Mason Hazelwood pitched six brilliant innings to pick up his first win of the season as Kentucky suffocated a dangerous Morehead State offense in a 7-0 victory at Kentucky Proud Park on Tuesday night. It was the third shutout of the season for the Wildcats after tossing just one in 2018.
The win moved the Wildcats to 42-5 in non-conference home games during head coach Nick Mingione’s tenure and 12-1 this season.
Hazelwood turned in his second sensational start of the season, allowing just a single hit and striking out seven in six innings. The only runner to advance past first base was the opening hitter of the game who reached on a hit by pitch and then moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt. The sophomore left-hander stranded him at third to end the threat and cruised thereafter. Freshman right-handers Cole Ayers and Hunter Rigsby completed the white-washing with three scoreless innings of relief.
Offensively, the Cats (15-10) took advantage of several Morehead State defensive lapses, forcing the issue by putting the ball in play and playing aggressively on the base paths. For the second consecutive game UK forced the opposing starter out of the game by the seventh batter, scoring two runs after three walks, a sacrifice fly and RBI groundout.
Junior outfielder Jaren Shelby recorded his team-high tenth multi-hit game of the season while junior designated hitter T.J. Collett and freshman infielder Austin Schultz each extended their reached base safely streaks to 15 games.
Kentucky returns to the diamond on Thursday evening when it hosts No. 4 Georgia as the Southeastern Conference’s primetime game of the week on the SEC Network. Audio coverage can be found via UKathletics.com.
Bottom 1st – Austin Schultz walked, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. T.J. Collett walked. Dalton Reed hit a SAC fly to RF, scoring Schultz. Reed reached first on dropped fly ball and Collett advanced to second. Jaren Shelby walked to load the bases. Elliott Curtis grounded out to first, scoring Collett. UK 2, Morehead State 0.
Bottom 5th – Schultz walked and Ryan Shinn doubled to RF, moving Schultz to third. Collett reached on an error by the SS, Schultz scored and Shinn advanced to third. Shelby reached on a throwing error by the SS, scoring Shinn and Collett. UK 5, Morehead State 0.
Bottom 6th – Coltyn Kessler doubled to LF. Cam Hill laid down a SAC bunt to advance Kessler to third. Kessler scored on a throwing error by the pitcher on the SAC bunt. UK 6, Morehead State 0.
Bottom 8th – Shelby doubled inside the 3B bag, advanced to third on Alex Rodriguez’s groundout and scored on Kessler’s fielder’s choice. UK 2, Morehead State 0.
· Kentucky has scored in 89 consecutive games and 165 of the past 166 dating to the 2016 season. The lone shutout came in a seven-inning game. The current streak now is the the fifth-longest in school history.
· UK now is 12-4 at Kentucky Proud Park.
· The Cats are 42-5 in non-conference home games under head coach Nick Mingione.
· Junior 1B/DH T.J. Collett has reached base in 15 straight games.
· Freshman IF Austin Schultz extended his reached base safely streak to 15 games.
· Senior OF Ryan Shinn hit his 12th double of the season, which ranks in the top 10 nationally.
· Junior OF Jaren Shelby recorded his team-leading 10th multi-hit game of the season.
Kentucky’s run of games against ranked SEC opponents continues with No. 4 Georgia arriving for a Thursday-Saturday series. Thursday night’s opener will be nationally broadcast on the SEC Network and begin at 7 p.m. ET. Audio coverage can be found via UKathletics.com.
‑ GO CATS –
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