Zack Godley fired a six-hitter Sunday to lead Tennessee to a 5-0 win over Kentucky in the rubber match of a three-game Southeastern Conference series.
Godley, a senior right-hander, stranded two runners in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, and nine overall.
"Any time you don't score, besides impossible to win, it takes a little bit of wind out of your sails," UK Coach Gary Henderson said. "But it's one game, it's one weekend and we've got five more of these."
The 13th-ranked Cats (24-11, 7-8 SEC) have dropped five of their last six conference games, including two in a row to the Volunteers (16-8, 5-10) in Cliff Hagan Stadium.
"We lost two in a row and it's part of being in this league," Henderson said. "You're certainly not happy about it. You understand it is what it is. We're halfway through. We're 7-8. There's a lot of baseball left.
"Very disappointed about the weekend, but you just can't dwell on it. We've got Louisville Tuesday and then you go to (South) Carolina, and you can't get stuck on it."
All six hits yielded by Godley (3-4) were singles. He struck out eight and walked two, throwing 82 of 130 pitches for strikes.
"I didn't know I threw that many pitches. But I feel fine," Godley said. "I'm a little tired, but other than that I feel fine. My arm feels good. I think I was throwing a little harder there at the end of the game than I was at the beginning of the game. I started getting a little bit more relaxed as the game went on."
Godley, who beat UK last season with eight innings of one-run ball, kept his repertoire simple Sunday.
"I threw one slider, it was up, so that wasn't going well today," he said. "So we just stuck with the fastball and the curveball, and I just let my defense work for me, and they came up big today."
UK lefty Corey Littrell (4-2) fired five innings of three-hit shutout ball before finding trouble in the sixth.
Leadoff batter Will Maddox was hit by a pitch, then went to second on a balk.
A.J. Simon's bunt single put runners on the corners.
Christin Stewart brought both in with a double to left-center.
Pierce Bily's sharp single down the first-base line plated Stewart.
Bily also doubled in an eighth-inning run. He stole third base and scored on Zach Luther's sacrifice fly.
"Corey certainly pitched well enough to win, there's no question about that," Henderson said. "And I extended him a little bit in the eighth. ... It certainly wasn't his best day, but he's three (runs) over six. Sunday baseball, we should be right in the ball game with that."
The Cats had their chances, but each time Godley slammed the door.
"Just sticking to what I usually do and let my defense work," Godley said. "My defense did amazing today."
After wasting one-out singles in the second and third innings, UK put runners on second and third with two outs in the fourth.
Godley got Micheal Thomas on a fly ball to the warning track in left.
UK's first two batters in the sixth reached on a hit and an error, but Godley set down the next three.
Two more were stranded in the sixth.
UK left one more on in the seventh, when center fielder Parker Wormsley banged into the wall while snaring Austin Cousino's long fly.
"We've got to hit more balls on the nose," Henderson said. "We've got to have more quality at-bats. We've got to have fewer soft outs. But I thought the first half of the game we hit some balls really hard that could have changed the tone of it. But it didn't happen."
Louisville at Kentucky
When: 6:30 p.m. TuesdayTV: FS South and CWKYT
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com