Western Kentucky University rallied from an 8-2 deficit with an eight-run seventh inning to earn an 11-8 win over the University of Kentucky. The Hilltoppers appeared on their way to a loss in the in-state rivalry game until the seventh when senior catcher Matt Rice tripled to to start the rally. Junior center fielder Kes Carter singled to drive in the first run in the frame then scored on senior designated hitter Chris Bullard‘s triple. Senior third baseman Casey Dykes doubled home Bullard then scored on a single from junior shortstop Logan Robbins to tie the game.
Carter gave WKU the lead with a two-run single that scored Robbins and junior left fielder Jared Andreoli. Junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson finished the rally with a RBI-single that scored Rice for the second time in the inning. Rice finished the game 4-5 with one home run, one RBI and four runs scored. His third-inning infield single made him the WKU career hits leader, and his fifth-inning home run tied the WKU career RBI record. Carter was 3-4 with three RBI and one run scored. Bullard also slugged a home run.
UK had its own eight-run inning in the fourth to take an 8-2 lead, but its bullpen could not hold the lead. Senior shortstop Taylor Black and sophomore catcher Luke Maile were both 2-5 with one home run, three RBI and one run scored. Junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy and sophomore center fielder Brian Adams each tallied three hits. UK loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but junior catcher Michael Williams grounded out to end the game.
WKU junior right-handed pitcher Ross Hammonds earned the win after surrendering three hits over three scoreless innings to close out the game. UK freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott took the loss after surrendering four runs on two hits in one-third of an inning. UK wasted a quality start from sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper, who surrendered three runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out eight batters and walking two. (Box Score)
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