Maybe, it shouldn't have mattered.
After all the series was lost and the fact remains that the Bat Cats have only won three of their last five games, including two straight to the Arkansas Razorbacks in which they didn’t manage a run, but yesterday in the second game of a doubleheader, sheer joy radiated on the diamond at Cliff Hagan Stadium following Troy Squires game-winning RBI single to right field.
Kentucky entered the bottom of the 7th and final inning of the shortened contest trailing 5-4. Gunnar McNeill started the comeback off with a single to left field. Storm Wilson replaced him on the bag as a pinch runner and advanced to second after Riley Mahan walked.
After an Arkansas pitching change, JaVon Shelby struck out swinging and Tyler Marshall flied out to center field, but Marshall’s sacrifice sent Wilson to third. Dorian Hairston brought Wilson home to tie the game with an RBI single, which set the stage for Squires eventual game-winning hit.
The Cats trailed most of the game and found themselves in a 2-0 hole early before Tristan Pompey smacked a double in the 2nd inning that brought Squires home to give UK their first run.
The Hogs extended their lead to 3-1 in the 4th, but a Hairston bomb (he finished the day 2-for-4 with 3 RBI) over the center field fence evened the game at 3 all. However, the Razorbacks answered in the 5th to take their final lead of the game.
Kyle Cody got the start for UK and battled his way through five innings of mixed word. He gave up three earned runs (four total), but also gave up just four hits to go along with a single walk and four strikeouts.
A medley of relief pitchers silenced Arkansas’ bats the rest of the game. In fact, the bullpen surrendered only one hit.
The first game of the doubleheader was a pitcher’s duel between UK’s Dustin Beggs and Arkansas’ Zach Jackson. Beggs’ five-hit, complete game was marred only by a two-run 4th inning. Jackson produced the second straight complete gem for the Razobacks. He had eight strikeouts and allowed two hits in the shutout.
UK put pressure on Jackson in the bottom of the 7th when two walks and a Mahan double loaded the bases for Pompey. He worked a 2-2 count but flew out on the last pitch to end the UK threat.
With the win and earlier loss, Kentucky’s record stands at 24-15 overall and 10-8 in conference play. The Bat Cats sit in fourth place in the SEC East and are four games back from division-leading Florida. Kentucky’s next game will be this Tuesday night against the Dayton Flyers in the friendly confines of the Cliff.