The Wildcats surrendered a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning that proved to be their undoing.
Kentucky (17-7) held a 3-2 advantage heading into the decisive sixth before an error and a defender slipping on a routine fly ball in the outfield allowed the Norse to plate the winning runs.
Gunnar McNeill and Evan White extended their hitting streaks to 19 and 17 games, respectively, but the Cats managed only seven hits on the day. One of them was Luke Becker's first career home run, but it wasn't enough to overcome NKU (8-16).
Tyler Miller (1-2) turned in a solid start for the Norse, allowing three earned runs on six hits through six innings. Charlie Jerger tossed three shutout innings of relief for the save.
Kentucky starter Zach Pop worked a career-high tying four innings, allowing four runs on four hits. Sophomore lefty Brad Schaenzer (0-1) started the fifth in relief, tossing three innings, allowing one earned run. Justin Lewis tossed shutout frames in the eighth and the ninth.
The Cats return to action on Wednesday, playing host to Xavier at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.