Beggs Fans 10 in Eight-Shutout, Two-Hit Innings
SAN DIEGO -- Dustin Beggs fired eight-shutout, two-hit innings and Riley Mahan ripped a three-run home run to lead No. 22 Kentucky to a 6-0 win at San Diego State, in the second round of the Tony Gwynn Classic, on a perfect Saturday night at Gwynn Stadium.
Kentucky (3-2) rode the dominating start from Beggs to the 6-0 win, with Mahan providing all the offensive spark needed with his fourth-inning, three-run blast. A native of Roswell, Ga., Beggs threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of the 28 hitters he faced, allowed only a walk and two singles, with UK’s pitching staff facing just four hitters over the minimum.
A two-time MLB Draft selection, including a 32nd round pick in 2015, Beggs (2-0) earned his ninth win in two seasons with the Wildcats. A 6-foot-2 senior right-hander, Beggs worked his 10th career quality start and recorded his second career double-digit strikeout effort, also fanning 12 vs. No. 6 Vanderbilt in 2015. Beggs, who led all junior colleges in strikeouts in 2014, sports a 0.64 ERA in his first 14 innings in 2016 and with a 3.26 ERA in his career, ranks seventh in UK history.
With Beggs reaching a pitch limit after eight innings, UK turned to 6-foot-11 freshman righty Sean Hjelle to work a shutout ninth inning to secure the win.
Mahan’s first blast of the year highlighted UK’s offensive attack on Saturday, with the sophomore shortstop also adding a double and a walk. Sophomore first baseman Evan White had a two-RBI double, with Zach Reks adding a single. Storm Wilson drew a walk and scored and sophomore second baseman Luke Becker – who led all junior colleges in walks in 2015 – drew three walks.
San Diego State (1-6) starter Cody Thompson (0-2) suffered the loss in a quality start, allowing four runs – three earned – in six innings, walking four and striking out five.
Kentucky will return to action on Sunday, with game information to be determined. The game will be broadcast live on the UK Sports Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel voicing the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
In the fourth inning, Kentucky opened the scoring with a three-run frame. Reks reached on a one-out single and after Becker drew a full-count walk, Mahan smashed a no-doubt, three-run home run over the rightfield fence, giving UK a 3-0 lead.
Kentucky mounted a rally to chase Thompson from the mound in the seventh inning. Becker drew his third walk of the game to open the frame, stealing second base and scampering to third base on a poor throw to the first base side of the bag. After Wilson drew a walk with two outs, White smashed a two-out, two-RBI double into left-centerfield, scoring the pair, with Wilson sliding in headfirst under the throw. JaVon Shelby then lofted a fly ball into centerfield, with the ball dropped to allow White to score from second base and give UK a 6-0 lead.