[Moderated by Matt Jones]
It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t pretty, and at times it was just plain weird but the Cats escaped from Bloomington with a win to improve their record to 38-11 on the year. Sophomore second-baseman J.T. Riddle lead off the 12th inning with a single and scored the winning run on a two out balk. Freshman Sam Mahar picked up the first save of his collegiate career as he struck out two and allowed one hit in the 12th to seal the victory for the Wildcats. The Cats took the lead in the 11th on a Cameron Flynn single but Indiana evened the score in the bottom half of the inning behind a leadoff double and an RBI single.
It looked like it was going to be the UK’s day early on as the Cats scored the first two runs of the game on a Riddle sacrafice fly and home run by Matt Reida, his second of the year, in the second and third innings. The Hoosiers would rally to take the lead in the bottom of the third as they scored three runs on five hits and took advantage of a costly Wildcat error. Indiana would add their fourth run of the day on a ground out in the fifth. Of the Hoosiers five runs, only two were earned.
The Cats would rally to tie the game in the sixth but could have taken the lead if not for a terrible call at first base. A.J Reed led off the inning with a walk and would advance on a one out single by Riddle. Brian Adams, who was making his second start of the season, smacked a double into the outfield to drive in both runners and tie the game but tripped rounding first base. Adams was called out on appeal for not touching first, the base he tripped over. Coach Gary Henderson protested furiously and first-base coach Brian Green was ejected for the first time in his career. The play was simply scored an unassisted putout by the first baseman and Adams was ripped of his two well deserved RBIs. What hurt the most about the play is that Reida singled in the next at bat and probably would have scored Adams as the go ahead and possibly winning run. Apparently in the state of Indiana, tripping over an object does not count as actually touching it.
Lost in all of this was one of A.J. Reed’s best appearances this season. Reed, who started the game as the DH, was brought on in relieved with two outs in the third inning. The Freshman left-hander would end up throwing 5(1/3) innings and surrendered one unearned run on four hits while fanning six in a no-decision. Wildcat starter Chandler Shepherd allowed three runs (only one was earned) on five hits in two innings of work. Closer Trevor Gott worked 2(1/3) innings and gave up up one run on four hits in his second victory of the season.
The Cats will now turn their attention to the home finale this weekend against Alabama. The Cats are just one game out of first place in the division and in the conference overall and can make up some ground this weekend against the SEC cellar dwellers. Friday’s game against the tide has been pushed back a half hour from 6:30 to 7pm to accommodate CSS who will televise the game.
See you at The Cliff.
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