No. 6 Kentucky Falls to No. 5 Florida to Even Series
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Florida got on the board early and used a superior pitching effort from starter Brady Singer to coast to a 14-3 win over Kentucky on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. The loss means the Wildcats must win Saturday’s series finale to earn a share of the SEC East division title.
The Cats (38-17, 19-10) couldn’t get to Singer in a game delayed an hour due to lurking storms in the area. When the contest did get started, Florida (39-15, 20-9) took a 2-0 lead on an opposite field home run by Mark Kolozsvary in the second inning before an avalanche of walks and well-placed hits allowed the Gators to take control.
Despite the defeat, UK clinched a bye in next week’s SEC Tournament thanks to Arkansas’ loss at Texas A&M. The Cats avoid the single-elimination round and will being play on Wednesday in Hoover as part of the double-elimination portion of the tournament. The Cats could be the No. 1, 2 or 3 seed.
The Cats partially control their own destiny to claim at least a share of the second overall championship in school history. A win over the Gators would tie them in the standings for the SEC East, but the Cats would need Mississippi State to beat LSU to be co-champions for the overall league title and earn the top seed in the SEC Tournament.
Bottom 2nd – Jonathan India doubled to LF. Mark Kolozsvary homered to RF. Florida 2, UK 0.
Bottom 3rd – Dalton Guthrie singled to LCF. Nelson Maldonado reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error, which scored Guthrie. Austin Langworthy blooped a single into RCF to score Maldonado. India and Christian Hicks singled. Kolozsvary dropped a single into RCF to score Langworthy. Deacon Liput hit a SAC fly. Florida 6, UK 0.
Bottom 4th – Ryan Larson walked and advanced to second on Guthrie’s SAC bunt. JJ Schwarz singled up the middle to score Larson. Florida 7, UK 0.
Bottom 5th – Langworthy, India, Hicks and Kolozsvary all walk, scoring Langworthy. Liput hit a SAC fly, scoring India. Larson grounds out, scoring Hicks. Guthrie’s seeing-eye single through the infield scored Hicks. Florida 11, UK 0.
Top 7th – Kole Cottam homered to RF, scoring Marshall Gei. Marcus Carson singled to RF and scored on Tristan Pompey’s single to LCF. Florida 11, Kentucky 3.
Bottom 8th – Nick Horvath and Langworthy singled. Kolozsvary singled to LF to score Horvath. Liput doubles off a diving Marcus Carson’s glove, scoring Langworthy and Kolozsvary. Florida 14, Kentucky 3.
• The Cats are 17-11 vs. ranked foes this year.
• UK is 4-3 vs. Top 10 opponents.
• Kentucky has gone 74 games without being shutout, tying for the seventh-longest such streak in school history (1995-96 seasons).
• Junior 1B Evan White went 0-for-5, ending his streak of reaching base safely at 21 games.
• Sophomore OF Tristan Pompey went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and walk.
o Pompey now has hit safely in 40 of his past 44 games.
o He has reached base safely in 26 straight games.
o Pompey now has 23 multi-hit games on the season and 30 for his career.
• Junior IF Riley Mahan went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
• Sophomore C/DH Kole Cottam went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run.
o It was Cottam’s fifth home run of the season.
o Cottam now has 16 multi-hit games this season and 22 in his career.
o Cottam is 5-for-9 with three runs and four RBI in the series.
Kentucky and Florida close the regular season at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via UKathletics.com and iHeart Radio, as well as on 630 AM WLAP, and watch on SECN+.