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Kentucky Roars Back To Win The Series Against Mississippi State

It took the offense eight innings to get rolling, but the bats woke up at the right time in Saturday’s game. #21 Kentucky wrapped up a series win over Mississippi State today by coming from behind to beat the Dogs 4-1. The win bumped UK to .500 (13-13) in conference play and 33-17 overall.


MSU scored one run in the first and held onto the 1-0 lead into the eighth inning. The Cats rallied in the bottom of the eighth to take a 4-1 behind a two-run single by Luke Becker and a pair of unearned runs courtesy of an error by the pitcher. UK’s offense struggled for the majority of the game, but the young pitching staff kept the game close before the eighth inning comeback. Today marked UK’s sixth win of the season when they trailed after seven innings and the fifth straight series win at home over Mississippi State.

Zack Thompson made his second start back from injury today. The Bulldogs knew Thompson would be on a tight pitch count, so they grinded out some tough at-bats and got his number of pitches up early. MSU put two men on before Hunter Stovall drove in the first and only run of the game for MSU with an RBI single past Luke Becker into right field.

From that point forward, Thompson and the UK bullpen shut down MSU’s offense. Thompson finished his day after four strong innings before Mason Hazelwood entered in the fifth. The freshman struck out three in 3.1 shutout innings in relief today. Hazelwood’s longest outing of his career kept MSU’s lead at one throughout the middle innings.

The young pitchers for UK were quieting MSU’s offense, but the bats struggled to wake up against Ethan Small. The Dogs’ starting pitcher shut out UK in six innings. UK’s offense reached base seven times against Small but could get the tying run home.

The masterful effort by Hazelwood and fellow freshman Jimmy Ramsey (1.2 innings, winning pitcher) gave UK momentum in the eighth inning. After Ramsey got two big outs to end the top of the eighth, the bats finally warmed up in the bottom half of the inning. Trey Dawson and Tristan Pompey both collected singles to start the frame before the powerful Kole Cottam stepped to the plate and delivered one of the biggest hits of his career. It wasn’t a home run this time for Cottam, but a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. The three consecutive singles set the stage for senior Luke Becker. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Becker hit a soft line drive over the shortstop’s head to score a pair of runs and give UK the 2-1 lead. With the Cliff roaring, SEC home run leader Luke Heyer dropped down a bunt that the MSU pitcher threw into foul territory. Cottam and Becker came around to score two important insurance runs on the error to put UK in front 4-1.

Nick Mingione decided to stick with Ramsey in the top of the ninth. The freshman forced three flyouts to left field as UK clinched the series with a 4-1 victory on Saturday night.

Game Notes

Underclassmen shine on the mound- With so many guys out this weekend, UK needed tonight’s pitchers to get as many outs as possible. Under the circumstances, what Thompson, Hazelwood, and Ramsey did tonight was remarkable. All three pitchers allowed two or fewer hits and struck out a combined six batters in the win.

Pompey continues to hit well- The team’s leadoff man now has five consecutive multi-hit games after going 2/4 tonight. He is  4/6 with two doubles, four RBIs, and three runs this weekend.

Hosting update- UK has put themselves back into the hosting race with three big wins this week. They would almost be guaranteed a projected spot if they sweep tomorrow. It was said this week that UK needs to win four or five of their final six SEC games in order to land a hosting spot. This weekend’s win will look great when the selection committee review’s UK’s season.

Postgame Comments- Check out Mingione’s postgame interview following the comeback win.


Kentucky and Mississippi State will be back in action tomorrow at 3 ET on the SEC Network. Sunday’s game will be the final regular season game at the Cliff. 


Article written by Trey Huntsman

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

4 Comments for Kentucky Roars Back To Win The Series Against Mississippi State

  1. SuperTroy18
    11:57 pm May 12, 2018 Permalink

    Go BatCats! Sweeeeeeep!

  2. Bull Filmer
    7:47 am May 13, 2018 Permalink

    GO CATS!

  3. IAmTheDanger
    8:59 am May 13, 2018 Permalink

    Great job Cats….best of luck today on the final game at the Cliff!!

  4. runningunnin.454
    11:34 am May 13, 2018 Permalink

    Killer small ball. And that TV analyst saying he didn’t think UK could field bunts, and Miss State should bunt on us….ha ha ha ha ha.