Kuhn's 8th-inning single sends Bat Cats past No. 16 Mississippi
Max Kuhn's single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning produced the game-winning run and No. 24 Kentucky defeated No. 16 Mississippi 5-4 on Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss. The series victory for UK in Oxford is its first since the 2007 season and just the third in program history.
Kentucky starter Corey Littrell (5-3) worked eight innings, allowing seven hits and three runs, walking one and striking out six. It was Littrell's 20th career victory.
"It is huge for us," Littrell said. "We needed that confidence. We needed that win, to win the series on the road, too. That was huge for us just as a team to get our mojo back."
The Cats' closer, Trevor Gott, took over in the ninth and worked around two hits and a run for his school-record 10th save of 2013 and the 21st of his career.
"It is huge," Littrell said about the confidence UK has in Gott. "He is the best closer in the country. Even when they got that hit we knew we were going to win. We knew he would figure out a way to get them out and that is exactly what he did."
UK will take a break for finals next week and next host No. 14 Arkansas in a three-game series on Friday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
"We are really glad," UK Coach Gary Henderson said about being home for eight games. "It doesn't get any easier. We are going to face some real pitching coming up. But that is fine. That is what the league is and that is why kids come to school here. We are glad to get home and we have to get finals week taken care of and get into Arkansas."
Softball evens its series with Missouri
Senior outfielder Alice O'Brien hit her sixth home run of the season and junior outfielder Ginny Carroll lined a two-out, two-run double off the wall in left-center field in the 19th-ranked Kentucky softball team's 8-2 series-evening win over No. 11 Missouri on Saturday at John Cropp Stadium. Sunday's third game of the series is at 1 p.m., and it will be televised on Fox Sports South and CWKYT-27.2.
Freshman Kelsey Nunley threw her 17th complete game of the year and improved to 22-7. She allowed two runs — one earned — on six hits with four strikeouts.
Canterna sets another UK record
Michelle Canterna set a school record in the pole vault for the second straight week. A week ago Canterna cleared 12 feet, 81/4 inches at Kentucky's first home meet since 1996. On Saturday, she cleared 12 feet, 113/4 inches at the Miami RedHawk Invitational.
Flat Out wins Westchester at Belmont
Flat Out remained unbeaten at his favorite track, rallying to beat Cross Traffic by a head Saturday in the $150,000 Westchester Stakes at Belmont Park in New York. A career winner of over $2.6 million, Flat Out is 4-for-4 at Belmont, including the last two runnings of the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup. Junior Alvarado was aboard for trainer Bill Mott as the 7-year-old ran the mile in 1:32.99, the third-fastest clocking in the 85-year history of the Westchester.
Cross Traffic, making his stakes debut after winning a pair of races in Florida for trainer Todd Pletcher, set a blistering pace and it took a determined effort by Flat Out to nip him in final strides.
■ Jockey Rafael Bejarano and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer had three winners each on California Gold Rush day at Hollywood Park. Bejarano was aboard Surfcup in the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes, the richest on the card restricted to horses bred or sired in California. He also won the $245,000 Melair Stakes and the $125,250 Tiznow a day after he rode four winners on Friday's card. Bejarano is 11 wins away from reaching 3,000 in a career that began in his native Peru in 2001.
Glover leads Zurich Classic by two shots
Lucas Glover increased his lead to two strokes in the Zurich Classic to remain in position for his first victory in two years. The 2009 U.S. Open winner shot a 2-under 70 on Saturday to reach 14 under at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La.
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese amateur, shot a 77 to drop to 2 over — last among the 71 players who made the cut. He tied for 58th two weeks ago in the Masters after becoming the youngest player to make the cut at Augusta National, and will play in a U.S. Open qualifier in two weeks in Dallas.
■ Carlota Ciganda shot a 5-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead over the world's No. 1 player and an LPGA Tour rookie into the final round of the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout at Irving, Texas. Ciganda had only one bogey in the third round. Even after driving right into a concrete drainage ditch on No. 12, the Spaniard hit the half-submerged ball out of the water to about 10 feet and made the birdie putt. She was at 11-under 202 after her second 66 of the week.
Top-ranked Inbee Park finished her 67 with consecutive birdies. Caroline Masson, the leader after each of the first two rounds, recovered from an opening double bogey for a 69 that included a birdie at the par-5 18th.
University of Kentucky signee Haley Mills, a Texas teenager who made into the field through a Monday qualifier, shot a 76 Saturday but didn't make the cut to play in the final round.
■ Roger Chapman and Jay Don Blake shot an 11-under-par 61 in the second round of the Champion's Tour better-ball tournament to take a one shot lead at Savannah, Ga. Five teams, including 18-hole leaders Brad Faxon and Jeff Sluman, are a shot back.
Etc. Calloway Co. duo wins state fishing title
Calloway County's Bracken Robertson and Dillon Starks caught 34 pounds, 4 ounces over two days of competition on Kentucky Lake to win the KHSAA State Bass Fishing championship. Muhlenberg County's Zach Warner and Ridge Porter were second with 32 pounds, 7 ounces. Muhlenberg County's James Hampton had the biggest catch of the tournament with a 6-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught on Saturday. He and teammate Jacob Bowles finished fourth.
■ Kevin Harvick won Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia by plowing through traffic on a two-lap sprint to the finish. Juan Pablo Montoya was trying to hold off Harvick for his first win since 2010 when the caution came out with four laps remaining. It sent the race into two laps of overtime, and most of the field gave up track position to pit for tires. Montoya came off pit road in sixth and Harvick was seventh for the restart. But Harvick rocketed through the field to snatch away the win.
■ Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes plans to return to school for his junior season rather than entering the NBA Draft. The 6-foot-8, 270-pound forward averaged 12.4 points and 9.6 rebounds as a sophomore to earn second-team all-Southeastern Conference honors.
■ The United States set an American record in winning the women's 3,200 relay on Saturday at the Penn Relays at Philadelphia. Led by a strong anchor leg from Alysia Montano, who ran the final 800 meters in 1:58.6, the U.S. finished with a time of 8:04.31. Lea Wallace, Brenda Martinez and Ajee' Wilson ran the first three legs.
The U.S. also won the men's 400 and 1,600 relays and the women's 1,600. The winning men's 1,600 team included Manteo Mitchell, who gained fame at the London Olympics after finishing his leg in a qualifying heat despite breaking his fibula during the run.
The last word
Nelson Piquet Jr. was involved in a post-race altercation that led to the arrest of two crew members for Richard Childress Racing, his team said Saturday. Piquet and RCR driver Brian Scott tangled on the track during Friday night's Nationwide Series race and in the pits after. Crews for both drivers confronted each other when Scott went over to Piquet's car, and Piquet shoved him and then kicked Scott in the groin. Scott said after the race:
"When I went to talk to him, he just pushed and shoved me and then kicked me below the belt. It's just a chicken move."