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Nick, Knack, the Cats Complete to Comeback! Nick Lopez Blasts Two Homers as No. 8 Kentucky Erases Seven-Run Deficit

photo: Auburn Athletics

The Wildcats defeat Auburn 13-8 to win 10th straight SEC game, move to 30-5 overall

AUBURN, Ala. – April 13, 2024

Down seven runs and looking like a team that had been on the road for a week and could have been content with a series win, No. 8 Kentucky roared back with 13 unanswered runs in the final five innings on the way to a 13-8 victory at Auburn and claimed its third consecutive Southeastern Conference sweep.

UK (30-5, 14-1) now has won a school-record 10 straight conference games and the 2024 Wildcats are the second-fastest to 30 wins in a season in school history behind only the 2012 team that started 30-3 and ascended to No. 1 in the nation.

James McCoy bashed a three-run home run to breathe life into the Cats and Devin Burkes cleared the bases with a three-run double off the top of the wall to complete the comeback and tie the game in the sixth. On the next pitch, Nick Lopez greeted an Auburn reliever with a two-run, game-winning shot to left-centerfield. He later added a three-run blast over the UK bullpen in right to put the game out of reach.

Starter Mason Moore had a rare off day as Auburn jumped out to a 7-0 lead through three but a parade of UK relievers would allow only a ninth inning solo home run the rest of the way. Robert Hogan earned the victory with three innings of one-hit baseball and Johnny Hummel earned his fourth save by extinguishing a potential rally in the eighth and striking out the side to close the game out.


  • Kentucky now is 30-5 in 2024, 14-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
    • Kentucky has won 18 of its past 20 games.
    • Kentucky has won seven straight games at Auburn.
    • Kentucky is 19-4 in day games.
    • Kentucky is 12-2 in “true” road games, 14-3 away from Lexington.
    • Kentucky is 6-1 in April.
    • Kentucky is 9-0 this season vs. the SEC West.
  • The Cats’ current 10-game win streak in SEC play is the longest in school history.
  • Kentucky hit 11 home runs in the series, including four Sunday.
  • Kentucky scored three runs or more in an inning for the 42nd, 43rd and 44th times this season.
  • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 246-155 career record.
    • Mingione needs 12 victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
    • UK is 55-55 in the month of April under Coach Mingione.
    • Mingione now is 11-3 vs. Auburn.
  • Junior Robert Hogan earned the win relief with three innings of one-hit, scoreless work.
  • Senior Ryan Nicholson went 2-for-5 with two runs, three RBI and two home runs.
    • He hit his fourth homer of the series, a solo blast off the videoboard.
    • He also notched his 200th career hit earlier in the game.
    • The last UK player to homer in four straight SEC games was current teammate Grant Smith, who hit one at Tennessee and one in each of the Cats’ three game series vs. Florida to end the 2023 regular season.
    • It was his ninth multi-hit game of the season.
  • Senior Nick Lopez went 3-for-4 with two runs, five RBI, a walk and two home runs.
    • He is the second Wildcat to hit two homers in a game in the series.
    • His first home run gave UK a 9-7 lead and capped a comeback from a seven-run deficit.
    • He is the first UK player to homer from both sides of the plate since Oraj Anu in 2020.
      • He hit a two-run shot right-handed in the 6th and a left-handed shot in the 8th.
    • He is the first Wildcat to hit homers in consecutive ABs since Jake Plastiak in 2022.
    • It was his 15th multi-hit game of the season and ninth multi-RBI game.
    • His first HR also was his 150th career knock.

§  His first career hit also came at Auburn as a member of UIC.

  • He had a career-high five RBI.
  • Junior Ryan Waldschmidt went 2-for-3 with two runs, a RBI and three walks.
    • It was his ninth multi-hit game of the season and 21st career.
    • It was his sixth multi-RBI game of the season and 17th career.
  • Junior Nolan McCarthy went 2-for-5 with two runs.
    • It was his seventh multi-hit game of the season and 15th career.
  • Sophomore James McCoy went 1-fpor-3 with a run, two walks and a three-run homer.
  • Senior Johnny Hummel earned his fourth save of the season and second of the weekend.
    • He allowed only a solo home run in his 1.1 innings and struck out the side in the ninth.
    • He entered in the eighth with the bases loaded and retired the only two batters he faced to end the threat.


The Wildcats wrap their five-game road trip at Louisville on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be aired on the ACC Network and there will be an audio broadcast via the UK Sports Network.

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