LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior third baseman JaVon Shelby hit his 10th home run of the season, tying him for the SEC lead, but the 28th-ranked Kentucky baseball team lost to Eastern Kentucky 5-4 on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Wildcats got on the board first, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. After Shelby reached on a single, Dorian Hairston was hit by a pitch, the first of three times he would be hit by a pitch in the game. Tristan Pompey came through with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with just one out.
That’s when Riley Mahan singled, driving in Shelby to make it 1-0 Cats. Hairston also tried to score on the play, but was cut down at the plate by EKU right fielder Taylor Blair. Kole Cottam then came through with a two-out, RBI single to center, plating Mahan and giving Kentucky a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Shelby continued his hot hitting from the weekend, this time with the two-run homer to left field, plating Luke Becker and boosting the Wildcats’ lead to 4-0. The homer was Shelby’s third in the last two games and fourth in the last six games.
From there, EKU right-hander Chris Cervantes shut down the UK bats, allowing no runs and only four baserunners in the game’s final six innings. None of those four runners advanced past second base.
While Cervantes was doing his work on the mound, the Eastern Kentucky offense answered with three runs in the top of the fifth inning, as the Colonels chased Kentucky starter Zach Logue from the game while cutting the Cats’ lead to 4-3. The Colonels took the lead in the top of the sixth inning with a pair of runs to make it 5-4.
Kentucky returns to action on Friday night, hosting SEC rival South Carolina at Cliff Hagan Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.