Wilcats extend win streak against SEC rival Mississippi State to five games
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Ka'ai Tom belted a first-inning home run and Kyle Barrett tied his career high with four hits, leading Kentucky to a series-clinching 9-7 win against No. 22 Mississippi State on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (15-7, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) clinched the series against the Bulldogs and have now won a school-record five consecutive games vs. Mississippi State, eclipsing the previous streak of four consecutive from 1987-88.
UK opened the series with a 10-2 win against MSU on Friday night, getting a strong start from Zack Brown and a homer from Barrett.
The Wildcats now have a school-record 51 wins against top-20 foes and a record 57 wins against ranked foes in the UK coach Gary Henderson era. Henderson has led UK to 13 series wins against top-20 opponents in his career, directing the Wildcats to the most successful seven-year period in program history vs. ranked foes.
UK starter Dustin Beggs (3-2) worked six innings, allowing four hits and three runs, walking two and striking out two. Beggs allowed a single run in the third inning after a leadoff double before surrendering a solo homer in the fifth inning and getting chased from the game after a leadoff walk in the seventh.
Righthander Bo Wilson came on to get an out in the seventh, allowing a double before lefty Zach Logue replaced him with one out and a runner at third base. Logue got a force out at the plate for the second out of the frame before a line out ended the seventh inning with UK still leading.
After the Wildcats stretched their lead to 8-3 with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, Logue got the first two outs of the ninth and was an out away from the eight-out save, but the Bulldogs rallied to plate four runs, including a pair of homers. Senior Spencer Jack came on in relief to retire the final out and pick up his third save.
The Wildcats got a career-high four hits from Barrett, who went 4-for-5 with an RBI. Tom belted his first homer of the year, a two-run job in the first inning to give UK an early lead. UK also got a two-hit game from freshman Riley Mahan, and hits from Evan White, Thomas Bernal, Dorian Hairston, Greg Fettes and Connor Heady. Storm Wilson drew a walk and laid down a sacrifice bunt and JaVon Shelby drew two walks.