COLUMBIA, Mo. – Justin Lewis provided a gutsy performance on the mound despite being under the weather and Logan Salow slammed the door closed as No. 10 Kentucky defeated Missouri 6-1 at Taylor Stadium to win its fourth Southeastern Conference series in five weeks.
The Cats (25-12, 9-5 SEC) reach the midway point of league play with a two-game edge in its division and sit just one game back of the overall conference lead. Sunday’s win over the Tigers upped UK’s road record in league games to 6-3 with trips to South Carolina and Florida remaining on the schedule.
Lewis, a 6-foot-7 right-hander from Suwanee, Ga., showed grit and resolve to squeeze five innings out of himself despite being ill enough he spent the time leading up to the game in the training room. The sophomore gave up just three hits and one run – Brett Bond’s fourth home run of the weekend – without walking anyone before departing after the fifth.
Junior righty Zach Pop induced a critical double play to end a threat in the sixth inning and Salow struck out four and allowed just one hit over the final three innings. Salow now has eight saves, which ties him for third on UK’s single-season list, and 12 for his career.
The UK offense manufactured a pair of runs in the fourth and four in the sixth, using walks, hit by pitches, sacrifice bunts and flies to take control a day after baseballs were flying out of the yard with the wind blowing out. Sophomore outfielder Tristan Pompey went 2-for-4 to cap his weekend at 8-for-12 and having reached base in 11 of 15 plate appearances.
Top 4th – Evan White doubled to start the inning. Zach Reks walked and Luke Becker was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Riley Mahan hit a sacrifice fly to LF, scoring White. Reks stole third and scored on errant throw to second by the catcher. UK 2, Mizzou 0.
Bottom 4th – Brett Bond homered just inside the LF pole. UK 2, Mizzou 1.
Top 6th – Tristan Pompey started the inning with a walk and White followed with an infield single. Reks’ SAC bunt moved both runners up. Becker beat out an infield hit to score Pompey. T.J. Collett was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Troy Squires was hit by a pitch, scoring White. Marcus Carson lined a single to CF, scoring Becker and Zeke Lewis, who pinch ran for Collett. UK 6, Mizzou 1.