The #4 BatCats (32-15, 15-8) made yesterday’s loss to Georgia a distant memory with a 7-4 win on Saturday night. Troy Squires drove in four runs with a pair of RBI doubles in support of starter Zach Logue. With the win over Georgia, UK has matched last year’s win total with nine games to play in the regular season.
After a dreary day on Friday, UK responded early on Saturday. After a pair of scoreless innings, the BatCats went to work on UGA’s starter Chase Adkins in the third. Tristan Pompey and Evan White singled on back-to-back pitches before Luke Becker walked to load the bases. Adkins and his catcher seemed crossed up in the third and fourth and it came back to bite the Dogs when a run came home on a passed ball with two outs. After the passed ball, Mahan walked to load the bases for Troy Squires. While Squires is usually the guy who sets up a big play, he came thru in a different way today as he delivered a bases-clearing double to center to give UK a 4-0 lead headed to the fourth.
Logue was cruising on the mound in the early innings. UGA did not get a hit off Logue thru four innings as the junior struck out at least one Bulldog batter in every inning tonight. “He has had not had the best outings the couple outings, but we’ve been telling our guys we don’t lose we learn,” Coach Mingione said on Logue’s performance. “I think everything was better, the stuff was better, the fastball command was better, the slider was better.”
Logue got the run support he needed to feel comfortable on the mound. Marcus Carson singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and stole second before taking third on a sac bunt. Pompey drove him in with a RBI fielder’s choice to give UK a 5-0 lead thru four.
Logue’s first hit allowed was an unfortunate one. Mitchell Webb got ahold of a ball and drove it over the left-field wall. The long ball has been Logue’s problem this year. Logue has now allowed 15 home runs in 69.1 innings this season.
The offense went right back to work after Georgia got one back. Riley Mahan blasted his team-leading ninth home run of the wall to right to put UK back ahead by five.
Watch: @UKBaseball claimed their 15th SEC win this year as they defeated Georgia this evening.
– KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) May 7, 2017
Despite their atrocious record, Georgia has been in these two games to the final inning this weekend. Tucker Maxwell hit a three-run home off Logue in the seventh to trim the lead to two. UGA seemed primed for more, but UK went to their pen and got Zack Thompson. The freshman midweek starter got Cam Shepherd to pop up with the tying run on base.
The game was all but over with Thompson on the hill. Thompson had the curveball working extremely well against lefties and his fastball hit around 96-97 in his 2.1 innings of work. After Logue struck out a career-high 11, Thompson added five strikeouts against only seven batters in relief.
– John Burns (@JohnBurns_13) May 7, 2017
Kentucky got an insurance run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh as Squires doubled home his fourth run of the day. “I had two strikes on me and the thing is to put the ball in play with two outs, I knew the umpire was calling those outside pitches so I knew I had to drive the ball that way,” Squires said.
Thompson shut the door by striking out the side in the ninth as UK tied the series at one game apiece against Georgia.
Logue’s effort not haunted by two mistakes- Outside of the two homers, Logue was excellent this evening. Squires said he “didn’t have to move his glove once”, meaning that Logue was really in command of all his pitches and had a good feel for his breaking stuff.
Pompey first to 70 hits- With two more hits tonight, Pompey now has 70 on the season and hits in 33 of his last 36 games. Pompey is beginning to look like a guy who could be taken in the first couple rounds of the 2018 Draft. I think he has a larger skill set than his brother Dalton, an outfielder for the Blue Jays. He is barrelling up more balls than anyone right now.
The BatCats are back at it tomorrow at 1 ET against UGA. Georgia-native Justin Lewis will take the mound against the Dogs.