AUBURN, Ala. – Senior right-hander Kyle Cody pitched seven and one-third innings, giving up just two earned runs on seven hits, and JaVon Shelby belted a pair of home runs as the Kentucky baseball team topped Auburn 9-6 on Sunday at Plainsman Park.
Cody (5-2) struck out six and walked three in the game, helping Kentucky salvage the third game of the series after the Cats lost to the Tigers both Friday and Saturday.
Shelby hit two homers in the same game for the third time this season. He pulled the trick against Dayton on February 21 and against Georgia on March 20. With his two home runs on Sunday, Shelby now has nine on the season, which is tied for third in the SEC this season.
It was Shelby’s first home run that got the scoring started in the game. In the top of the second inning, the junior third baseman hit one deep down the left field line, and the ball was initially ruled to be foul. But the umpires reviewed the play and discovered that the ball was fair, and Kentucky took a 1-0 lead.
Auburn tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Cats came back with three runs in the top of the fifth to take control of the game. Luke Becker led off the frame with a walk, followed by a single from freshman Tristan Pompey. After a pitching change, Connor Heady reached on a bunt single to load the bases. After UK catcher Troy Squires popped out, Evan White singled through the left side, scoring Becker and Pompey to make it 3-1. Zach Reks then singled down the left field line to score Heady, making it 4-1 Cats.
Kentucky (27-16, 11-10 SEC) put the game out of reach in the seventh inning. White knocked in another run with an RBI single before Reks brought home a run with a sacrifice fly. Then, it was Shelby going deep again, this time with a three-run shot, to make it 9-1 Kentucky.
Heady, Reks, Shelby and White each had two hits in the game for the Wildcats.
Auburn (20-24, 7-14) chased Cody in the bottom of the eighth inning with a pair of singles. Justin Lewis came on in relief for the Cats, allowing two inherited runners to score to cut Kentucky’s lead to 9-3.
The Tigers didn’t go quietly in the bottom of the ninth. Trailing by six run entering the frame, Auburn rallied for three runs in the inning, eventually getting the tying run to the plate before Kentucky got out of the jam.
Kentucky returns to action on Tuesday night, hosting intrastate rival Eastern Kentucky at Cliff Hagan Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.