Murray State plated a run in the bottom of the 12th inning to post a 4-3 win over Kentucky in UK’s final non-conference game of the regular season, on Tuesday night at Brooks Stadium.
Kentucky (30-21) fell behind in the fourth inning as a sacrifice bunt attempt led to two UK errors and two Murray State runs, with the Breds getting a run later in the frame on a sacrifice fly. Max Kuhn evened up the game in the seventh inning with a game-tying, three-run homer. The two teams then traded shutout frames for the next four innings, before UK found itself in a jam in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Anthony Bayus led off the 12th with a single through the left side, taking second base after the second out of the game. After UK intentionally walked the No. 5 hitter, Derek Yoder lined a ball to rightfield, with UK’s Storm Wilson charging the sinking liner and leaving his feet, with the ball skidding under his glove for a walk-off single.
The Wildcats collected five hits, including the sixth homer of the year from Kuhn, whose three-run, two-out shot in the seventh evened up the game. UK also got hits from Austin Cousino, Ka’ai Tom, Storm Wilson and JaVon Shelby. A.J. Reed drew a pair of walks and has now reached base safely in 22 straight games and in 47 of his 51 games of 2014.
UK freshman starter Zack Brown worked 2.2 innings on a 50-pitch limit, allowing three hits and two walks, striking out two in his second career start. After a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases with two outs in the third, UK turned to lefty Sam Mahar in relief. Mahar got out of the jam, getting two outs, allowing three hits and three runs – two earned. Andrew Nelson took over in the fourth, working 2.1 innings, allowing one hit and no runs, walking one and striking out three.
Chandler Shepherd took over in the sixth inning in a one-out jam, finishing off Nelson’s strikeout with a 2-2 count and getting a punch-out to end the frame. Shepherd turned in his best relief outing of the year, working 3.1 shutout innings, allowing one hit and two walks, striking out six. Junior Spencer Jack started the 10th inning, working two perfect innings, striking out three. Freshman Logan Salow (2-3) took over to start the 12th inning, allowing a single before Zach Strecker took over, with Salow’s runner scoring the walk-off run.
Murray State (21-28) starter Andrew Bramley tossed 6.1 innings, allowing three hits and two runs, walking four and striking out two. Weekend starter Sheldon Baxter came on in the seventh inning and worked 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and one run, striking out one. Senior Tyler Saltsman took over to start the ninth inning, working three hitless innings, allowing one walk. BT Wichman and Jon Lollar combined to work the 12th inning. Lollar (2-0) picked up the win with the final out of the inning.
UK will return to action on Thursday, traveling to Athens, Ga., to face off with Georgia to conclude the regular season.
The Breds took a 3-0 lead with a three-run rally in the fourth inning. Derek Yoder led off with a double, taking second on Luke Daugherty’s single to centerfield. Matt McGowan then laid down a bunt, with the throw from Bernal sailing into rightfield, with Yoder scoring. Wilson then picked up the ball in rightfield, with his throw to second base sailing in the dirt to score Daugherty. Taylor Mathews then moved McGowan to third with a bunt, with Ty Stetson scoring him with a sacrifice fly.
Kentucky evened up the game and got on the board with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. Matt Reida set the tone for the inning with a leadoff walk, with Shelby following with a single. After a pinch-hit, popped-up bunt attempt and a diving catch of a Cousino liner in centerfield, Kuhn came to the plate. Kuhn launched his sixth homer of the year off the sign beyond the left-centerfield fence, evening up the game at 3-3.