[Moderated by Matt Jones]
It has been far too long, but the UK Baseball team finally got back on the winning side of a series, closing out a three-game set this afternoon with a 5-4 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels. Today’s game was a much-needed victory and will serve as a huge confidence booster for Gary Henderson’s squad moving forward.
Here’s the recap…
Corey Littrell started on the bump for the Cats. After a shaky first inning, he regathered himself and pitched an extremely impressive eight innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits to go along with six strikeouts. Meanwhile, Kyle Barrett, A.J. Reed and Max Kuhn all picked up a pair of hits in the game to lead the Cats, offensively.
After going down in order to start the game, UK allowed Ole Miss to take a one-run lead after the first. Littrell gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third with no outs. A sacrifice fly-ball to left field would allow the runner to score from third to make it a 1-0 game.
The Cats responded quickly in the second to even the score. After a groundout to the shortstop by J.T. Riddle, Zac Zellers was hit by a pitch and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. After Greg Fettes was walked to put runners on first and second, Max Kuhn drove a RBI single to centerfield to score Zellers from second. Matt Redia came up next and roped a line-drive to the shortstop that left Fettes froze in the basepath for an unassisted double-play to end the half-inning.
A.J. Reed led off the fourth inning with a double to left-centerfield and advanced to third on a groundout by Riddle. Zellers came up next and did his job, hitting a sac-fly to right field to score Reed and give the Cats a one-run, 2-1 lead.
UK tied it again in the seventh with a solo home run over the left field wall from Fettes. Then, in the eighth, things finally started to bounce in favor of the Cats. Reed led off the inning with a base-hit to left field. Riddle came up next and reached on a throwing error to put runners on first and second for Zac Zellers, who laid down a bunt right back to the pitcher. What should’ve been an easy out at third for Ole Miss turned into another throwing error that allowed Reed to come in and score and put the Cats in front. Then, after an intentional walk to Fettes, Max Kuhn hit a RBI single to score Riddle and make it a 5-3 score heading into the bottom half of the eighth.
Ole miss went down in order in the eighth before trying to make it interesting in the ninth. Trevor Gott, one of the SEC’s hardest throwers, entered for Littrell in the ninth to close it out. After giving up a leadoff single, Gott allowed the Rebels to put runners on second and third with one out. A sacrifice fly ball, caught by Austin Cousino on the warning track, allowed the runner at third to score and make it a one-run game with two outs. Luckily, the next Rebel batter came up and struck out looking to end the game with a 5-4 score in favor of the Cats.
It was a big road victory over a very good Ole Miss team for a Kentucky team that has struggled immensely over the last few weeks. After nearly a whole weeks rest, the Cats will look to continue the winning when they host Arkansas next weekend for a three-game series at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Make sure you’re checking back here throughout the week for updates.
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