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UK Baseball beats Miss St 7-6 in 12 Innings; 3-0 in SEC Tournament

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After taking down Alabama to start the SEC Tournament and #1 Seeded Florida yesterday, UK Baseball returned to the diamond tonight. Playing against former head coach John Cohen and the 5th seeded Bulldogs of Mississippi State, Kentucky won for the third time in three days in what would be the longest game in SEC Tournament history.

On the mound tonight for UK was freshman Zack Brown, who recently made his first SEC start against Georgia last Saturday in which he gave up 3 runs and 7 hits in only 3 innings pitched. While Brown would pitch 3 scoreless innings to begin the game, Mississippi State took advantage of his inexperience in the top of the 4th, scoring a run off of a wild-pitch with 2 outs. With Brown rattled and runners on the corners, Mahar came in to pitch, getting out of the inning after walking the first batter he faced. Heading into the bottom of the 4th, UK trailed Mississippi St 1-0.

On the mound for the Mississippi State was ace Ross Mitchell, who came into the game with an impressive 1.85 ERA. Mitchell pitched a pretty flawless game until the bottom of the 4th when Michael Thomas smacked a solo shot over the left-center field fence to tie up the game, the first home-run given up by Mitchell this year. Just as Miss St’s lead didn’t last long, neither did UK’s, with the Bulldogs manufacturing 2 runs with 2 outs in the top of the 5th, forcing Gary Henderson to bring in Zach Strecker for Mahar. Strecker managed to get out of the inning without surrendering any additional runs, but gave up one in the top of the 6th, increasing State’s lead to 4-1.

While the ‘Cats struggled offensively in the first 5 innings, the 6th was a different story as Kentucky plated 3 runs, tying the game at 4-4. The rally began with A.J. Reed being walked and would see Reed, Tom, and Thomas all touch home plate before the inning came to an end. After Mississippi State took a 5-4 lead in the top of the 7th, only scoring one run after loading up the bases with no outs, UK put together another rally similar to the one in the 6th, loading the bases starting with an AJ Reed walk with 1 out. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, Miss St got out of the inning without giving up a run thanks to a controversial double play in which Storm Wilson and the ball seemed to arrive at 1st base at the same time.

Kentucky wouldn’t be able to score in the 7th, but the BatCats would make some noise after a 1-2-3 inning from Zach Strecker in the top half of the 8th. While Mississippi State is known for its impressive bullpen, UK would be able to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with not outs to start the bottom of the 8th. After NCAA active save leader Jonathan Holder came in to pitch, Kyle Barrett grounded out, scoring Bernal and moving Reida to 3rd with one out. While UK seemed ready to take its first lead of the game, Holder showed why he’s one of the best in college baseball, striking out Cousino and getting Kuhn to fly-out, making the score 5-5 heading into the 9th. A throwing error and a Collins single allowed for the Bulldogs to take a 6-5 lead off of new pitcher Spencer Jack in the top of the 9th, but one the most entertaining SEC Tournament game so far wasn’t over there. Soon-to-be POY A.J. Reed lead off the inning with a bloop double, putting the tying run in scoring position with no outs. Carson would come in to pinch-run for Reed, advance to 3rd on a wild-pitch and then tie the game via a Ka’ai Tom sac fly. The inning came to a close with the score still knotted up 6-6, extending the game to extra innings.

No runs were scored for the first several extra innings, but the most exciting play of the game would take place in the 10th. With 1 out and a runner on third for Miss St, Bradford put a ball in deep center field, deep enough to score the runner on 3rd. Austin Cousino had other plans, though, firing in a laser to Michael Thomas, who blocked the plate perfectly and tagged out the potential go-ahead run; a close-call that lead to Miss St fans booing until the game ended. After a few scoreless innings, Kentucky would head to the bottom of the 12th looking to end what the commentators dubbed as the “pajama special.” Matt “Mr. May” Reida lead off the inning with a double, putting the winning run on 2nd with no outs. After 2 walks and a Kuhn strikeout, Zach Arnold beat out the potential 6-4-3 double play on a ball hit to the shortstop as Reida crossed home plate, keeping UK undefeated in SEC Tournament play.

The win means that UK will get a much needed day off tomorrow. The BatCats will be back in action on Saturday in the SEC Tournament Semi-Final against the winner of Florida/Mississippi State.

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SEC Tournament Bracket after 3 days of play

 

 

Article written by Dean Bowling

26 Comments for UK Baseball beats Miss St 7-6 in 12 Innings; 3-0 in SEC Tournament



  1. jimmy dinklewinker
    2:14 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    Brent Ingram is the worst!!



  2. tom
    2:19 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    Thanks for the write up Dean! I know it’s late (early) but is much appreciated.



  3. UK Dad
    2:45 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    Like wise thank you for the write up. I am just glad UK did not have to play Flordia again this afternoon. Great day to rest.



  4. gobgblu37
    3:22 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    tough game to listen to with all the errors but great win for the Cats. Could be a record setting weekend for the Bat Cats and Lady Cats! GBB!!!



  5. Hunter12
    7:17 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    I still say the format of the SEC tourney doesn’t make sense. How can you have double elimination and single in the same tourney. All it does is ensure the powerhouses always get to the end. It should be double elimination the whole time, thg way when an under seed makes a run they aren’t penalized with a loss in the semis. I have always hated this format.



    • wrb
      7:40 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

      Amen Hunter.
      Just like UK got screwed last year when they beat MSU & then lost 1 game to them in the semis.



    • St. Paul Raiders
      10:52 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

      I was just looking at the bracket and thought the same thing. That is such a stupid format. Penalizing teams for early tournament success is ridiculous.



    • WeAreUK69
      3:43 pm May 23, 2014 Permalink

      Agree !! Why do losers get 2 chances but winners only one ???



  6. roundball fool
    8:19 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    great job Bat Cats!



  7. sCOTT
    8:25 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    Where’s the dickweed that always is down on Coach Henderson?



  8. Eight Letters
    8:43 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    We even managed to beat Miss States best player, Connor Heady. The UK backup second baseman managed two amazingly awful throws to first that nearly lost the game for us. Obviously he is not ready for playing on the big stage. I’m really glad we won this one, we need today off. Go BatCats!!!



  9. bluegrass79
    8:55 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    Im very proud of this team. They were beat several times but somehow pulled it out. We got the best player in the league, AJ REED. That was a huge double in the 9th. He is the man!



  10. catinhat
    8:56 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    Dean Bowling would go on to write a game summary where he would use the word “would” 27 different times in one article, creating what would possibly be the most distracting writing style ever. I would most likely be flamed by others his his defense, but would probably not care.

    Would.



    • Dean Bowling
      9:06 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

      That would be annoying to read.



    • Beavis and Butthead
      9:41 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

      Huh huh, he said wood.



  11. The Loco Pollo
    9:40 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    Awesome. Congrats to them. It would have been brutal to have to play again today after that game. What time did it end? I’m assuming shortly after 2am based on the post. I went to bed at 12:40am when it went to extra innings. Get some rest, boys.



  12. BigBlue
    10:28 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    What makes sense about this tourney format?



    • Mike
      10:54 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

      The tourney lends itself to a scout’s nightmare. Pitchers are abused and run out on the mound on minimal rest just so the team can advance.



  13. Ira D. Combs
    10:40 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    If there Is a team on campus that absolutely needs a new facility / stadium it’s this baseball program . If there has ever been a team to overachieve it’s goals with what it’s provided as compared to the other teams in the SEC it’s UK baseball .

    Not only have they been screwed by their own school in facility upgrades …….. in return …….. it has cost them twice in recent years to be screwed by the NCAA in refusing to let them host an NCAA regional .

    Here is hoping this year’s success parlays into a ground breaking ceremony for a new stadium within the next (2) physical years .

    These guys have been beating there heads against the walls in conjunction with taking their program to the championship level .



    • Mike
      10:53 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

      No argument here about stadium facilities, but it is not like the Cats are playing on a gravel infield.

      However, overachieve as a program? More like under-perform. Bohannon is a great recruiter and Henderson does a great job developing pitchers, but Henderson is not a great in-game tactician and I still question Green’s batting coach techniques.



  14. My Bum is on the Tree
    11:01 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    I love baseball and love UK but HATe the tourney because of how it is set up. It is crazy! Refuse to watch such nonsense.



  15. jaws2
    11:14 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    This set up for the semi’s is absolutely ridiculous. It cost us last year and could happen again. This should be double elimination all the way through. Just start the damn tourney a day earlier.



  16. BigBlue
    11:28 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    It is just stupid the way this tourney is set up. I hope UK pulls through but this tourney is nonsense. Has it always been like this?



  17. Paul in Fern Creek
    11:32 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

    The most ridiculous tournament format ever created. If Fla. or MSU defeats the Cats on Sat., we’re out and they move on with the exact same number of tournament losses. Why not continue on with the double elimination?



    • The Loco Pollo
      11:43 am May 23, 2014 Permalink

      Not to mention a 1-1 head to head record.



  18. Greg Cummins
    3:41 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    Format sucks. UK should have to be beat twice.GO BATCATS!