Elliott Curtis remains hot at the plate but Wildcats fall to Vandy

(Photo: UK Athletics)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Elliott Curtis continued his torrid stretch with two more hits and two runs driven in but an early deficit proved too much for Kentucky to overcome in a 12-4 loss to No. 2 Vanderbilt on Friday night at Kentucky Proud Park.

The Wildcats (26-28, 7-22 SEC) enter the final game of the regular season tied with Alabama and South Carolina for the final berth in next week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament. If the three clubs remain tied after Saturday’s games the Cats would head to Hoover. If UK finishes tied with South Carolina only the Gamecocks would earn the berth based on their series win over Cats last weekend. A tie with Alabama would send the Cats to Hoover.

On a perfect central Kentucky evening the fourth-largest crowd in UK history – 4,491 – watched as the Commodores’ relentless offense scored six runs in the third inning to take control. Still, the Cats battled back to slice the deficit to four with a three-run fifth inning highlighted by Curtis’ two-run double to the wall in right-centerfield.

Curtis, a junior infielder from Waterloo, Ontario, continued to flash his hitting prowess over the second half of the season, logging a pair of hits for the fourth straight game to extend his career-long hitting streak to five games. He also has reached base safely in nine straight games and now is hitting a team-high .328 in conference games with 11 RBI.

On Saturday, UK will honor seniors Marshall Gei, Ryan Johnson, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Shinn before the 2 p.m. ET first pitch as they play their final home game.