Welcome back, baseball fans! Coming off a mid-week comeback win over EKU, the Bat ‘Cats were back in action tonight at No. 4 Tennessee.
T.J. Collett started things off with a solo homer to left field, giving the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. It was Collett’s 15th homer of the season. He is now No. 2 on Kentucky’s career home runs list behind John Wilson (1998-2000).
Over the wall. Over the party deck. Into the trees.
T.J. Collett does big flies as well as anyone in the collegiate game.
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— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 29, 2021
Jacob Plastiak hit a deep two-run bomb to right field in the second to extend the Kentucky lead. The Vols stormed back in the bottom of the inning, though, scoring seven runs before the ‘Cats could finally end it. A strikeout to start the inning turned into a baserunner after the pitch got away. Kentucky ace Cole Stupp appeared rattled afterward, giving up two homers before being relieved by Zach Kammin.
Kammin closed the second inning but found trouble on the mound again in the third. Kammin hit two of his first three pitchers faced, loading the bases with Vols. After he walked a run home, Austin Strickland took the mound to try to revive the defense with the bases loaded and no outs.
Strickland struck out his first batter, but hit the next and sent another Vol to home plate. During the next at-bat, a ground ball to Collett at first got away from him, leading to another Tennessee run. The ‘Cats were finally able to end the inning, but the damage was done. Tennessee held a stiff 12-4 lead heading to the top of the fourth.
Tennessee tacked on two more runs, but the ‘Cats couldn’t find any similar mojo. The game ended 14-4 in favor of the Vols.
Tomorrow, the ‘Cats will look to find some more success from the bullpen. The Vols had 41 at-bats and 15 hits tonight. Kentucky had only seven hits.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. It will be on SEC Network+.