Rogers Tosses Quality Start, Baseball Falls 6-4
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. -- Despite a quality start from sophomore southpaw Taylor Rogers, Marshall broke open a tie game with four unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth and held off a late charge in the ninth inning, handing the Kentucky baseball team a 6-4 defeat, on a beautiful Saturday evening at the Ballpark at Patriots Point.
Kentucky (0-2) fell in its second consecutive game to open the season, after dropping an 11-6 decision at No. 20 College of Charleston in the season lidlifter on Friday. The loss marks the first time UK has opened the season 0-2 since the 1999 season, when the Wildcats started 0-5.
The Wildcats got a quality start from Rogers, his sixth career quality outing. A native of Littleton, Colo., Rogers went six innings, allowing two runs without issuing a walk, striking out seven. Rogers allowed two runs on four hits in the first inning to the Thundering Herd, before settling down to hold Marshall to three hits over his final five frames.
The Wildcats will return to action on Sunday, wrapping up the opening weekend with an 11 a.m. ET matchup with Miami (Ohio). The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with Dick Gabriel calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WGVN 1580-AM or online at UKathletics.com.
UK freshman reliever Trevor Gott (0-1) took the loss in his first career outing, going two innings in relief of Rogers and allowing three hits and four unearned runs, with three strikeouts.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth and Gott working in his second inning of work after retiring the side in his first collegiate inning, Marshall struck for the four runs. Issac Ballou led off with a double down the left-field line, bringing up No. 2 hitter Ben Jurevicius. Jurevicius hit a slow roller at Neiko Johnson at second base, but an errant throw allowed him to reach first on an error. After Gott got a huge strikeout of All-American Victor Gomez, Thor Meeks scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to leftfield. UK intentionally walked the next hitter to set up the double play and Gray Stafford delivered a double down the line to score one. Victor Ramos followed and added a two-RBI double to rightfield for the final margin.
UK mounted a last ditch rally in the top of the ninth. Junior Chad Wright led off the inning with a grounder back to the pitcher, who made an errant throw allowing Wright to reach. Braden Kapteyn – who hit a three-run homer on Friday – singled to centerfield, moving Wright to third. Catcher Luke Maile followed and drove in Wright with a double to the opposite-field wall. With the game-tying run at the plate and Marshall closer Ian Kadish on the mound, UK’s Thomas McCarthy, Michael Williams and Lucas Witt made out to end the game.
The Wildcats were led offensively by Maile, who had two of UK’s four RBI. Kapteyn added a pair of hits, including a double, scoring a team-best two runs. Johnson, Wright and McCarthy each contributed a single.
Marshall starter Mike Mason went five innings, allowing four this and two runs, striking out seven. Joe Church (1-0) got the win with a shutout inning in relief.
Marshall (2-0) got on the board at its first chance, taking a 2-0 lead on four hits. After Rogers got Ballou to ground out, Jurevicious doubled into the gap, Gomez poked a single through the right side and Meeks notched an RBI, bouncing a single off the glove of Kapteyn at first base, with Lucas Witt throwing out Gomez at third base. Rhett Stafford then notched an RBI triple after the ball was misplayed in centerfield, making it 2-0 Marshall.
In the fourth, UK answered to even up the game at 2-2. Kapteyn doubled down the line with two outs, scoring after Maile reached out for a two-strike single up the middle. After moving to third on McCarthy’s single up the middle, Maile score on a passed ball with McCarthy stealing second, with Maile sliding headfirst into home plate. d