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Kentucky Baseball

Schultz, Collett Power Kentucky Past Appalachian State, 7-3

February 21, 2020
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On a sunny, cloudless day, with temperatures barely above freezing, the Wildcats' offense was hot enough to overpower the visiting Mountaineers, 7-3.

Three RBI from 2B Austin Schultz, along with homers by DH Trae Harmon and 1B TJ Collett, gave UK their second win of the season to open the three-game series vs. Appalachian State. LHP Tyler Tuthill was saddled with the loss.

RHP Jimmy Ramsey (1-1) went 5 1/3 innings, striking out four (three on swings) and was charged with two runs on two hits, while working around five walks in the process. He dealt only 49 of 86 pitches for strikes, and the Mountaineers left seven runners on base.

RHP Cole Stupp came on in relief of Ramsey, working 2 2/3 innings and giving up one run on three hits while striking out three (all looking), and locating 30 of 45 pitches for strikes. RHP Hunter Rigsby closed out the game, dealing nine of eleven pitches for strikes and retiring all three batters he faced on swinging strikeouts.

Harmon got the 'Cats on the board in the bottom of the fourth with a bomb to left on the first pitch he saw. Collett followed with a high, arcing shot to right-center, just out of reach of a lunging Tyler Leek, for a double. Schultz took a high 0-2 fastball that got past C Hayden Cross, allowing Collett to advance to third. Schultz drove him home on a hard-hit, waist-high 1-2 curve just off the corner of the plate that he shot down the RF line for two bases. Kessler almost made it back-to-back-to-back with a long fly just outside the LF foul line but ended up moving Schultz to third on a 4-3 ground-out. Mountaineers LHP Tyler Tuthill ended the rally by striking out both 3B John Rhodes, who tipped an up-and-in fastball into the catcher's mitt and CF Jaren Shelby, who went down looking on a borderline 2-2 inside curve.

The Wildcats threatened again in the bottom of the fifth, with LF Cam Hill starting it off with a lead-off walk. Shortstop Drew Grace was grazed by an up-and-in fastball on a bunt attempt, then RF Elliott Curtis reached on a short single. After Harmon fouled out, Collett drove in Hill on a sacrifice fly to left, and some heads-up base-running by Grace and Curtis moved both runners into scoring position. A single by Schultz and aggressive base-running brought in two more runs when Curtis slid home under the throw from left, a throw that beat him but was too high for Cross to make the tag.

Ramsey walked the first two batters to start the sixth before he was relieved by Stupp, who allowed an infield RBI single when Welch grounded weakly to short. CF Alex Leshock struck out looking, but Welch stole second when Kessler briefly lost a handle on the ball. A two-run double from DH Peyton Idol made it a two-run game, but Stupp struck out Leek to end the threat.

At the start of the seventh, there was a very brief and humorous moment when the fire alarm was activated, and very few of the approximately 70 fans in attendance reacted. It was immediately found to be accidental.

Kentucky put another run on the board in the sixth, when Shelby walked with one out and promptly stole second. After Hill struck out looking, Oraj Anu entered to pinch-hit for Grace. Shelby was able to advance to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a throwing error by Cross to make it 6-3, UK. Collett tacked on one more run with a first-pitch solo homer to center in the seventh.

UK takes on Appalachian State in game two of the three-game series tomorrow at 1 PM. The final game of the series will be played at 1 PM on Sunday. LHP Mason Hazelwood is scheduled to start tomorrow's game, with LHP Dillon Marsh expected to be the starter on Sunday.

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Schultz, Collett Power Kentucky Past Appalachian State, 7-3

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