LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Akron (0-9) baseball team fell to No. 8 University of Kentucky (10-1) by a score of 9-2 on Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium in the three game series finale.
"As we play these top ranked teams, we continue to learn how to hit against very good pitchers, and how to pitch to very good hitters," Head Coach Rick Rembielak said following the loss. "We've learned how precise and consistent we need to pitch, and how easily runs can be scored if we don't work ahead and don't repeat good pitches. We've seen guys throwing with high velocity and command of 3 pitches. We've gotten more hits the last two games, but obviously not enough runs."
Freshman JT Brubaker made his third start of the season at pitcher for the Zips, and turned in 3.2 innings pitched with seven earned runs, four walks and two strikeouts. Brubaker's record fell to 0-3 in the loss.
"We gave away two outs in the second inning with a dropped throw at first base and a missed foul pop up to a good hitting team. Mistakes we can ill-afford. It got away from JT, and he learned he needs to go to shut down mode and not let it snowball. A freshman experience," Rembielak said after Sunday's game.
The Akron bullpen had another strong day in quieting down the Kentucky offense, as three pitchers combined for 4.1 scoreless innings. Matt LaRocca registered two innings pitched with two strikeouts, Andrew Fanning pitched 1.1 innings with two strikeouts, and Joe Cochran recorded an inning of work with one strikeout. The bullpen has tallied 8.2 straight scoreless innings dating back to the fifth inning of Friday's loss to Kentucky.
Overall, the Zips had much more success Sunday than Friday and Saturday against the Wildcats' pitching staff. The offense totaled 11 hits and two runs scored, opposed to the combined 12 hits and two runs scored in the two games prior at Hagan Stadium.
Junior Tyler Begun continued to swing the bat well. The native of Mayfield Village, Ohio had two hits and a run scored on the afternoon. Begun recorded six base hits in the weekend series vs. Kentucky.
Centerfielder Devan Ahart had his strongest game to date, registering three hits and driving in two runs against Kentucky. Ahart is now second on the team in hits (9) and first on the team in RBI (4).
Gerrad Rohan connected for two base knocks on Sunday, doubling his season total to 4 hits. Brady Stewart, James Sheltrown, Anthony Bova, and LaRocca each recorded a base hit in the 9-2 loss to Kentucky. Bova also scored a run during the game.
Akron will travel to Dayton, Ohio to take on the Dayton Flyers in a mid-week 3 p.m., matchup on Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Stadium. Live stats will be available through Dayton University's athletic website, DaytonFlyers.com.