Riley Mahan hit a pair of home runs, doubled and knocked in all four of Kentucky’s runs in a 6-4 loss to Vanderbilt on Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The 16th-ranked Wildcats had won the opening two games of the series, but the 22nd-ranked Commodores didn’t allow them to sweep them for the first time in 17 years.
Kentucky (21-8, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) now has a stretch of seven road games in the next two weeks.
Mahan’s four RBI tied a career high and he was 3-for-4 on the day. His first RBI came on a double in the first inning, and he followed that with a solo home run to right field in the fourth and a two-run shot to right-centerfield in the seventh.
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A crowd of 3,512 was treated to back and forth baseball, with the Cats leading 2-1 through five innings. But UK also missed some opportunities, leaving the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth innings and enduring a bit of misfortune in the first when Luke Becker stumbled rounding third base on Mahan’s double, on which he would have scored easily.
Sophomore starter Justin Lewis was in and out of trouble all day, ultimately allowing just two runs on eight hits in five innings. Lewis walked five batters after having allowed just seven total walks in his first six starts. Zach Pop got out of a jam in the sixth but allowed a two-run home run in the seventh and took the loss.
Logan Salow extended his hitless inning streak to 10 before giving up a solo homer in the ninth.
UK will play at No. 2 Louisville on Tuesday night before taking on Mississippi State — where UK Coach Nick Mingione was an assistant before arriving in Lexington — next weekend.
▪ Kentucky has won five straight weekend series and has six consecutive winning weekends overall.
▪ This is Kentucky’s first series win over Vanderbilt since 2009 in Lexington.
▪ The Cats are 15-2 at home this season.
▪ Kentucky is 10-5 against ranked opponents this season, having won 10 of the past 12.
▪ UK has won 19 of the past 22 and 21 of past 25 games.
▪ Junior first baseman Evan White was 1-of-5 with a run scored. He now has 177 career hits, moving him into a tie with John Shelby (2004-06) for 18th on UK’s career hits list.
▪ Mahan has 121 career hits, moving him into a tie for 21st on UK’s career list with Taylor Black (2010-11) and Marcus Nidiffer (2007-10).
Kentucky at Louisville
6 p.m. Tuesday (WLAP-AM 630)