LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky baseball team closed out three straight weekends against top 10 opponents by splitting a Sunday doubleheader against No. 9 Auburn, giving them a series victory with the nightcap’s 13-3 rout at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The No. 6 Wildcats (17-7, 2-4 SEC) claimed two of the three series, have four victories against top 10 clubs this season and own the same overall record through 24 games as they did a season ago.
After dropping the opener 4-3 as the Tigers rallied in the final inning, the Cats rebounded in a big way with their backs up against the wall. Junior All-American Tristan Pompey led off the game with his third home run of the season, setting the tone for a game that saw the Cats score in all six innings – both games were seven inning affairs due to the doubleheader. Pompey finished 4-for-5 in the second game, driving in a career-high five runs and missing just the triple in the quest for the cycle.
Junior right-hander Justin Lewis rebounded from a difficult outing at Arkansas last weekend by one-hitting the Tigers through five innings of work. Although he was uncharacteristically wild he battled out of an early jam and allowed just one run to earn his 12th career victory.
Junior C/1B Kole Cottam (2-for-3, career-high four runs scored, home run) and senior IF/OF Luke Heyer (3-for-4, two runs, two RBI) also highlighted an attack where all nine starters reached base safely and seven had hits in game two.
In the opener, junior righty Zach Haake made his first career start for the Cats and held Auburn scoreless on one hit through 3.2 innings as the Cats took a 1-0 lead into the seventh. A bloop hit to start the inning set up Auburn’s four-run rally and the Cats were unable to come all the way back despite Ben Aklinski’s two-run homer in the UK’s final at bat.
GAME 1 – SCORING
Bottom 1st – Tristan Pompey walked. Troy Squires hit into a fielder’s choice. Ben Aklinski singled to RF. Luke Becker walked to load the bases. Luke Heyer walked, scoring Squires. UK 1, Auburn 0.
Top 7th – Jay Estes singled to LF and moved to second on Dylan Ingram’s SAC bunt. Luke Jarvis doubled off the RF wall, scoring Estes. Will Holland singled to RF, scoring Jarvis. Steven Williams singled to LF, moving Holland to second. Venter singled down the LF line, scoring Holland and moving Williams to third. Pinch hitter Judd Ward singled to CF, scoring Williams. Auburn 4, UK 1.
Bottom 7th – Trey Dawson doubled down the LF line and scored on Aklinski’s home run to LF. Auburn 4, UK 3.
GAME 2 – SCORING
Bottom 1st – Tristan Pompey homered to RF. UK 1, Auburn 0.
Top 2nd – Brett Wright, Josh Anthony and Dylan Ingram all walked. Jay Estes hit a SAC fly to CF, scoring Wright. UK 1, Auburn 1.
Bottom 2nd – Kole Cottam reached on an infield single and Trey Dawson walked. Pompey doubled over the LF’s head, scoring Cottam and moving Dawson to third. Troy Squires hit a SAC fly to LF, scoring Dawson. UK 3, Auburn 1.
Bottom 3rd – Luke Becker singled to RF. Ryan Johnson walked and Becker advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Luke Heyer doubled to LF, scoring both Becker and Johnson. T.J. Collett walked. Cottam was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Pompey singled to LF, scoring Heyer and Collett and moving Cottam to second. Ben Aklinski hit a SAC fly to LF, scoring Cottam. UK 8, Auburn 1.
Bottom 4th – Heyer singled to CF and scored on Cottam’s home run to CF. UK 10, Auburn 1.
Bottom 5th – Aklinski doubled to RCF and scored on Becker’s single to RF. UK 11, Auburn 1.
Bottom 6th – Heyer and Collett singled. Cottam reached on a fielder’s choice with Heyer out at third. Pompey singled to LF, scoring Collett. Squires singled to LF, scoring Cottam. UK 13, Auburn 1.
Top 7th – Judd Ward walked and Luke Jarvis singled. Will Holland doubled down the LF line, scoring both Ward and Jarvis. UK 13, Auburn 3.