LEXINGTON, Ky. — Austin Schultz doubled, homered and drove in a career-best four runs, powering Kentucky to a 9-4 victory over Southeast Missouri in Tuesday’s home opener at Kentucky Proud Park.
Schultz, a sophomore infielder from Adams, Nebraska, narrowly missed hitting for the elusive cycle, falling just a triple shy of the feat. He plated a run in four separate at bats, including his first home run of the season, a towering blast into the UK bullpen in left field. He also delivered RBIs on a single, ground rule double to right field and groundout in going 3-for-4 to extend his streak to 17 consecutive games reaching base safely.
The Cats (1-3) jumped on SEMO right away, putting up single runs in both the first and third innings. After the Redhawks played small ball to take the lead in the top of the fourth the Cats rallied to reclaim the lead on Schultz’s fifth-inning homer and tacked on a four-run eighth to put the game out of reach.
Freshman infielder John Rhodes put his prodigious talent on display, going 2-for-4 with two runs, a triple over the centerfielder’s head and two RBI. He also made a diving snare at third base of a line drive destined for a hit.
On the mound, junior right-hander Daniel Harper earned the win in relief before watching sophomore’s Cole Daniels and Alex Degen allow just one hit and strike out five over the final 2.2 innings. Degen earned his first career save with four punchouts in 2.0 innings.