Home is definitely where the Bat Cats heart is. Nick Mingione's squad are winner's of four straight (6-5 overall) at Cliff Hagan Stadium after yesterday's 3-2 win over the No. 23 UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos, and are currently playing their best baseball of the season.
However, things almost got away from Kentucky late in the game.
The Wildcats entered the top of the ninth inning with a comfortable, but slim 3-0 advantage. Zach Pop was on the mound with an opportunity to close the door on UCSB. Pop mowed through three Gaucho batters in the eighth and appeared to be in a groove. Then Austin Busch ripped Pop's fist offering to right-center field for a double. Billy Frederick sent a 1-1 pitch into the outfield for a single, advancing Busch to 3rd base.
Having runners on the corners was enough to send Pop to the dugout after one inning of work in which he recorded a strikeout and gave up two hits.
Logan Salow came on with the save on the line. Salow got ahead of Sam Cohen on the count, but Cohen's fly out to center was enough to bring Busch home, cutting the deficit to 3-1. He K'ed the next hitter and then gave up a RBI double to Armani Smith. A wild pitch allowed Smith to safely arrive 90 feet from the plate, but Salow shrugged off the pressure, got a strike out to end things, and recorded his first save of the campaign.
Up until the final inning, UK starter Zach Logue vexed the Gauchos for seven shut-out innings. Logue yielded four hits and two walks, but he also struck out four batters. The win moves his record to 2-1.
UK opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd thanks to Zack Reks double into the left field corner.
Three innings later, in the bottom of the 6th, with Tristan Pompey aboard thanks to a walk, Riley Mahan blasted his third homer of the season to put the Cats up 3-0. Mahan's blast extended a career-best nine-game hitting streak.
Reks finished 2-of-3 and was the only Wildcat to have a multi-hit game.