Pompey and Squires Extend Kentucky’s Home Run Streak
No. 6 Kentucky has homered in all 14 games but late rally falls short against NKU
By Matt May
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tristan Pompey and Troy Squires connected for home runs in the late innings but it wasn’t enough for No. 6 Kentucky to climb all the way back from an early deficit as it fell 8-6 to Northern Kentucky at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Wildcats now have hit a home run in all 14 games this season and have 28 overall.
Pompey, whose 44-game reached base safely streak ended on Tuesday after he entered the game as a pinch hitter, began a new streak with his three-run homer over the right field wall. The line shot came off the bat at 114 miles per hour and showed the junior All-American is nearly all the way back from an ankle injury that recently cost him five games.
Squires drilled the second home run of his career to lead off the ninth and has now reached base in all 14 games this season. He was joined in that streak by senior infielder Luke Becker, whose ninth inning single also pushed his streak to 14 straight games.
The Cats’ pitchers paid for leaving pitches up in the zone during the early innings as Chard Roberts homered in the second inning and Jake Richmond hit a two-out grand slam in the fourth after a walk to No. 9 hitter Cole Heavilin extended the inning. The Norse added three more runs in the fifth on the strength of three doubles to open up an 8-2 lead.
The UK bullpen did an admirable job keeping the game within reach over the final four innings and the Cats rallied to put the tying run at the plate in the ninth but fell just short of their ninth straight victory.
Top 2nd – Chad Roberts homered to RF. NKU 1, UK 0.
Bottom 2nd – Kole Cottam singled the CF and moved to third on Luke Heyer’s ground rule double to RCF. Ryan Johnson SAC fly to CF, scoring Cottam. Heyer moved to third on the SAC fly and scored when the throw to third got away. UK 2, NKU 1.
Top 4th – Dominic Mercurio and Chad Roberts singled to LF. TJ Marik hits into fielder’s choice with Mecurio advancing to third. Cole Heavilin walked to load the bases. Jake Richmond hit a grand slam to LCF. NKU 5, UK 2.
Top 5th – Will Haueter doubled to LF and scored on Mike Moffatt’s double into the RF corner. Mercurio hit by pitch. Roberts doubled to CF, scoring Moffatt. Preston Pilat walked to load the bases. Heavilin hit a SAC fly to CF, scoring Mercurio. NKU 8, UK 2.
Bottom 8th – Cottam and T.J. Collett walked. Johnson hit in a fielder’s choice with Collett out at second. Tristan Pompey homered to RF, scoring Cottam and Johnson. NKU 8, UK 5.
Bottom 9th – Troy Squires homered to RF. NKU 8, UK 6.
· The offense has …
o Hit a home run in all 14 games this season.
o Scored 99 runs in the past nine games.
o Recorded 73 extra base hits this season.
o Scored 53 runs on 61 hits in the past five games.
· Senior 3B/OF Luke Heyer went 1-for-3 with a run and a double.
o Heyer has a career-long eight game hitting streak.
o Heyer is leading the team with a .478 batting average.
o The double was his fifth. He has 13 extra-base hits this season.
· Sophomore C/1B T.J. Collett went 1-for-4 with a walk.
o Riding a career-long 13-game hitting streak.
· Senior C/1B Troy Squires went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and two walks.
o Squires has reached base safely in all 14 games this season.
o The home run was the second of his career.
· Senior INF Luke Becker singled in the ninth inning to extend his reached base safely streak to all 14 games this season.
· Junior OF Tristan Pompey went 1-for-2 with a three-run home run.
o Pompey has now reached base in 45 of the past 46 games.
o It was his second home run of the season and first from the left side.
o Pompey now has 19 career home runs.
For the Golden Norse:
Mike Moffatt (Waterdown, Ont.) doubled in a run, while INF Nolan Rattai (Medicine Hat, Alta.) was hitless.