LEXINGTON, Ky. – Zach Reks hit his third home run of the season and Riley Mahan collected three hits, including a three-run homer, as the 28th-ranked Kentucky baseball team lost to No. 2 South Carolina 10-5 on Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Mahan, a sophomore shortstop from Cincinnati, matched his career high with three knocks in the contest. It was the third time this season that Mahan has matched the three-hit mark that he first set last season against Murray State.
Sophomore first baseman Evan White also had a pair of hits for the Wildcats, extending his hitting streak to eight games and marking the fifth time in the last six games that he has had at least two hits in a game.
Kentucky (27-19, 11-11 SEC) got on the board in the bottom of the first inning off of South Carolina starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt. White led off with a single through the right side. After Zach Reks bunted White to second base, Gunnar McNeill chopped one over third base and into left field for a single. After JaVon Shelby struck out, Mahan blasted a three-run homer to right field, making it 3-0 Kentucky.
South Carolina (36-9, 16-5) threatened in the top of the second inning, loading the bases off of Kentucky starter Zack Brown. But Brown got South Carolina’s best hitter, Gene Cone, to ground out to first and end the threat.
The Gamecocks scored a single run in the third inning before getting four runs in the fourth inning and four more in the sixth.
Kentucky got a run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Reks hit his third home run of the season, cutting South Carolina’s lead to 5-4. The Wildcats added a single run in the sixth inning when Tristan Pompey knocked in Shelby with a sacrifice fly to left field, cutting the lead to 9-5. Schmidt allowed all five of the Kentucky runs but went 6 2/3 innings to earn the win, improving his record to 9-1.
The two teams meet again on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET at the Cliff. Kentucky will start senior righty Dustin Beggs, while South Carolina will counter with freshman right-hander Braden Webb.