burns walked. Logue caught the runners off the bag and was able to get Corey out in a run down to end the threat.
Logue would go two more innings of shut out ball before being lifted to start the eighth inning. The seven innings were a career high for the junior starter. Logue allowed four hits and two walks while striking out three in a dominating performance.
Kentucky’s offense gave Logue more run support in the sixth. Riley Mahan crushed a ball to the Cliff off Kyle Nelson to extend the lead to 3-0. Mahan now leads the team in home runs (3) and RBIs (16) through 11 games.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 4, 2017
Zach Pop entered the game for Logue to start the eighth. With a fastball sitting in the low to mid 90s and a plus slider, Pop shut down UCSB in his first frame. The Gauchos were able to get to Pop early in the 9th inning. Austin Bush doubled and Billy Frederick singled to force Nick Mingione to go to Logan Salow with no outs in the 9th. Salow got Sam Cohen to hit a sac fly to score Bush before striking out Michael McAdoo for the second out of the inning. Armani Smith doubled in Frederick to cut the lead to one. With the stadium rocking, Salow struck out Thomas Rowan to end the game and give UK the series win.
Riley Mahan continues to rake- The junior infielder is slugging at a ridiculous rate early in the season. After going 0/8 to start the season, Mahan has a nine-game hitting streak. In that streak, Mahan hasn’t committed an error and has two four RBI games.
Riley Mahan in his last nine games: 15/38, three homers, 16 RBI, 4 SB, 5 2B, no errors.
— Trey Huntsman (@TreyHuntsmanKSR) March 4, 2017
Logue has been solid the last two weeks- UNC roughed up Logue in his first start, but he has been fantastic in his last two starts. Against Old Dominion and UCSB, Logue has allowed one run in his last 13 innings.
A big series win early in the season- It can’t be underestimated how big of a win this was for Mingione and the Cats. Santa Barbara has been in Omaha the last two years with several high draft picks. Hjelle and Logue completely shut down their offense the last two days while the offense has capitalized in some big situations.
Kentucky goes for the sweep tomorrow at noon with Justin Lewis on the mound. The high tomorrow is 66, so come out and watch the BatCats take on Santa Barbara at the Cliff.