After a huge series sweep at Auburn last weekend, the UK Baseball team headed to Starkville this weekend to take on the No. 5 Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Ryan Hagenow started on the hill in his first SEC series. Hagenow got in some trouble in the first inning, finding himself with the bases loaded and no outs. The freshman held tough, though, allowing just one run before ending the inning. He struck out all three Bulldogs he faced in the second inning, keeping the ‘Cats in the game.
.@HagenowRyan strikes out the side in the second, 4 K's total.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 2, 2021
Hagenow had an impressive SEC start, giving up two runs and striking out five batters in his 3.1 innings pitched. Zach Kammin took the mound in the bottom of the fourth. Kammin would give up two runs of his own, one of them walked home. The Bulldogs nursed a 4-0 lead until the top of the seventh when the ‘Cats found an offensive spark.
Kentucky managed to load the bases in the top of the seventh. It wasn’t the prettiest effort, but the ‘Cats were able to tack a run on off a Bulldog error, cutting the MSU lead to 4-1.
Mississippi State had no plans to give up their lead though. After loading the bases off two errors and a walk, Kamren James stepped to the plate and hit a double deep into left-center, scoring three more Bulldogs.
The deficit was just too stiff for the ‘Cats to overcome in the top of the ninth. With two runners on base, Mississippi State closer Stone Simmons struck out two of three final batters to end the game. The Bulldogs took the first game of the series 8-1.
The Wildcat offense has been very productive this season, with the third-highest batting average in the SEC. Mississippi State’s impressive pitching proved too troublesome, though. Christian MacLeod pitched through the first six for the Bulldogs. MacLeod ended with 11 strikeouts, zero runs and only two hits. The Bulldogs struck out Kentucky batters 15 times tonight.
CMac, four straight nasty curves ?
— Mississippi State Baseball (@HailStateBB) April 2, 2021
The now 18-5 ‘Cats will look to even the series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. You can watch it live on SEC Network.