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UK Baseball sweeps Auburn, Softball loses first game of ‘Bama series

(UK Athletics)

(UK Athletics)

It’s been a busy Saturday for the Bat ‘Cats, with the Baseball team playing a doubleheader at Auburn and the Softball team inviting No. 4 Alabama to Lexington for its first home SEC series. Let’s get straight into the recap.

BASEBALL:

Coming off a resilient win in extra innings on Friday night, the UK Baseball team looked for a sweep at Auburn in a Saturday doubleheader.

GAME ONE:

Kentucky took a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a 3 RBI homer from T.J. Collett and a solo home run from Coltyn Kessler. Auburn’s offense found some success as well, though, cutting the lead in half by the end of the first.

After giving up the two runs in the first, left-handed pitcher Mason Hazelwood found his groove. Hazelwood left the game in the bottom of the fourth with the Kentucky training staff, appearing to have some tightness in his pitching arm. Reliever Zach Kammin looked a little shaky in his first few pitches, but after a visit from the Kentucky pitching staff, he settled down and ended the inning without any more Tiger runs.

Kessler doubled to left-center in the top of the fifth to score Collett, adding and prompting an Auburn pitching change. The ‘Cats couldn’t tack on any more, and they went to the bottom of the sixth with a 5-2 lead.

Auburn came back and tied the game at 6 in the bottom of the eighth, but an Oraj Anu RBI single in the top of the ninth put the ‘Cats back up. Auburn got runners on base in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t convert. Kentucky took the first game 7-6.

Freshman Austin Strickland came in to close for the ‘Cats, getting his first win of the season in an impressive effort.

This is the first time Kentucky has won a series at Auburn since 2004 and only the fifth time ever.

GAME TWO:

Kentucky struck first once again thanks to a pair of singles and a stolen base from Austin Schultz. With the steal, Kentucky moved to 31-for-31 on stolen bases this season. They lead the SEC with 1.4 stolen bases per game.

Collett continued the first inning mojo with a double to left-center to score John Rhodes and make it 2-0. Auburn got runners on the corners in the bottom of the first, but a clutch double play from Collett to Ritter sent the Tigers packing without pushing any home.

The Tigers cut the lead to one in the bottom of the third after a 2 RBI double from Rankin Wooley.

The ‘Cats got things cooking again in the top of the fifth, adding a trio of runs to extend the lead to four. Auburn got one back in the bottom of the inning to make it a 6-3 ballgame.

Auburn couldn’t find an answer for the strong UK pitching late in the ballgame, leading to a 6-4 Kentucky win.

This marks the first time the Wildcats have won their first two SEC series since 2017. The ‘Cats will return home Tuesday to take on the Bellarmine Knights from Kentucky Proud Park. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.

SOFTBALL:

The No. 7 UK Softball team isn’t often an underdog, but this weekend things are different. The 4th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide is in town for an exciting SEC series between the two top 10 teams.

Alabama struck first in the top of the third inning, taking a 3-0 lead. Miranda Stoddard managed a leadoff single to begin the bottom of the third, but Alabama pitcher Montana Fouts responded with three straight strikeouts to end the inning. The Tide’s pitchers lead the SEC with 1.02 ERA, 25 wins, 32 runs allowed and only 28 walks.

Kentucky finally found the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI double from Rylea Smith. A throwing error on the next play brought in two more runs, cutting the Alabama lead in half. The Wildcats pushed through one more run before the inning ended, making it a 6-4 game.

‘Bama had no intentions of losing their lead, though. The Tide added five more runs in the top of the seventh. Kentucky’s offense found a little spark in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t overcome the strong Tide lead. The game ended 11-6.

The ‘Cats started the season with 19 straight wins, but have hit a bit of a slump after losing four of their last five. They will look to even the series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Article written by Kassidy Stumbo

Follow me on Twitter @kass_stumbo

1 Comment for UK Baseball sweeps Auburn, Softball loses first game of ‘Bama series



  1. JDid
    8:03 am March 28, 2021 Permalink

    GO CATS!