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Kentucky rallies past NKU in walk-off fashion

A ninth inning rally guides Kentucky to their second straight win.

Aaron Gershon A Sea of Blue

The Wildcats are 5-3 on the season, as this afternoon, Kentucky mounted a three-run ninth inning comeback to defeat NKU.

It did not take long for Kentucky to get on the board. With two outs in the bottom of the first Jaren Shelby ripped an RBI single to left field to score Ryan Shinn and provide Kentucky with a 1-0 lead.

With a pitching duel on going there was no real threats of either team scoring until the bottom of the fifth. Breydon Daniel singled, Shinn reached on a passed ball, and TJ Collett walked to load the bases with one man out.

However, the Cats could not muster any runs, as Northern Kentucky reliever Kyle Arganbright got both Shelby and Dalton Reed to fly out and end the threat.

In the top of the sixth, NKU came close to scoring their first run of the game. The Norse finally got a hit off Kentucky starter Mason Hazlewood who was perfect through 5.1 innings, as Billy Marion ripped a double into left center. NKU, however, could not drive Marion home as Hazlewood worked out of trouble to keep the game scoreless.

In the top of the seventh, Kentucky’s inability to score runs with men in scoring position caught up with them. Reliever Tyler Burchett gave up a leadoff double. Cole Ayers quickly replaced him. Ayers struck out the first batter he faced, but then walked Will Haueter and surrendered an RBI single to Griffin Doersching to tie the game at one.

Later that inning, the Norse loaded the bases with two men out for Sam Hedges. On a 2-2 pitch from Ayers Hedges ripped a double into centerfield to clear the bases as NKU took a 4-1 lead.

Down three runs heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Cats clawed back.

Kentucky put two runners on for Breydon Daniel with one out. The Kentucky third basemen delivered with an RBI single to cut the Norse lead to 4-2.

Later in the inning, the Cats would load up the bases after Ryan Shinn walked. This set-up TJ Collet with the bases loaded. The star junior would come through as he ripped a two-run single to tie the game.

NKU intentionally walked Jaren Shelby to set-up Dalton Reed with the bases loaded.

Reed would use the intentional walk as motivation as he hit a walk-off single to complete the comeback as the Cats won by a score of 5-4.

After the game, the junior college transfer said he was waiting for a slider.

“TJ (TJ Collett) got a bunch of sliders so I was like he’s going to throw a left-hander a slider so I just sat on it and waited until I got my pitch”

The star of the game, despite the no decision, was Kentucky starter Mason Hazlewood. The sophomore starter threw six scoreless innings, allowed only one hit and struck out a career-high 11 batters in his first career start.

“Today my fastball was really working for me” Hazlewood said when asked about his start. When asked about how it would motivate him going forward the starter said “Now it’s just the standard for me.”

The Cats (5-3) will be back in action at home Friday as they open a three-game weekend series with Canisius College.