In a rebuilding season, it has seemed like the Bat Cats have given up a four+ run inning in every loss this season, but tonight it was Kentucky’s turn to have the big inning as a four-run fifth inning lifts the Cats over the Wolverines 7-4 at Kentucky Proud Park.
Despite having one run on the board, Kentucky didn’t get their first hit until the bottom of the fifth when Alex Rodriguez hit a ball down the left field line for a leadoff double out of the nine-hole. Kentucky batters getting hit eight times in tonight’s game aided the early lead as well.
Kentucky got on the board in the first for the fifth straight game when Ryan Johnson walked to start the game, then came all the way around to score to put the Cats up 1-0 after one.
Elliott Curtis would pick him up when he slapped an opposite-field single to draw the Cats within one, with Coltyn Kessler stepping to the plate who drilled one to the center field fence for a double that scored Ryan Shinn and Elliot Curtis to give Kentucky a 4-3 lead. The Cats would tack on one more after an Austin Schultz sac-fly scored Coltyn Kessler to make it 5-3 after the four-run fifth inning.
In the top of the seventh Michigan drew within one on a solo home run by Jordan Nwogu.
But, the Cats got two more insurance runs when Jaren Shelby scored on a bases-loaded walk, then Alex Rodriguez reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Cam Hill to score to give Kentucky a 7-4 lead, that they would hold into the night as the Cats finish off their nonconference schedule with a victory.
In the nonconference, Kentucky finished the season 19-6, but tough SEC play has the Cats sitting at 26-26 on the season. Five of Kentucky’s six nonconference losses came to teams inside the top 10 in the RPI.
Kentucky will try to pull out all the stops this weekend against one of the nation’s best teams in the Vanderbilt Commodores to get into Hoover. All hands will be on deck this weekend if the Cats want to make the trip to the SEC tournament, their odds will improve GREATLY if they take one this weekend.
I will have a post tomorrow (Wednesday) on the SEC postseason scenarios for this weekend and what Kentucky needs to do to get into the SEC Tournament, so be on the lookout for that.
First pitch on Thursday will be at 6:30 pm ET on SEC Network+.
Go Cats. @BrentW_KSR