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4 Things to Know From A Topsy Turvy 2 Games in Lexington Regional

The Cats’ bats went cold Saturday night, but they erupted on Sunday when they needed it most.

UK Athletics

After a relatively easy opener against the Ohio University Bobcats, the top-seed Kentucky Wildcats struggled in a 5-4 loss to NC State in the winner's bracket before rebounding against Indiana this afternoon in a 14-9 route to get another shot at the Wolfpack in the evening at 7:00 P.M.

The Wildcats (41-21) need two wins to advance to a Super Regional for the first time in program history.

Home Runs Were the Difference Versus the Wolfpack

Kentucky had no issues sending the ball into the outfield, three of their fours runs came via a SAC fly and homers from Evan White and Tristan Pompey. The problem for the Wildcats was that they could not capitalize when they had runners on base.

Nick Mingione's team stranded ten men on base over the course of the tight contest. They loaded the bags more than once in the early innings but never could bring in the necessary runs to build any momentum.

In the same light, back-to-back jacks in the bottom of the first inning by N.C. State's Stephen Pitarra and Josh McClain spooked the usually unflappable Justin Lewis.

The Cats' Sunday starter entered the game giving up less than two runs a contest at the Cliff, but the double dose of misfortune seemed to get under his skin. Lewis could never find his rhythm and or the strike zone. He walked five Wolfpack batters, and also gave up five runs on seven hits along with three strikeouts.

Adler Addled the Cats' Bats

Kentucky drove NC State's starter, Michael Bienlien, from the hill in less than inning after scoring their first run. His replacement, Sean Adler, proved to be a tougher nut to crack.

The lefty reliever threw an eye-popping 122 pitches over 7.2 innings out of the pen. Adler quieted Kentucky's collection of hard-hitting left-handed batters and pitched himself out of several jams early on.

Even though he gave up two earned runs, six hits, and walked three Wildcats, Adler's pitching performance is the best of the Lexington Reginal thus far and deserves applause from all fans.

The Cats Bats Returned With a Vengeance Against IU

With their season on the line, Kentucky finally put the ghosts of runners stranded past on ice when slugger Riley Mahan drove grand slam out of the park in the 6th inning of Sunday's first elimination game. Before Mahan's colossal crush, the Cats were 0-of-8 with the bases loaded in the regional.

Mahan's 4-of-5 day included five RBI and led a Kentucky attack that produced 14 runs on 18 hits. Seven Wildcats had multi-hit games, including Zach Reks with three Kole Cottam with two. Cottam is an incredible 14 for his last 28 attempts at the plate.

Thompson Torpedoed the Hoosiers on the Mound

Freshman Zack Thompson got the nod to start for the second time against the Hoosiers and did not disappoint. Against his home state team, Thompson threw a terrific seven innings in which he gave up four runs (most of them late) on six hits while allowing a single walk. The win was his eighth of the season against two losses and was also his second against the visitors from the north.