Tristan Pompey, Daniel Harper Star as No. 8 Kentucky Defeats Evansville 8-4 Sunday in South Carolina
See schedule update below (in Red)
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Tristan Pompey hit three doubles and freshman pitcher Daniel Harper was impressive in his first collegiate start as No. 8 Kentucky defeated Evansville 8-4 to close out a perfect opening weekend in South Carolina. It’s the Wildcats’ first 4-0 start on the road since 2007.
Pompey, a preseason First-Team All-American, did nothing to change that designation to start the season, smacking eight hits, scoring six runs and posting an OPS of 1.374. He was sensational on Sunday, going 4-for-4 with three doubles, three runs scored and a walk. He also homered earlier in the weekend.
Harper (pictured), a freshman from Fairway, Kansas, completed four innings, striking out eight Aces, including five in a row at one point. He allowed just two runs – one earned – and only walked one before turning it over to junior righty Aaron McGeorge, who ended up getting the win.
For the fourth time on the weekend the Cats secured their “biggie” inning – three or more runs – when junior outfielder Ryan Johnson pulled a three-run double into the right field corner to make it 6-1 in the third inning.
That was all the Cats would need.
Aside from one inning against USC Upstate on Saturday the Cats were nearly flawless on the mound all weekend, posting a 2.92 earned run average and allowing opponents to hit just .179 while striking out 49 in 37 innings of work.
The offense was just as devastating, counting 21 combined doubles and home runs amongst its 30 total hits. The Cats also drew 18 walks and were hit by 10 pitches, including five from senior Troy Squires.
The 50th and final season at Cliff Hagan Stadium will open earlier than expected with Kentucky set to host Xavier on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. The game has been moved up a day due to the forecast of wet weather on Wednesday. The game will air on the SEC Network Plus (online).
Photo by Bill Ballew