The Kentucky Wildcats knocked off the Purdue Boilermakers today by a score of 6-3 behind an absolutely sensational effort by Corey Littrell. The sophomore pitched into the 8th inning giving up 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. Senior Alex Phillips got the last 5 outs to record his 8th save of the season. The victory gives the Cats a record 45 wins on the season and more importantly gets them into the regional finals against Kent State. You might recall those two teams hit it off so well Friday night that they decided to play a few extra innings.
Congratulations to Purdue for a terrific season. It's too bad it had to end this way, as the Boilermakers were not done any favors by the selection committee when they gave the last regional to Miami instead of Kentucky and put the Wildcats in this region instead.
Kentucky will play again tonight at 8:00 PM. There is no word on Kentucky's starter, but expect to see Johnny Wholestaff tonight. Kent St will use Tyler Skulina (10-2, 3.94 ERA).
Online audio and GameTracker can be found here.
Recap of the win after the jump. This will serve as the Kent State game thread.
The game started on a sour note as Littrell allowed two runs in the 1st inning as Purdue took an early lead. Boilermakers' starter Robert Ramer kept Kentucky's hitters off balance the first three innings and it looked like it was going to be "one of those games" for the Cats. But in the 4th inning the Wildcats finally figured out Ramer's stuff and knocked him out of the game scoring 4 runs in the inning.
Aside from the first inning, Purdue's biggest challenge came in the 8th when Littrell allowed a run on 3 singles before giving way to Phillips. With runners on the corners and one out, Phillips got Golden Spikes finalist and Big Ten All-Everything catcher Kevin Plawecki to pop out to JT Riddle on the infield and got a ground ball to Riddle for the force at second to end the threat.
The Cats responded in the 9th when Thomas McCarthy laced a single to right field and took second on hustle and an error by Barret Serrato who failed to field the ball cleanly. Luke Maile move McCarthy to third on a long fly ball to right and Michael Williams - who has now caught all 39 innings of the regional - brought in the insurance run on a fly ball to center. Alex Phillips pitched an uneventful ninth to close out the game.
The Cats need to beat Kent St twice to move on to the Super Regional - Let's go CATS!