The Kentucky baseball team’s nine-game winning streak came to a close on Tuesday night as the Wildcats fell to Western Kentucky 14-6. The loss wrapped up a 10-game homestand for the Cats heading into conference play.
Pitching woes plagued Kentucky early. Western Kentucky scored six runs in the second inning and four more in the fourth to take a 10-1 lead.
Kentucky pulled to within 10-5 entering the eighth inning, but the Hilltoppers scored four runs in the inning to pull away.
Third baseman Danny Hudzina led the Hilltoppers’ 15-hit attack, going 3-for-6 with three RBI. Ty Downing went 3-for-5 with 2 RBI.
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All that offense made it a short day of work for Kentucky starter Zach Pop, who didn’t make it out of the second inning. Pop gave up five hits and six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings, losing for the first time this season. Coach Gary Henderson used five relief pitchers, and only two were effective. Dylan Dwyer pitched 3 1/3 hitless innings, and Daniel Tillo worked the final 1 1/3 innings without allowing a run.
No Kentucky batter had more than one hit. Marcus Carson put the Cats on the board in the second inning with a solo home run to right field. Third baseman and preseason All-American JaVon Shelby, a Tates Creek graduate, returned to the starting lineup after missing last weekend’s series with an oblique strain and went 1-for-2 with a double and three walks. Kentucky had nine hits in all.
Western Kentucky starter Cody Coll allowed three hits and two earned runs in 3 1/3 innings with a pair of strike outs. Logan Weins (2-1) picked up the win in relief, allowing one earned run in 2 2/3 innings.
Kentucky begins Southeastern Conference play on Friday with the first of a three-game series at Georgia.
Kentucky at Georgia
What: First Southeastern Conference series of the season
When: 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday
TV: All three games on the SEC Network