UK Baseball

Liberty beats UK 5-4, sends Cats to 0-4 record

Kentucky catcher Troy Squires tagged out Liberty’s Cam Locklear, who was trying to score from third on a bunt fielded by pitcher Colton Cleary.
Kentucky catcher Troy Squires tagged out Liberty’s Cam Locklear, who was trying to score from third on a bunt fielded by pitcher Colton Cleary. Liberty University

Another game, another one-run loss for Kentucky.

Connor Heady and Riley Mahan homered, and freshman left-hander Zack Thompson pitched impressively in his collegiate debut, but it wasn’t enough for the University of Kentucky baseball team in a 5-4 loss in drizzly conditions at Liberty University on Wednesday.

It was the third consecutive one-run loss for UK (0-4), which is still looking for its first win under first-year coach Nick Mingione.

UK outhit Liberty 9-7 in the first game of a four-game road swing through Virginia. Marcus Carson led the Cats with two hits, including an RBI double in the third inning.

Mahan homered for the second straight game to give UK a 3-2 lead in the fifth, and Heady yanked his third career homer over the left-field fence to pull the Cats within 5-4 in the sixth.

UK threatened in the eighth, but Liberty third baseman Ben Highfill dived to his right to catch Tyler Marshall’s line drive and preserve the lead for the Flames (3-1).

Thompson, flashing a mid-90s fastball, struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four hits, four runs and walked one.

Colton Cleary and Brad Schaenzer combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Cats.

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