The senior left-hander sets a new career-high, dominates Georgia State in 6-1 win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – March 13, 2021
Mason Hazelwood has been good on the mound before. He’s never been as dominant as he was on Saturday, striking out a career-high 12 as he powered Kentucky to a 6-1 victory over Georgia State at Kentucky Proud Park.
Hazelwood, a senior left-hander from Salvisa, Kentucky, was nearly untouchable in his six scoreless innings of work, allowing just three hits and a walk while throwing 57 of his 76 pitches for strikes. He punched out five through the first two innings and only gained steam as the game went on, eventually finishing with a dozen strikeouts, the most for a UK pitcher since Zack Thompson had 13 vs. Georgia on Mar. 29, 2019.
Georgia State, which game into the weekend having played all 14 of its games against ranked opponents, had not been dominated by a pitcher the way Hazelwood tore through its lineup. The previous high for strikeouts by an opposing starter – which includes the likes of top Major League Baseball prospects Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker of Vanderbilt – was eight, a total Hazelwood passed in the fourth inning.
When the dust settled the Cats had struck out 19 Panthers on the day, the most in a single, nine-inning game since at least 2005. The previous high was 18 against Western Michigan on Mar. 1, 2009.
Meanwhile, the Cats (10-2) continued to deliver on offense, with T.J. Collett homering for the second consecutive day and Trae Harmon continuing to batter and bruise baseballs. Harmon, who was inserted as the starting designated hitter this week, scored the game’s opening run after doubling to the left-centerfielder gap in the fourth and later hit an opposite field home run.
Bottom 4th – Trae Harmon doubled to the LCF gap and scored on Chase Estep’s single to RCF. UK 1, Georgia State 0.
Bottom 5th – Austin Schultz doubled off the LF wall and moved to third on Oraj Anu’s single. Schultz scored on a John Rhodes groundout. T.J. Collett homered to RCF, scoring Anu. UK 4, Georgia State 0.
Bottom 7th – Harmon homered to RCF. Zeke Lewis walked, stole second and scored on Alonzo Rubalcaba’s double to LCF. UK 6, Georgia State 0.
Top 9th – Glass hit a pinch hit single and scored on Cheney’s triple off the LF wall. UK 6, Georgia State 1.
- UK is 84-28 vs. non-conference opponents under head coach Nick Mingione.
- The Cats are 73-10 vs. non-Power Five conference opponents.
- The Cats are 65-11 in non-conference home games.
- The UK pitching staff has 26 consecutive games with seven or more strikeouts, including 21 with 10 or more.
- The Cats struck out 19 hitters on Saturday, the most in a nine-inning game since at least 2005.
- The UK pitching staff has struck out 138 batters and walked just 24 this season.
- The staff entered the weekend third the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
- Junior 1B/DH Trae Harmon went 2-for-3 with two runs, a walk, an RBI, a double and a home run.
- In 14 at bats this season, Harmon has three doubles and a home run among his seven total hits.
- Junior IF/OF Austin Schultz went 1-for-5 with a run scored.
- Schultz has reached base safely in 67 of 72 career games.
- He currently has an eight-game hit streak.
- Senior 1B T.J. Collett went 1-for-4 with a runs, two RBI and a home run.
- It was Collett’s 29th career homer and third this season.
- Collett has a team-best 12-game reached base safely streak.
- Senior LHP Mason Hazelwood pitched 6.0 innings to get the win. He allowed three hits, no runs, walked one and struck out 12.
- The 12 strikeouts were a career-high, besting the 11 he had vs. Northern Kentucky on Feb. 27, 2019.
- The 12 strikeouts are the most for any starter vs. Georgia State this season. The previous high was eight. The Panthers have played 14 games against ranked teams, including facing top MLB prospects Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker.
- The 12 strikeouts are the most for a UK pitcher since Zack Thompson had 13 vs. Georgia on Mar. 29, 2019.
The Cats return to Kentucky Proud Park on Sunday looking to sweep the series vs. Georgia State. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET. The game will be aired on SECN+. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.