AUBURN, Ala. – Junior third baseman JaVon Shelby had three hits, including a pair of doubles and two RBIs, and junior leftfielder Zach Reks had a two-run homer among his three hits, but the Kentucky baseball team lost at Auburn 10-6 on Saturday night.
Things started out well for the Wildcats, as they plated three runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore first baseman Evan White continued his hot hitting, leading off the game with a single. White advanced to second when designated hitter Gunnar McNeill reached on an error with one out. Shelby then doubled to deep left field, scoring White. Dorian Hairston scored McNeill on a groundout before sophomore shortstop Riley Mahan singled to left to score Shelby and make it 3-0.
After Auburn did not score in the bottom of the first, Kentucky stretched its lead in the top of the second on a two-run homer by Reks, making it 5-0 Wildcats.
Auburn (20-23, 7-13 SEC) answered with three runs in the bottom of the second off of Kentucky starter Dustin Beggs. Auburn centerfielder Anfernee Grier delivered the big hit, a three-run triple off the wall in deep center field, cutting Kentucky’s lead to 5-3.
The Tigers added two runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 5-5. Then, the scoring slowed for a while, with neither team scoring until Auburn plated a run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 6-5 advantage.
But Kentucky (26-17, 10-10) answered right back, with the combination of White and Shelby tying the game in the seventh. After singles by White and Reks, McNeill struck out, but Shelby came through once again, knocking in White with a double and knotting the score at 6-6. But with runners on second and third and just one out, Kentucky could not score to take the lead, as Hairston bounced out to first and Mahan struck out swinging.
Auburn put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, aided by three walks from Kentucky pitching.
White had two hits, marking the third straight game that the sophomore has had at least two hits in a game.
The two teams meet in the series finale on Sunday at 2 p.m. Kyle Cody will start on the mound for the Wildcats against a starter to be determined for Auburn. The game can be seen on SEC Network+ and heard on the UK Sports Radio Network.