Kentucky finally capitalized in big situations in the postseason. The BatCats ran away with a 14-9 win over Indiana thanks to opportunistic hitting throughout the lineup. After leaving 24 men on base in the first two games, the UK offense woke up against the Hoosiers.
It didn’t take long for the offense to get rolling against IU starter Cal Krueger. Evan White and Zach Reks singled with one out in the first. Riley Mahan delivered his first RBI of the day on a single to right to score White. Mahan’s two-out RBI was only the first of many for the junior second baseman.
After the Cliff erupted in the first, they were quickly quieted in the bottom half of the inning. Tony Butler homered into the left-field bleachers to tie the game at one. Hopefully, Indiana enjoyed the solo shot, because it was all they would get on Thompson for the next five frames. The freshman retired ten in a row from the first to the fifth. Thompson struck out seven in seven strong innings.
The UK offense gave Thompson all the run support he needed from the second inning on. Marcus Carson homered in the second to answer Butler’s shot in the first. After that, the floodgates opened. Kole Cottam homered with one out in the fourth and Connor Heady singled home Tyler Marshall to give UK a 4-1 lead.
The sixth inning was when UK’s offense really woke up. Tristan Pompey doubled home a pair of runs to increase UK’s lead to five with one out in the sixth. White and Reks both reached to load the bases. With two outs, Mahan delivered for the second time. Mahan jumped all over Tim Herrin’s 0-1 offering and sent it into the right-field parking lot for a grand slam.
– Bradley Stevenson (@bss1974) June 4, 2017
IU would make it interesting with a four-spot in the bottom of the seventh, but UK came right back in the top of the eighth and scored three runs on the tired Indiana bullpen. Colton Cleary and Alec Maley would eat the final two innings and allow five runs in garbage time as UK rolled to 14-9 win on Sunday afternoon.
After defeating Indiana 14-9 this afternoon, UK will take on NC State tonight at 7 ET.
Riley Mahan drove in five runs with two outs today. Mahan went 4/5 with five RBIs against IU. He led the way for a much-improved performance by the Cats offensively.
The Cats dominated with runners in scoring position. UK went 8/12 with RISP and 12/18 with runners on base.
Thompson saves the UK bullpen for tonight’s game. The freshman allowed four runs in seven great innings today. IU hung three runs on home runs in the 7th, but Thompson retired three of the last four to end the threat. Cleary and Maley pitched the final two innings, so UK will have a fairly rested bullpen for the remainder of the regional.