STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State erased an early three-run deficit for the second straight day, sending No. 8 Kentucky to its first series loss since opening weekend of the season at then-No. 12 North Carolina with a 10-6 decision on Sunday, April 9 at Dudy Noble Field.
The Wildcats (22-11, 8-4 SEC) got out of the gates quickly again, scoring four runs in the first two innings to take a 4-1 lead but were stymied after that as the No. 19 Bulldogs (22-12, 8-4) gained momentum in the middle innings. State tied the game in the fourth and added three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to take command.
UK had won five consecutive three-game weekend series coming into the weekend and took Friday night’s opener before State, which had won six straight SEC games entering the series, responded by getting its offense going. The Cats now return home for a midweek game against UT Martin after having completed a stretch where 13 of 15 games came against ranked foes, including seven on the road.
The bottom third of the order did the damage for Mississippi State, reaching base six times, scoring four runs and setting the table for the top of the lineup. Jake Mangum, who started on the mound, had a two-run triple and pinch hitter Harrison Bragg hit his first home run of the season in place of Mangum in the seventh.
Kentucky's Tristan Pompey (pictured) continued his torrid weekend with a career-high-tying four hits, clubbing two doubles and a pair of singles, while Zach Reks added a pair of hits and two RBI and Luke Becker mashed a pinch hit, two-run home run in the eighth.
Sophomore OF Tristan Pompey went 4-for-5 with two runs and two doubles.
Pompey now has hit safely in 20 of his past 22 games.
The four hits tied a career-high, set vs. Dayton on 2/21/16.
It was Pompey’s 13th multi-hit game of 2017 and 20th of his career.
Senior OF Zach Reks went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.
It was Reks’ 13th multi-hit game of 2017 and 23rd of his career.
Junior OF Luke Becker hit a pinch-hit home run in the 8th inning.
It was Becker’s first career pinch-hit homer.
The Cats are now 11-8 vs. ranked teams this season.
Kentucky returns home to Cliff Hagan Stadium to face UT-Martin on Wednesday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via UKathletics.com and iHeart Radio, as well as on 630 AM WLAP, and watch on SEC Network Plus (online).
UK Athletics Photo