LEXINGTON, Ky. – A pair of freshman pitchers yielded only a pair of solo home runs as No. 8 Kentucky bounced back nicely with a 5-2 win against a solid Indiana club Tuesday night, May 9, in front of 2,448 fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The win moved the Wildcats to 33-16 overall and 22-5 at home for the season. The Cats begin a three-game series with Tennessee on Friday as part of Senior Weekend, closing out the Southeastern Conference portion of the regular season home schedule.
Even though IU struck first on the scoreboard, the Cats wasted no time responding as they plated two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. The second inning was more of the same. Tristan Pompey, Evan White, and Zach Reks smoked three consecutive doubles into right-center field, which boosted the Wildcat lead by two more runs. Pompey went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and three runs. In his 20th multi-hit game of the season, White saw two doubles on four at bats with a run and an RBI.
Despite giving up a solo home run in the first inning, freshman lefty Zack Thompson (pictured) was a commanding presence on the mound throughout the rest of the game. The Indiana native eclipsed his former career-high strikeout total (8) in the top of the sixth inning when he struck out Michael Lloyd – the Hoosier that homered in the first. Thompson went on to finish with 10 strikeouts and surrender just three hits and two walks in his 11th start this season.
Freshman righty Chris Machamer entered in the seventh inning and made quick work of the Hoosiers, striking out the first two batters he faced. He only needed eight pitches to get through the inning on his way to four punchouts in two innings of work.
Senior closer Logan Salow came on in the ninth and rebounded from a tough weekend with his ninth save of the season, tying him for the second most in a single-season by a UK pitcher.
Kentucky resumes the SEC title chase on Friday at 6:30 p.m. when Tennessee arrives in town. 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).
Photo by Britney Howard, UK Athletics