baseball Edit

LSU opens series with doubleheader sweep of Cats

Kentucky squanders dominant start by Zack Thompson, suffers 2-1 loss in opener; Tigers roll 16-4 in second game at Baton Rouge. 

Kentucky junior left-hander Zack Thompson was brilliant in Game 1 but wound up getting a no-decision. (Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated)

In a series delayed a day by rain in Baton Rouge, La., Kentucky did not begin SEC play on the proverbial right foot.

The Wildcats squandered a dominant starting pitching performance by Zack Thompson in losing the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader, 2-1, and were not competitive in a 16-4 blowout in the nightcap.

Thompson, a junior left-hander and preseason All-American, allowed no runs on four hits over six innings and struck out nine, but LSU rallied to tie the game in the eighth inning and pushed the winning run across in the 12th against the UK bullpen. Both runs scored via bases-loaded walks.

Trip Lockhart (0-1) took the loss, allowing two hits and a walk in the 12th, although the winning run was walked in by Ryan Johnson.

Kentucky's lineup struggled against LSU's Zack Hess and Devin Fontenot (3-0), going just 3-for-18 with runners on base in the opener. A T.J. Collett RBI single in the first inning accounted for the Cats' lone run.

In the second game, No. 11 LSU (14-5, 2-0 SEC) plated nine runs in the first three innings against UK starter Grant Macciocchi and never looked back. The Cats were hurt by eight walks and three errors behind their pitchers.

Austin Schultz and Elliott Curtis each had three hits for UK in a better offensive showing than the first game. Collett also had two hits and two RBI.

The Tigers were led by centerfielder Zach Watson, who went 4-for-4 and drove in five runs. He homered, walked to reach base a fifth time, and scored four runs.

LSU's Cole Henry (1-0) started and allowed three runs on six hits over five innings. He struck out six and walked four. Trent Vietmeier earned his first save of the season for the Tigers by working the final four innings, allowing just one earned run.

Kentucky (13-6, 0-2 SEC) will attempt to avoid the sweep in Sunday's finale at Alex Box Stadium. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. ET.