NCAA Tournament: Cats play 2, lose 1

Wow.

I'm not sure what to say about about a 21 inning game that you can't already get from the fact that it was -- you know -- a 21 inning game. Congratulations to Kent State for outlasting Kentucky in the second longest tournament game in NCAA history. The Golden flashes move on to the winners bracket where they will meet the winner of the greatly delayed Purdue-Valparaiso game tomorrow. Kentucky will face the loser of that game at 4:00 PM.

Here's your recap in brief: Teams swap the lead back and forth early until Kent St takes a one run lead into the 9th. Kentucky rallies to send the game to extra innings. 0's are put up on the score board from the 10th thru 17th. Kent St. again takes a one run lead in the 18th only to see the Cats tie the game again and threaten to win it in the 18th - 20th innings, including having the bases loaded with one out in the 20th. In the 21st, KSU again gets a run to go ahead and holds on as Thomas McCarthy strikes out swinging with men on 2nd and 3rd to end the game.

Box Score

Two Cats in particular deserve kudos in this game: A.J. Reed and Michael Williams.

Reed started the game at 1st base DH (Edit: Not sure why I thought Reed started at 1st), but moved to the mound in the 12th and finished the game for the Cats. He was simply sensational, pitching nine innings while giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out eight. That my friends is a fantastic line for the freshman. He will go into the books with a loss, but make no mistake -- Reed is a hero in this game. It's bad enough that it went 21 innings, but starter Taylor Rogers couldn't get out of the 4th inning forcing Gary Henderson to go to the bullpen much earlier than he would have liked. Alex Phillips threw 3.2 innings and Trevor Gott tossed four frames. I would guess they will be unavailable for tomorrow's contest, but you never know in a win-or-go-home situation. The rest of the pen is intact however, and it is all thanks to Reed.

The other hero is Michael Williams. Williams caught all 21 innings behind the plate while going 3-for-9 with some clutch hits and a HBP in the late innings, including the game tying RBI in the 18th.

There are so many other things to discuss about this game, but frankly it's late and I don't feel like getting into them now. This was a tough loss for the Cats, but they do still have a chance. I'll have a preview/game thread up tomorrow and I encourage everyone to listen in and support the Cats after this tough loss. G'night!

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