Ryan Shinn continued his breakout season by crushing a pair of opposite-field home runs but it wasn’t enough to hold off No. 13 Texas A&M as Kentucky fell 5-3 in its Southeastern Conference home opener at Kentucky Proud Park.
Shinn, who now has 11 doubles and five home runs on the season, deposited a solo shot into the right field bullpen in the first inning and followed that up with a 398-foot, two-run bomb to right-centerfield in the third to give UK a 3-0 lead. He later added a ringing single to tie his career-high with three hits as part of a two-run, three-RBI effort.
The Cats (14-8, 0-4 SEC) looked to be in good shape with ace Zack Thompson on the mound and led 3-1 in the fifth before Braden Shewmake, the Aggies’ All-American shortstop, took advantage of a missed location on a two-strike pitch and tied the game with a two-run home run to right field. Despite the home run, Thompson gave the Wildcats a fifth consecutive quality start with six innings of work that saw him strike out nine hitters and walk just one.
The Aggies (19-5, 3-1) mounted their game-winning rally in the seventh when Shewmake followed up a hit batter and sacrifice bunt with a clean single to plate the go-ahead run. The Cats put the leadoff man in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate but Shinn lined out to deep centerfield as the Aggies held on to take the opener.
The middle game of the series is set for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon. It is Bark in the Park day and the game will air on SEC Network Plus.
Bottom 1st – Ryan Shinn homered to RF. UK 1, Texas A&M 0.
Bottom 3rd – Breydon Daniel singled to LF. Shinn homered to RCF. UK 3, Texas A&M 0.
Top 4th – With two outs, Logan Foster doubled off the RF wall and Mikey Hoehner walked. Hunter Coleman doubled to LCF, scoring Foster. UK 3, Texas A&M 1.
Top 5th – Bryce Baum doubled to LCF. Braden Shewmake homered to RF. UK 3, Texas A&M 3.
Top 7th – Baum was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on Cam Blake’s groundout. Shewmake singled to CF, scoring Baum. Jonathan Ducoff singled through the left side. Ty Coleman singled to RF, Shewmake scored and Ducoff advanced to third. Texas A&M 5, UK 3.
· Kentucky has scored in 86 consecutive games and 162 of the past 163 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 11-2 at Kentucky Proud Park.
· Senior OF Ryan Shinn went 3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI.
o Shinn is the first player to have a multi-HR game in Kentucky Proud Park and the first Wildcat to hit two in a game since Kole Cottam and Luke Heyer each did it at Xavier on March 20, 2018.
o It was his ninth multi-hit game of the season and 12th career.
o It was his fourth multi-RBI game of the season and fifth career.
o The three hits matched his career-high set earlier this season at Texas Tech.
· Junior 1B/DH T.J. Collett has reached base in 12 straight games and recorded a hit in eight straight.
· Sophomore C/INF Coltyn Kessler saw his reached base safely streak end at 16 games.
· Freshman IF Austin Schultz extended his reached base safely streak to 12 games.
· Senior C Marshall Gei logged his second career multi-hit game with a pair of hits.
· Junior LHP Zack Thompson pitched 6.0 innings, giving up seven hits, three runs, one walk and striking out nine.
o It was his fourth consecutive quality start (6.0 innings, three or fewer runs).
o Thompson now has 55 strikeouts in 34.2 innings this season.
o His strikeout-to-walk ratio for the season is 5.5-to-1.
o Thompson now has 193 strikeouts for his career and needs just 22 more to break into UK’s career top 10 list.
The middle game of the series is set for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon. It is Bark in the Park day and the game will air on SEC Network Plus. Audio coverage can be found via UKathletics.com.
‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact: