LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Junior outfielder Seth Morris smacked his third home run in two games and extended his team-leading hit streak to eight games, but it was not enough to help lift Kentucky over Mississippi State in this weekend's home series.
The Bulldogs took two out of three games from the Wildcats, beating UK ace Joseph Blanton 4-2 in the opener and rolling to a 13-3 win in the finale. Sunday's victory gave MSU coach Ron Polk his 900th career win.
Kentucky's 8-7 victory in the second game was highlighted by two home runs and four RBI by Morris, who is leading the team with seven long balls this season. But the Cats could not generate that kind of offense consistently in the series.
"You have to give Mississippi State a lot of credit," UK coach Keith Madison
said. "Their hitters had a great approach at the plate against our pitchers... They also got a great pitching performance from Joey Collums."
Mississippi State (12-7-1, 3-3 SEC) pounded out a season-high 19 hits on Sunday, including eight doubles and two home runs. Junior right-hander Scott Wade (3-4) suffered the loss for Kentucky (11-12, 2-4 SEC), giving up nine runs (all earned) on 10 hits before exiting in the fifth inning.
Sophomore third baseman Cory Hahn was the only Wildcat to post multiple
hits on the day, going 2-for-4, including a RBI double down the right field line in the Cats' three-run ninth. A two-run homer by Morris pushed across Brent Stephens who reached on a one-out single to right.
MSU lefty Joey Collums (2-1) yielded singles to Spencer Graeter and Brad Pickrell to open the game, but worked through it and a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning to throw seven scoreless innings with one walk and six strikeouts.
Mark Galvin and Jeff Archer tossed an inning each and Hahn moved from third to the mound in the seventh to pitch three shutout innings for UK.
The Cats return to action Friday, March 29, as they play host to Ole Miss in the first night game at the newly-renovated Cliff Hagan Stadium. First pitch between the Rebels and Cats is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Mississippi State 040 414 000 - 13 19 2
Kentucky 000 000 003 - 3 7 0
Win: Collums (2-1)
Loss: Wade (3-4)
Mississippi State 120 021 001 - 7 13 2
Kentucky 000 033 11X - 8 11 3
Win: Felkel (2-0)
Loss: Papelbon (1-2)
Mississippi State 102 001 000 - 4 8 2
Kentucky 000 200 000 - 2 4 3
Win: Maholm (4-1)
Loss: Blanton (3-2)