LEXINGTON, Ky. – Zeke Lewis hit the first home run of his career and Ryan Shinn clobbered his team-leading 11th of the season but Kentucky was done in by self-inflicted wounds, dropping the series finale 8-2 to No. 22 Tennessee at Kentucky Proud Park.
Junior left-hander Zack Thompson cruised through five innings before the Volunteers broke through for four runs in the sixth, only two of which were earned. Thompson, who took his first defeat of the season, hit three batters in the inning and a critical error behind him allowed the Vols to get on the board. Still, Thompson delivered his eighth consecutive quality start of at least six innings pitched with three or fewer earned runs allowed by going seven innings and striking out nine with just four hits allowed.
Lewis, a redshirt junior playing his 90th career game, got the Cats (20-20, 4-14 Southeastern Conference) on the board with a solo home run into the right field bullpen in the sixth inning. Shinn matched the feat when he blasted a two-out home run onto the grass beyond the concourse in left-centerfield, taking over the team lead from T.J. Collett.
UK extended its scoring streak to 103 consecutive games and is within a game of tying for the second-longest. The Cats have scored in 180 of the past 181 games and have not been shutout in a nine-inning game since April 23, 2016 vs. Arkansas.
The Cats will wrap the month of April with a four-game road trip this coming week, beginning with a Tuesday night game at Western Kentucky at Bowling Green Ballpark. A visit to Florida next weekend will be the next-to-last conference road series for the Cats, with first of three games coming Friday night in Gainesville.
Top 6th –Connor Pavlony was hit by a pitch. Jay Charleston reached on a fielder’s choice, Pavlony advanced to second on throwing error. Max Ferguson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Andre Lipcius grounded out to SS, scoring Pavlony. Alerick Soularie doubled to LCF, scoring Charleston and pinch runner Pete Derkay. Evan Russell singled to RCF, scoring Soluarie. UT 4, UK 0.
Bottom 6th – Zeke Lewis homered to RF. Ryan Shinn homered to LCF. UT 4, UK 2.
Top 8th – Soularie singled to RF, moved to second on a SAC bunt and to third on Russell’s infield single. Rucker reached on a fielder’s choice, Soularie scored, Russell advanced to third on a throwing error by the SS, Rucker to second. Justin Ammons singled to LC, scoring Russell and Rucker. Ammons stole second, advanced to third on an infield single and scored on a wild pitch. UT 8, UK 2.
- Attendance for the game was 3,257.
- Kentucky has scored in 104 consecutive games and 180 of the past 181 dating to the 2016 season. The lone shutout came in a seven-inning game. The current streak now is the third-longest in school history and one game shy of tying for the second-longest.
- Junior LHP Zack Thompson pitched 7.0 innings, giving up four hits, four runs (two earned), one walk and three hit by pitches. He struck out nine.
o Thompson’s nine strikeouts give him 91 on the season, nine shy of being just the 13th pitcher in UK history to reach 100 in a season.
o He now has 229 career strikeouts, moving him into eighth place on the school’s career list.
o He has eight consecutive quality starts (6 IP, three or fewer earned runs).
- Junior INF Zeke Lewis hit his first career home run.
- Senior OF Ryan Shinn connected on his 11th home run of the season.
o He has 26 total extra-base hits this season.
o He notched his 15th multi-hit game of the season and 18th career.
Kentucky hits the road again this week when it travels to Bowling Green on Tuesday for a matchup with Western Kentucky at 6 p.m. ET. There is no live video of the game but audio coverage will be on UKathletics.com and the UK Sports Network.