LEXINGTON, Ky. – Trey Dawson blistered his first career home run and Luke Becker kept his season-long streak of reaching base safely alive but No. 9 Kentucky could not overcome falling behind early, dropping a 15-1 decision to South Carolina on a cold night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Dawson’s shot sliced through the chilly air and clanked off the scoreboard in centerfield, giving the Cats a home run in 27 of 31 games this season. It also comes a day after the junior from Hurricane, West Virginia, set new career game-highs for runs scored, stolen bases and RBI.
Ben Aklinski, Tristan Pompey and Troy Squires each continued their uncanny ability to get on base but South Carolina right-hander Cody Morris was lights out while mixing pitches and moving the ball around the strike zone. The one run scored by UK is its lowest output of the season.
UK starter Zach Haake struggled after a strong effort last weekend at Alabama. He lasted 4.2 innings but allowed five extra-base hits in taking the loss. He was followed on the mound by three freshmen, including redshirt freshman Brett Marshall, who made his second career appearance after missing the 2017 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
The Cats and Gamecocks will meet again on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The game will air on ESPNU and Darren Headrick will have the radio call on 630 AM WLAP.
Top 2nd – Jonah Bride walked and scored on Hunter Taylor’s double to LCF. SCAR 1, UK 0.
Top 3rd – Kyle Jacobsen singled to RCF, Carlos Cortes singled through the right side and Justin Row reached on a bunt single to load the bases. LT Tolbert grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Jacobsen. Bride homered to LF, scoring Cortes and Tolbert. Riley Hogan walked and scored on Taylor’s homer to LF. SCAR 7, UK 0.
Bottom 3rd – Trey Dawson homered to CF. SCAR 7, UK 1.
Top 5th – Tolbert homered to RCF. Matt Williams squibbed an infield single off the end of the bat. Taylor walked. Jacob Olson doubled to CF, scoring Williams and Taylor. SCAR 10, UK 1.
Top 6th – Cortes walked. Row doubled to LF, advancing Cortes to third. Cortes scored on a wild pitch with Row advancing to third. Row scored on a fielder’s choice. SCAR 12, UK 1.
Top 8th – Row singled and Tolbert walked. Williams singled up the middle to score Row. Taylor doubled into the RF corner, scoring Tolbert and Williams. SCAR 15, UK 1.
- The UK offense has homered in 27 of 31 games this season.
- Several Cats extended impressive reached base safely streaks…
o Junior OF Tristan Pompey has reached in 60 of the past 63 games.
o Senior INF Luke Becker has reached in all 31 games.
o Senior C/1B Troy Squires has reached in 30 of 31 games this season.
o Junior OF Ben Aklinski has reached in 25 of the last 26 games.
- Junior INF Trey Dawson …
o Hit his first career home run, a solo shot to CF in the third inning.
The Cats and Gamecocks will meet in the rubber game of the series on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. The game will air on ESPNU and Darren Headrick will have the radio call on 630 AM WLAP.