The No. 20 Gators (19-11) eight-game road trip couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. They lost the first game of the trip 17-1 to No. 19 Kentucky Friday night in Lexington. It was a very uncharacteristic night for the Gators’ pitching staff who allowed 20 hits and 15 earned runs. Florida’s offense couldn’t get on the scoreboard until the ninth inning, another stat out of the ordinary for the 20th ranked Gators.
The star of the game was Kentucky starting pitcher/DH A.J. Reed (6-1). The junior southpaw gave up only five hits in seven innings of work with three strikeouts. At the plate he was 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Florida could not find an answer for Reed, nor the rest of the Wildcats’ batting order.
Kentucky scored multiple runs in four straight innings to start and finish their scoring on the night. They scored four times in the second, third, and fourth, and five times in the fifth. The Wildcats had four homeruns during the contest and every Kentucky starter had at least one hit.
Florida starter Eric Hanhold (3-3) took the loss.
Freshman Buddy Reed had the lone Florida RBI in the ninth inning when he drove in pinch hitter Zach Powers who had reached by being hit by a pitch. DH Peter Alonso was 3-4 on the night.
Florida will look to bounce back in game two of the series on Saturday at 1 pm. Freshman Logan Shore (2-1) is scheduled to take the mound for the Gators and square off against Kentucky junior Chandler Shepard (5-1).