Cats let early lead slip away in loss

USC Upstate rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a tie game and hand Kentucky an 8-6 loss on Monday in Spartanburg, S.C.

USC Upstate rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a tie game and hand Kentucky an 8-6 loss on Monday in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Wildcats led 4-0 after two innings, but much like Sunday's loss to VMI, could not make it hold up. UK starter Dylan Dwyer recorded six strikeouts in the first two innings, but was chased from his first career start after giving up four runs on five hits through three innings.

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Sam Mahar and Robert Zeigler (0-1) were tagged for four runs out of a revamped bullpen, which UK coach Gary Henderson has said will be a major area of focus for the Cats early in the season .

Kentucky (2-2) collected 12 hits, but struggled to come up with them at key opportunities. The Cats stranded 11 runners on the day.

Kyle Barrett, Austin Cousino, Max Kuhn, Ka'ai Tom and Micheal Thomas each had two hits for UK. Cousino, a junior centerfielder, also doubled and drove in two runs.

Second baseman/pitcher Eric Samples led USC Upstate (2-2) with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, drove in three runs and earned a save by pitching a perfect ninth inning for the Spartans. Zach Mitchell (1-0) earned the win for USC Upstate with two innings of one-run relief work.

UK will return to action in Norfolk, Va., on Friday when it faces St. John's at 11 a.m. ET on the campus on Old Dominion.


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