[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Vandy’s freshman All-American pitcher Tyler Beede entered today’s start against Kentucky with only a 4.78 ERA and a 1-4 record, but the former Toronto Blue Jays’ first-round draft pick out of high school (he obviously declined for college) showed off his talent and full potential today in front of a large crowd of MLB scouts. Beede’s season started out shaky, opening up the season in tough games against Stanford and Oregon, but today he pitched about as well as possible in 7 innings against the nation’s #1 ranked team, your Kentucky Wildcats. The All-American pitched 7 shutout innings, but the Cats managed to work his pitch-count up to 108 pitches and Vandy made the move to the bullpen in the 8th.
In the 8th and facing a 3-0 deficit, Kentucky had the chance to get back into the game against the Vandy bullpen with Beede sitting in the dugout. UK finally got things going with an RBI single by Luke Maile that scored Thomas McCarthy (VOTE FOR HIM HERE for the Lowes Senior Class Award) to make it a 3-1 game. Cameron Flynn then came up and was hit by a pitch before the UK dugout presumably shouted, “We don’t move”.
After Flynn trotted down to first base and UK had runners on 1st and 2nd, head coach Gary Henderson made a gutsy move of sending Maile and McCarthy on a double-steal, and it worked. After the successful double-steal, the Cats had 2 runners in scoring position and the tying run sitting on second base. J.T. Riddle came to the plate and delivered with a game-tying 2-run RBI single.
In the middle of the 8th inning, perhaps UK Sports Information Director for baseball Brent Ingram said it best with the following tweet:
No matter what happens in the 8th/9th, have to admire the #UKbaseball toughness to get Beede’s pitch count up and tie the game late.
— Brent Ingram (@UKMR_BI) April 28, 2012
In the later half of the 8th inning, Chandler Shepherd went to the mound for the Cats, inheriting a baserunner from Sam Mahar. Shepherd got Vandy to hit a softly hit fly ball, but one that found a gap in no-man’s land, just outside of the reach of outfielder Cameron Flynn’s sliding glove. The ball got past Flynn and was scored as an RBI triple which gave Vanderbilt a 4-3 lead.
Kentucky rallied again in the 9th and put two runners on base for Luke Maile, with 2-outs. Maile had another opportunity to be a hero at the end of the game, but this time it wasn’t to be as the junior slugger grounded out to end the game. Vandy has evened up the series in a 4-3 win against the Cats. Tomorrow, Corey Littrell will go for a series deciding Game 3 win for the 5th time this season in SEC play.
As always, you can listen to tomorrow’s game on the UK IMG Radio Network on WLAP 630-AM in Lexington, WKJK 1080-AM in Louisville, or anywhere in the world on iheartradio.com. You can also follow along on a new live blog that UKathletics.com has been running the last couple of games. David Mulloy will be back tomorrow for your post-game and series wrap-up, along with in-game twitter updates.
I leave you with one of my favorite baseball quotes, which is a great quote for life in general: “Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.” Let’s get ‘em tomorrow and take the series!
Oscar Combs follows me on Twitter for UK baseball news, so you should too. @wilmhoffKSR
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