NASHVILLE – Kentucky waited out an extended weather delay and received an effective effort from freshman Jimmy Ramsey in his first career start but the offense couldn’t crack the code for the second straight night as the No. 16 Wildcats fell 5-1 to Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field.
The teams were forced into a three hour and sixteen minute delay due to heavy rain and lightning-laced storms that rolled through the city about 45 minutes before the originally scheduled first pitch. Once the game started the No. 16 Cats grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning before Vanderbilt shortstop Connor Kaiser lifted a two-run home run to left in the bottom half, his second homer in as many nights after hitting just one in 49 games coming into the series.
Forced into starting due to a severely undermanned pitching staff, Ramsey gave a terrific account of himself under less than ideal circumstances. He worked through a career-high six innings and struck out a career-high nine batters, allowing just two hits after the first inning. He gave the Cats what they needed with four of the team’s top six pitchers unavailable this weekend.
The Cats had their chances, stranding a runner at third base four times in the first seven innings. The timely hit continued to elude, as UK went 2-for-18 with runners on base and 1-for-12 with them in scoring position despite having traffic all night.
The game, which ended after 1:30 a.m. eastern time, dropped the Cats to 34-20 overall and 13-16 in SEC play with one game remaining in the regular season.
Top 1st – Tristan Pompey, Luke Becker and Troy Squires walked to load the bases. Pompey scored on a wild pitch. UK 1, Vandy 0.
Bottom 1st – Austin Martin doubled to LCF. Philip Clarke grounded out to 2B, moving Martin to third. JJ Bleday grounded a ball through the right side, scoring Martin. Connor Kaiser homered to LF, scoring Bleday. Vandy 3, UK 1.
Bottom 6th – Stephen Scott homered to RCF. Vandy 4, UK 1.
Bottom 8th – Bleday walked, Kaiser singled up the middle and Pat DeMarco walked to load the bases. Ethan Paul walked, forcing in Bleday. Vandy 5, UK 1.
- Kentucky has scored in 62 consecutive games and 138 of the past 139 dating to the 2016 season. The lone shutout came in a seven-inning game.
- Several Cats extended impressive reached base safely streaks …
o Junior C/1B Kole Cottam has reached safely in 17 straight games, although his career-long 16-game hit streak ended.
o Senior INF/OF Luke Heyer has reached in 17 straight games and 22 of the last 23 games.
o Senior INF Luke Becker has reached in 51 of 54 games (and 95 of 98 including 2017 summer ball).
o Junior INF Trey Dawson has now reached base safely in 23 of his last 25 games.
- Freshman RHP Jimmy Ramsey made his first career start.
o It was Ramsey’s team-leading 26th appearance of the season.
o He set new career highs in innings (6.0), pitches (89) and strikeouts (9).
o He allowed just two hits after the first inning.
- Junior OF Tristan Pompey went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
o He has 20 doubles this season and 45 for his career.
o He now has 192 career hits, three behind AJ Reed (2012-14) for 17th on UK’s all-time list.
o Pompey has four doubles and a home run in three games this week.
o In the past seven games he has seven doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.