UK Baseball

Bat Cats fall 6-1 at Vanderbilt for first series loss of season

Kentucky's baseball team, ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 2 by Baseball America, gave up five runs in the eighth inning to lose 6-1 to Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon in Nashville.

Four of the runs came on a grand slam by the Commodores' Connor Harrell. The teams split the first two games of the weekend, so the loss meant that Kentucky (36-9, 14-7 Southeastern Conference) had lost its first series this season.

UK, which had won its first six SEC series and started this one with a 5-2 victory on Friday night, managed only five hits on Sunday. Luke Maile had two of those, and Thomas McCarthy, Zac Zellers and Matt Reida had one apiece.

UK starter Corey Littrell worked 51⁄3 innings, allowing six hits and walking two with four strikeouts.

Tim Peterson took over in the sixth inning with two runners on and one out, getting a pair of strikeouts to get out of the jam.

He pitched 12⁄3 shutout innings, didn't allow a runner and struck out three.

Senior Alex Phillips (5-2) took the loss. He allowed one hit and one run.

Trevor Gott allowed his first hit in SEC play, and it was costly. He gave up Harrell's grand slam.

Vanderbilt (21-23, 9-12 SEC) starter Kevin Ziomek was dominant. He pitched 52⁄3 shutout innings and allowed three hits to go with four walks and eight strikeouts.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, Brian Miller replaced Ziomek and got Vandy out of the jam.

Sam Selman (6-3) got the Commodores out of another bases-loaded jam in the seventh.

The Cats, who don't have a mid-week, non-conference game this week, will host Florida in a three-game series that starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The opener will air on ESPNU.