It was a cold one today at Kentucky Proud Park as the coats and hand warmers were out and ready to go for both clubs. With a big fourth and fifth inning for the Cats, Kentucky pulled away and took the game today over Appalachian State, 7-3.
“We are playing cleaner,” said Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione on the second win of the season for the Cats after the rough weekend at Fort Worth. “We still have to eliminate some of the take hits and some of the things but we are playing cleaner and when we do that we will be a lot better baseball team.”
Just like the weather they were playing in, the Cats started off cold for the first three innings but when they got their first run home, many came after. The Cats broke the nothing-nothing tie in the fourth with a home run from designated hitter, Trae Harmon. The floodgates opened up for the Bat Cats as both first basemen T.J. Collett and second basemen Austin Schultz grabbed doubles after the homerun from Harmon to make it a 2-run fourth inning. By scoring seven runs, this ties a UK Baseball record with a 124 game streak with at least scoring one run.
“In the scouting report, we knew he got most of his outs through pop-outs and the first time through we have about 4 or 5 pop up outs,” said senior 1st basemen T.J. Collett on what they saw to open up the game. “So coach Will (Coggin) got us up and said ‘we can’t do that anymore’ and we just tried to get on top of his fastball and we were fine.”
Collett went on to eventually grab his first homerun of the year in the bottom of the 7th which stretched the lead to 4.
“It felt good to get the first one out of the way,” said Collett on the relief he felt to get the first homerun of the year. “It felt good.”
On the game Collett went 2-4 at the plate with a double and a homerun.
Even with the bats going, the Cats saw a lot of situational defense today as the Mountaineers threatened to take over the game twice by loading up the bases. Right-handed starting pitcher, Jimmy Ramsey put them on base but he never let them pass home. After the second time loading the bases up, Ramsey came through and got the third out with a strike out. A big sigh of relief floated over Kentucky Proud Park as the Cats let out a collective cheer as they walked back to the dugout.
“He threw great early,” said Coach Mingione on Ramsey’s performance. “I didn’t like his last one obviously with the walks but thought conditions to pitch in and you start thinking about how many times you got to get your body up and down. But the biggest thing I liked is that he had bases loaded, twice and got out of it both times.”
Coach Mingione kept going on how he was impressed in his performance but the walks was something he was looking for him to improve on.
Today was Ramsey’s first win of the season as he went for 5.1 innings with 2 hits, gave up 2 runs and 4 strike outs.
With the win tonight over the Appalachian State Mountaineers, the Cats got their second win of the season and the week and advance to 2-3 in the year. After the devastating weekend series at Fort Worth last weekend, the momentum is finally coming alive for the Cats.
This is the first meeting between the two clubs this season and will not be their last. The Cats and Mountaineers meet up tomorrow at 1 P.M.