In what was Ryan Johnson, Marshall Gei, Ryan Shinn, and Alex Rodriguez’s final game at Kentucky, the Cats end their season on a sour note as they get swept by No. 2 Vanderbilt 7-4.
Despite Kentucky coming back to tie the game in the late innings, Vanderbilt just kept finding a way to get it done as Golden Spikes finalist, JJ Bleday crushed a ball over the right field wall to put Vanderbilt back on top. They weren’t done either as Paul blasted one into the visiting bullpen as the Commodores went back to back off Carson Coleman to take a 6-4 lead in the ninth. It was their fourth solo home run of the game. Vandy added one more on an RBI single from Stephen Scott to take a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth.
Tyler Brown would shut down the Cats in the ninth to cap off the sweep for Vanderbilt with a 7-4 victory.
It was an unusual start to the day for Kentucky ace Zack Thomspon. Coming into today’s game, ZT had only given up one home run all year, and in the first two innings of this one, he gave up two tape measure shots. The first one came on the first pitch on the game to Austin Martin as he blasted it over the left-center field wall. Then with two outs in the second Harrison Ray hit a solo shot over the Kentucky bullpen to put Kentucky in an early two-run deficit.
The Cats would claw back in the next two innings, however. In the third, Elliot Curtis beat out a double play to allow Gei to score from third base. Kentucky would give up two more in the top of the fourth, but Kentucky weathered the storm as they came back by a senior-led two-out rally.
It started with a solo home run from Dalton Reed to make it 4-2, then the seniors Alex Rodriguez, Marshall Gei, and Ryan Johnson all singled. Johnson’s single brought home Rodriguez for Kentucky to draw within one run of Vanderbilt heading into the thick of the middle innings.
Kentucky would tie things up in the bottom of the seventh when Jaren Shelby hit a bases-loaded shot to the shortstop that he had a hard time handling which caused Vanderbilt to only get one out on the play and allowed Cam Hill to score. But, Vanderbilt would take the lead in the ninth.
ZT’s day and career at UK ended in the sixth inning. The lefty went six innings in today’s start giving up four runs on six hits while striking out nine. He left the field to a curtain call in what is certainly his last game in the blue and white as he will head for the MLB Draft this offseason.
With the South Carolina victory, today was the final game for Kentucky in the 2019 season. They finished with a record of 26-29 (7-23) which was 13th in the SEC.
Thank you for following along this season here with us at KSR.
Go Cats. @BrentW_KSR