Missouri and Kentucky combined for nine home runs in 9-8 slugfest that ended in favor of the Tigers. Trey Harris homered three times in five innings off Zach Logue in response to Tristan Pompey hitting two home runs in the first three innings. Kentucky sits at 24-12 (9-5) on the year and is still atop the SEC East standings.
Pompey hit his first of two home runs on the first pitch of the game off Michael Plassmeyer. Pompey’s counterpart Harris battled with him all night. The two outfielders went back and forth throughout as Harris responded in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run off Logue.
Following a Marcus Carson solo shot, Pompey gave UK a 3-2 lead in the third with a bomb to dead center. It appeared that the ball was as big as a basketball to Pompey. The Canadien outfielder needed only three pitches to hit two balls out of the park. At one point, Pompey had hits in 14 of 22 at-bats and now sits at second on the team in average.
.@MizzouBaseball‘s Trey Harris has 3 HRs through 5 innings.
That is all. pic.twitter.com/24AZsyLsac
â€” SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 16, 2017
Unfortunately for the Cats, they ran into another hot hitting power guy. Last week, Brent Rooker killed UK with two home runs in Starkville. This week, it was Trey Harris. Mizzou got home runs from Harris in the third and the fifth to boost their lead to 7-3.
Zach Logue did not struggle extensively on Saturday. Logue set a career-high with nine strikeouts in 5.1 innings against Mizzou. The wind was pushing balls out tonight, and Logue had some balls get caught in the jet stream. The Tigers collected ten hits and scored seven runs against the UK starter before reaching the Cats’ bullpen.
â€” KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) April 15, 2017
Trailing 7-3, UK got to the nation’s top reliever. T.J. Sikkema entered the game with only three earned runs allowed and was on the first team of Perfect Game’s Midseason All-American Team. With an Evan White RBI fielder’s choice and a two-RBI double by Zach Reks cut Missouri’s lead to one through seven. All of UK’s RBIs came with two outs in the inning.
Just as it seemed that UK was back in it, Missouri pushed it back out. The Tigers scored two off Brad Schaenzer in the bottom of the seventh to put UK’s offense in a hole once again. Zach Pop came on in the eighth and stranded two runners with no outs to keep the Cats in the game.
Sikkema retired the first two in the ninth before Pompey was hit by a pitch. White followed with a two-run home run to left-center to cut the lead to one. Reks grounded out to end the ninth and give Missouri a 9-8 win over Kentucky.
The teams combined for nine home runs out of 21 total hits on Saturday. It was a tough-luck loss for the BatCats, but they have a chance to bounce back tomorrow at 1 ET on the SEC Network. From those of us on the KSR Baseball Team, we hope you all have a great Easter and celebrate the memorable day with loved ones. God bless.