The No. 6 Kentucky baseball team was unable to find the comeback magic on Sunday, dropping the finale of its three-game showdown against No. 3 Texas Tech 5-3 at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Still, the Wildcats claimed their first series win over a top five team since 2016 as conference play opens next weekend.
Texas Tech used two swings of the bat to take an early lead and then answer the Cats’ rally before its bullpen held strong over the final six innings. Designated hitter John McMillon crushed a no-doubt, three-run home run in the second inning to give the Red Raiders a 3-0 lead and second baseman Gabe Holt got an 0-2 pitch from Justin Lewis into the wind blowing out to right field for a two-run shot in the fourth.
Lewis, who suffered his first loss of the season, did not pitch poorly but the two mistakes cost him. He finished with 10 strikeouts and only six hits allowed but also hit two batters and walked three with uncharacteristic command issues.
At the plate, senior catcher Troy Squires continued his torrid week by smacking a two-run double in the third inning that briefly cut the deficit to 3-2. He was the lone Cat to record multiple hits and extended his on-base streak to 17 games. Senior infielder Luke Becker also extended his streak to 17 games, while sophomore designated hitter T.J. Collett pushed his to 16 straight games.
Despite Sunday’s defeat the Cats claimed its first series win over a top five team since taking two of three versus No. 2 South Carolina in May 2016. They are now 4-1 against ranked teams this season and have won seven series versus ranked teams in coach Nick Mingione’s two seasons at the helm, including a 12-4 overall mark at home against ranked foes.
Top 2nd – Josh Jung was hit by a pitch and Cameron Warren singled to RF. John McMillon homered to RCF. Texas Tech 3, UK 0.
Bottom 3rd – Ryan Johnson singled to RF and Trey Dawson walked. Troy Squires doubled into the RF corner, scoring both Johnson and Dawson. Texas Tech 3, UK 2.
Top 4th – Cody Farhat singled to LF and scored on Gabe Holt’s home run to RCF. Texas Tech 5, UK 2.
Bottom 5th – Johnson walked and advanced to third on Squires’ single. Ben Aklinski grounded into a FC, scoring Johnson. Texas Tech 5, UK 3.
The finale of a six-game homestand comes Tuesday afternoon when Murray State comes to town. First pitch is schedule for 4 p.m. with the game airing on SECN+ and 98.5 FM Lexington.
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