Kentucky Offense Stifled In 8-1 Loss to No. 5 Mississippi State
April 4, 2003
Starkville, Miss. -
Kentucky could muster only one run on three hits against the combination of Mississippi State ace Paul Maholm (5-1) and reliever Saunders Ramsey, as the Bulldogs downed the Wildcats, 8-1, in Starkville. The State offense put together eight runs on 15 hits, taking advantage of three Kentucky errors.
Kentucky (11-18, 0-10 SEC) worked seven walks from Maholm, but could not take advantage as the Bulldogs (24-4-1, 9-1 SEC) worked itself out of jams in both the fourth and fifth innings. Maholm went seven innings, allowing just two hits and one run, unearned. Scott Wade (1-4) took the loss for the Cats, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing seven runs, all earned, on 11 hits while striking out six.
Mississippi State got to Wade in the bottom of the third inning when Jon Mungle tripled down the right field line with one out and came in to score on a Steve Gendron single back up the middle. Matthew Brinson then deposited Wade's next pitch over the right field fence to make the score, 3-0. Kentucky answered with a run of its own in the top of the fourth. Mike Breyman started the inning by reaching on an error. Caleb Stewart singled to left and Jake Kungl advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Russ Rutherford then plated Breyman with a groundout to second, but Caleb Brock hit a hard line drive that was caught in right field to stop the UK rally.
State got two more in the fourth, courtesy of a run-scoring triple from Joseph Hunter and a sac fly from Matthew Maniscalco, to score Hunter. The Bat Cats wasted a golden opportunity in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with two outs, but Stewart's fly ball to center field ended the inning. The Bulldogs tacked on two in the sixth and one more in the seventh, as Ramsey came on to mow down the Kentucky lineup and finish the game.
The same two teams will battle again on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the weekend series. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m. EST from Dudy Noble Field. Heath Castle (1-3) will take the mound for the Cats, in search for their first win in conference play. All the action can be heard live at 96.1 FM.