LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Vanderbilt baseball team fell, 3-2, to Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Proud Park. With the loss, the Commodores move to 27-11 on the season, including an 8-9 mark in SEC play.
The two teams traded runs across the middle frames of the ballgame. Vanderbilt and Kentucky scored two runs each in the fourth inning before the Wildcats scored one in the fifth, which turned out to be the winning run. Vandy out-hit Kentucky, 7-4, but was unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position. The Commodores went 1-for-11 with runners on base, while going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Carter Holton (4-3) earned the start for Vanderbilt and suffered his third loss on the year. The freshman southpaw tossed 5.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three.
Sophomore right-hander Patrick Reilly covered the final 3.0 frames, holding the Wildcats hitless to keep the game within striking distance.
Vanderbilt struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Parker Noland kept the inning alive with a two-out single up the middle before advancing into scoring position on a wild pitch. One batter later, Matthew Polk connected on his first career home run with a two-run shot to left to put the Commodores in front, 2-0.
Kentucky responded in the home half with a two-run inning of its own. The Wildcats used a two-run homer to left center to even the game at two apiece after four full.
Kentucky returned to the dish to add one more in the fifth and move ahead. The inning began with a leadoff single before a sacrifice bunt advanced the runner into scoring position. One batter later, an RBI single through the right side gave Kentucky a 3-2 lead.
The two teams went scoreless across the final four frames. Vanderbilt placed the tying run in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to cross the tying run, resulting in the 3-2 final.
Vanderbilt and Kentucky will return to the diamond tomorrow for the series finale. First pitch is set for noon CT, with action airing live on SEC Network+.