[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Taylor Rogers threw seven solid innings and Thomas McCarthy put the Cats on the board first with a timely two run double en route to a series opening victory for the Wildcats. Luke Maile and J.T. Riddle added an RBI apiece and Alex Phillips picked up his 6th save on the year. The save ties this year’s Cats with the 1993 team for the most saves in a season at 17.
Kentucky got on the boardin the second on a two out double by Thomas McCarthy that scored Michael Williams and A.J. Reed. The hit ended an 0 for 17 streak by McCarthy who was dropped down to the eighth spot in the batting order for the game. More importantly for the Cats it was the timely hit that they had not been able to get with runners in scoring position over the last two weeks. Coach Gary Henderson said that McCarthy “had much better at bat tonight and I’m glad to see that for him and hopefully we can get some more good bats out of him tomorrow.”
Alabama would respond and tie the game in the next half inning behind three hits, a walk, and a Wildcat error. The Cats would retake the lead in the third as the first two batters of the inning, Austin Cousino and Zac Zellers, reached base and were driven in on a fielder’s choice by Maile and a groundout by Riddle to put UK back on top for good at 4-2. The Alabama bullpen pitched 5(1/3) shutout innings but the Cats had all the runs they needed with Rogers and Phillips on the mound.
Wildcat starter Taylor Rogers shook off a couple of rocky early innings to turn in one of his best starts in conference play. The junior left-hander allowed singles to the first two batters of the game but then induced a pop out and started a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning. Rogers only blemish came in the third inning when he allowed two runs to score on three hits and a walk. After that inning Rogers allowed one hit, a two out double in the sixth, and retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced. Rogers said after the game, “At the beginning of the game I didn’t have much body control and not much of a plan but I think moving on forward in the game it got better.” In all Rogers worked seven innings and allowed two runs on seven hits while fanning four in his sixth victory of the year. Alex Phillips pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings to secure the win for the Cats and notch his sixth save on the season.
The Cats and Tide will conclude the series tomorrow with a double header due to impeding weather on Sunday. The second game of the series will start at the scheduled time of 2pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports South through IMG. The final game of the series will begin 30 minutes after the end of the 2pm game. Senior day will be held before the start of the first game tomorrow.
South Campus will be a very busy place tomorrow afternoon as the baseball game and the Cats NCAA 2nd round tennis match are both scheduled to start 2pm. Fans are advised to arrive a little earlier than normal for both events due to traffic and parking.
Austin Cousino tied the freshman record for most hits in a season at 71. He matched the mark set by Chris Gonzalez in 1993.
Former Wildcat and Washington Nationals first round draft pick Alex Meyer will throw out the first pitch on what would have been his senior day. Meyer is in town with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns and pitched against the Lexington Legends on Friday Night.
LSU, Florida, and South Carolina all won the opening games of their series and thus the standings in the SEC all stay the same with the Tigers and the Gamecocks on top and the Cats a game behind them.
See you at The Cliff.
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