Kentucky drops their series against Texas Tech, losing 10-7 in a very windy Lubbock, Texas this afternoon.
The momentum went back and forth, just like the 45 MPH winds in the game, but the most significant game shifter came in the fifth inning. After a big top half of the inning for the Cats where they put up four runs, Texas Tech took no time to respond. The Red Raiders scored six runs in the inning to take a commanding 8-5 lead. That’s the second time this series Texas Tech put up six runs in an inning to overtake a Wildcat lead. If you remember in yesterday’s game, the six runs came from a collective effort from The Red Raiders, but in this inning, the big blow came from Dylan Neuse.
After starting pitcher, Jimmy Ramsey gave up two doubles and a single that scored a run to start the inning, Mingione went to the bullpen to have Mason Hazelwood to bail the Cats out of the jam. Unfortunately, Hazelwood walked the only two men he faced to load the bases and score another to make it 5-4.
After that, Mingione went to Grant Macciocchi to deal with the tough task of getting Kentucky out of a bases loaded, no out, situation. But, the first person Macciocchi faced was Dylan Neuse who went yard for a grand slam, his second home run of the day. Neuse hit a home run, that was helped by the wind gusts, back in the 2nd inning to give the Red Raiders a 2-1 lead. Neuse finished the day with five RBIs.
If the box score didn’t serve as a good indication, It was not a great showing on the defensive side of things for the Cats. Kentucky had four errors in this afternoon’s contest. Two of the errors came from Alex Rodriguez, both coming before the game had reached the third inning.
The other two errors came on a play that you would see in little league. In the 8th inning, Dru Baker had a ball fall in for a hit, but Jaren Shelby miss played a ball in right field that resulted in Baker advancing. As Baker was heading for third, Zeke Lewis sent the ball into the Kentucky dugout that allowed Baker to score. A little league home run, if you will, that allowed Texas Tech to go up 10-7.
The pitching staff had a tough go of things, as well. Starting pitcher Jimmy Ramsey only made it four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits. Ramsey didn’t really have a hard time keeping the ball in the zone, as he didn’t surrender a walk, but the Red Raiders were all over him. Four of the hits he gave up were doubles, but the wind helped the ball carry for both teams, to cut Ramsey some slack.
Alex Degen and Hunter Rigsby would carry the Cats to the finish line, but both gave up a run in their outing.
On the bright side, Kentucky’s offense did hang up seven runs on the board with a lot of production coming from Ryan Shinn. Despite Kentucky’s two losses, Ryan Shinn has arguably been the best player this entire series. Before this game, Ryan Shinn had gotten on base in seven straight plate appearances. Today Shinn extended that streak to 10 with two leadoff doubles and a three-run home run. But his streak would come to an end in the 7th via strikeout, but his performance will all but surely reward Shinn SEC player of the week honors.
Let’s not forget the catch Shinn made last night.
He shoulda brought a beach towel because @TheRealShinny laid out to secure this WEB ?!
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) February 23, 2019
Jaren Shelby and TJ Collet both had sacrifice RBI’s in this game. Shelby’s coming in the 7th to bring the Cats within one run of the Red Raiders, making it 7-8. Collett’s happened in the fifth to tie to game at two.
Kentucky also got some production from the bottom half of their line up, as Alex Rodriguez had a run and an RBI out of the seven hole. Marshall Gei scored a run out of the eight spot in the sixth inning, which was set up from the RBI double by nine-hole hitter, Zeke Lewis.
Hopefully, the Bat Cats will get on track tomorrow as they try to avoid the sweep. First pitch is at 2:00 PM ET tomorrow. You can catch the game on Fox Southwest plus, or 98.5 FM Lexington.