The University of Kentucky baseball team continues to struggle in Southeastern Conference play, but Ryan Shinn is doing his best to pull the Wildcats out of their slump.
The senior outfielder went 2-for-4 at the plate on Sunday and launched his eighth home run of the season, but Kentucky fell at Missouri, 9-2.
Kentucky won Friday’s series opener in Columbia, then Missouri won Saturday’s game on a walk-off single. Shinn’s homer tied Sunday’s game in the top of the fourth, but the Tigers scored a pair of runs in the fifth and added five more runs in a seventh inning that included a pair of homers to pull away and clinch the series.
Kentucky fell to 17-15 overall and 2-10 in the SEC. The Wildcats have lost their first three SEC series this season.
Missouri (22-11-1, 5-6-1) might have spoiled the Cats’ weekend, but the Tigers’ pitchers never solved Shinn. He went 7-for-12 in the series including a pair of doubles to go along with Sunday’s homer. Shinn had multiple base hits in all three games.
Austin Schultz had a memorable weekend in Columbia. Playing in front of a large group of family members on Sunday, the freshman from Nebraska hit his first home run as a Wildcat on the second pitch of the day to give UK a 1-0 lead. It was the first leadoff home run for Kentucky in nearly a calendar year. Schultz has now reached base safely in 22 straight games and has a five-game hit streak.
Junior outfielder Jaren Shelby also continued his strong start to the season. The Tates Creek graduate hit two home runs against the Tigers, including an eighth-inning solo shot to give the Cats an important insurance run in Friday’s win. Shelby, Schultz and Shinn are all batting .300 or better so far this season.
The Wildcats face Lipscomb in Nashville on Wednesday. They open a three-game series at Mississippi on Friday.
Kentucky at Lipscomb
7 p.m. Wednesday