LEXINGTON, Ky. — Mason Hazelwood has been good on the mound before. He's never been as dominant as he was on Saturday, striking out a career-high 12 as he powered Kentucky to a 6-1 victory over Georgia State at Kentucky Proud Park.
Hazelwood, a senior left-hander from Salvisa, Kentucky, was nearly untouchable in his six scoreless innings of work, allowing just three hits and a walk while throwing 57 of his 76 pitches for strikes. He punched out five through the first two innings and only gained steam as the game went on, eventually finishing with a dozen strikeouts, the most for a UK pitcher since Zack Thompson had 13 vs. Georgia on Mar. 29, 2019.
Georgia State, which game into the weekend having played all 14 of its games against ranked opponents, had not been dominated by a pitcher the way Hazelwood tore through its lineup. The previous high for strikeouts by an opposing starter – which includes the likes of top Major League Baseball prospects Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker of Vanderbilt – was eight, a total Hazelwood passed in the fourth inning.
When the dust settled the Cats had struck out 19 Panthers on the day, the most in a single, nine-inning game since at least 2005. The previous high was 18 against Western Michigan on Mar. 1, 2009.
Meanwhile, the Cats (10-2) continued to deliver on offense, with T.J. Collett homering for the second consecutive day and Trae Harmon continuing to batter and bruise baseballs. Harmon, who was inserted as the starting designated hitter this week, scored the game's opening run after doubling to the left-centerfielder gap in the fourth and later hit an opposite field home run.