Nick Mingione is still seeking his elusive first win as Kentucky Baseball's new head coach.
The Wildcats opened a road swing through Virginia on Wednesday with a 5-4 loss at Liberty. UK outhit its opponent for the third time in the last four games, but could not avoid its third straight one-run loss.
Kentucky (0-4) got home runs from infielders Connor Heady and Riley Mahan to lead the offense, which played its third straight game without All-American first baseman Evan White due to a lingering hip injury.
Freshman left-hander Zack Thompson (0-1) had mixed results in his first collegiate start, but showed glimpses of his live arm with eight strikeouts. He allowed four earned runs on four hits and a walk over 4.2 innings on the mound. Brad Schaenzer had a good showing out of the UK bullpen with 2.1 innings of hitless relief, punching out four batters.
Liberty (3-1) got two hits from Sammy Taormina and a pair of RBI from both Will Shepherd and Eric Grabowski.
Vinny Tarantola (1-0) earned the win for the Flames pitching in relief of starter Evan Mitchell, who lasted only 2.2 innings.
UK heads to the coast for a weekend tournament at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. First pitch for Friday’s game against Saint Joseph’s is scheduled for noon ET. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via UKathletics.com and iHeart Radio or 98.5 FM in the Lexington area.