LEXINGTON, Ky. – Zack Thompson delivered a virtuoso performance against No. 4 Georgia, spinning a complete game shutout to push Kentucky to a 5-0 win at Kentucky Proud Park on Friday night. It was the first complete game shutout for a UK pitcher since Sean Hjelle was brilliant at Texas A&M on March 17, 2017.
Thompson was nearly untouchable, allowing only a pair of infield hits and striking out a career-high 13 in the first complete game of his career. He recorded the final six outs on strikeouts and punctuated the night by ripping his left arm through the cool Bluegrass air after the final pitch.
The junior left-hander from Selma, Indiana was on his game from the outset, striking out four in the first two innings and not allowing a runner to advance past second until the sixth inning. He hit 96 miles per hour on the final pitch of the eighth inning and worked around an error in the ninth to strand a runner at third base with three straight strikeouts.
The Cats (16-11, 1-7 SEC) took the lead in the third on Austin Schultz’s RBI single and added three more in the fourth on a pair of passed balls and a wild pitch. Breydon Daniel reached base three times and scored twice, while Schultz extended his reached base streak to 17 consecutive games.
Bottom 3rd – Austin Schultz singled up the middle, Zeke Lewis scored. UK 1, Georgia 0.
Bottom 4th – Jaren Shelby scored on a passed ball. Breydon Daniel scored on a wild pitch. Elliott Curtis scored on a passed ball. UK 4, Georgia 0.
Bottom 6th – Dalton Reed singled to second, Breydon Daniel scored. UK 5, Georgia 0.
- Kentucky has scored in 91 consecutive games and 167 of the past 168 dating to the 2016 season. The lone shutout came in a seven-inning game. The current streak now is the the fifth-longest in school history.
- UK now is 13-5 at Kentucky Proud Park.
- Junior LHP Zack Thompson pitched a complete game shutout.
o His final line: 9.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts.
o It’s the first complete game shutout for a UK pitcher since Sean Hjelle twirled a gem at Texas A&M on March 17, 2017.
o Thompson set new career-highs in innings, strikeouts and pitches.
o The 13 strikeouts are the most for a UK pitcher since Hjelle had 13 vs. Oakland on Feb. 23, 2018.
- It’s just the sixth time a UK pitcher has struck out 13 or more hitters since 2006.
o Both hits were infield hits, including one bunt single.
o He now has 206 career strikeouts, making him the 14th player to reach at least 200 in school history.
o He needs nine strikeouts to enter the school’s career top 10.
o On the season, Thompson has 68 strikeouts in 43.2 IP, good for 14.02 per game.
- Freshman IF Austin Schultz extended his reached base safely streak to 17 games with an RBI single in the third inning.
The Cats and Bulldogs will play the rubber match at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday morning. Live coverage can be found on the SEC Network Plus. Audio coverage can be found via UKathletics.com.