A Cliff Hagan Stadium record crowd of 5,005 stayed up well past midnight to watch the Kentucky baseball team win the program’s first Regional Championship in head coach Nick Mingione’s first season.
A back-and-forth affair, the Cats took the lead for good in the seventh inning when Kole Cottam’s deep drive to right-centerfield hit the top of the raised wall. The double drove in two RBIs to give UK a 7-5 lead.
JUNE MADNESS. pic.twitter.com/aVb8SwNDj6
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) June 6, 2017
After a rough start, a wild fourth inning filled with confrontation peaked when Kentucky’s Marcus Carson doubled down the rightfield line to put two runs on the scoreboard. Connor Heady and Evan White each added an RBI to tie the game at 4-4. The Cats fell behind in the fifth before the explosive seventh inning put Kentucky in the driver’s seat. They topped it off with three insurance runs in the top of the ninth for the 10-5 final score.
Sean Hjelle shut the door on the Wolfpack. Entering with two outs in the sixth inning, the SEC Pitcher of the Year needed only 35 pitches, good for three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth, to retire the last 10 batters and secure the win.
— Big Blue Insider (@bigblueinsider1) June 6, 2017
Kentucky advances to play in the Super Regional next weekend at Louisville where the winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the College World Seris.