Dustin Beggs threw a complete game shutout to lead Kentucky to a 6-0 wn over #7 South Carolina. Beggs struck out seven and allowed three hits in his eighth win of the season. The series with the Gamecocks is now even after last night’s 10-5 loss. Tristan Pompey hit a solo home run and Kole Cottam drove in a pair of runs as Kentucky’s offense battered Braden Webb. UK is now 28-19 (12-11) heading into tomorrow’s rubber match against USC. Here are tonight’s game notes.
Beggs Bunny was back
After struggling at Auburn, Beggs turned in one of the best starts of his career. This was the first complete game shutout for UK since Zack Brown did it last season at Missouri. No UK player had done it against a ranked team since Alex Meyer in 2011. Beggs faced four over the minimum and walked only one in the performance. He ended Gene Cone’s 31-game hitting streak when he shut him down in four at-bats. Only two South Carolina batters collected hits and the rest of the team went 0/22. Beggs is now 8-1 on the year and has really pulled some weight on the weekends. He really deserves consideration for All-SEC.
Kentucky jumped out to another early lead
UK lead 3-0 early on just like last night. Luke Becker doubled and Dorian Hairston drove him home in the first. Cottam drove in a pair of runs on an RBI single to give UK a 3-0 lead through one. The only difference tonight was that UK held that lead. This is very impressive because Braden Webb allowed all six runs for USC. Webb threw three consecutive wild pitches as UK manufactured a run in the fourth. Tristan Pompey hit a solo home run and Riley Mahan scored on an error to push the lead to 6-0.
Kentucky is a win away from a huge series win
There have been questions if UK was going to make the NCAA Tournament after a spell of terrible losses. A win tomorrow would give some breathing room for the BatCats before next weekend’s series at Ole Miss. Kentucky currently sits as the eight seed in the SEC Tournament. If they win tomorrow, they could be up to seventh and only a couple wins away from being one of the top five seeds. The ball needs to get rolling tomorrow in the rubber match. Kyle Cody has a chance to lead UK in the biggest start of his career. Game time is 3 ET on ESPNU. Follow @TreyHuntsmanKSR for updates and analysis as always.