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Kentucky Drops Two of Three at Auburn

JaVon Shelby

UK Athletics

The BatCats dropped the first two games at Auburn before winning Sunday’s game 9-6. It was a tough series for UK, who is now 27-17 (11-10) on the season. Zack Brown and Dustin Beggs both allowed five or more runs and UK blew a 5-0 lead on Saturday. The UK offense overpowered Auburn on Sunday’s win. JaVon Shelby hit a pair of home runs and Evan White drove in three runs while Kyle Cody dominated over 7.1 innings. We’ll see tomorrow how this week affected the tournament odds for the BatCats, but I don’t think it’s time to hit the panic button quite yet. With a pair of series at home against South Carolina and at Ole Miss, I don’t think it’s out of the question that UK could still rise back up after the slump.

Game Notes

JaVon had a great last two games

The weekend was good for the slumping Shelby. The third baseman drove in six runs on five hits, including two home runs on Sunday. His swings on Saturday night were some of the best he has had in recent memory. He didn’t load up and moved easily through the zone when he hit a pair of doubles. His home runs on Sunday were absolute bombs over the left field wall. He now has nine this year.

Kyle Cody saved the series

For the first time this season, Dustin Beggs really struggled. The offense was able to pick him up and give him the no decision, but Dylan Dwyer and the UK bullpen blew the game in the 8th. There were some questionable pitching changes in the 8th inning on Saturday that might have cost UK a chance to win, but that’s in the past. Today’s story was Kyle Cody. The senior went 7.1 innings, striking out six and allowing only two earned runs. Cody has thrown in some good starts as of late, and will be a big piece to winning the next two weekends.

What happened Saturday night?

Kentucky jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second, but watched the lead evaporate throughout the game. Beggs pitched seven innings and allowed six runs before the bullpen self-destructed in the 8th. I understand matchups and believe they should be utilized, but the move to Logan Salow in the 8th after Dwyer was interesting. The bullpen as a whole struggled this weekend. Sean Hjelle allowed three runs on Sunday after Cody and Justin Lewis allowed three runs through eight. Hopefully the pen gets back to normal heading into the final three weeks.

What’s next?

I’m a glass-half full kind of guy, but everything is gray at this point. I think a positive record at the end of the season definitely puts UK as a two seed, but a bad series against Mizzou could bump them out. A sweep or two and winning all three series could give UK a way to host. Lose all three and they would miss the tournament and Coach Henderson is probably out of a job. There is no way, with as much talent as UK has, that they should miss back to back tournaments. But as for now, they are positioned for a two or three seed. Next weekend’s series against South Carolina could be a huge boost for the guys. There is a midweek against EKU on Tuesday. It is a make up for earlier this season.


Article written by Trey Huntsman

The KSR Baseball guy. Follow me on Twitter @TreyHuntsmanSEC.