Nothing tricky about Morehead State's 6-4 college baseball victory over No. 12 Kentucky on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Eagles relied on staples of the game — solid pitching and timely hitting.
The win was Morehead's first over a nationally ranked opponent since 2007.
"We feel like we can compete with and play with anybody in the country," Eagles Coach Mike McGuire said. "Talking about it and doing it are two different things. For us to come here and play as well as we did — and obviously Kentucky's a great program, they're having a great year, so it was great for us to stand there and go toe-to-toe with them and play well and come out on top."
Luke Schneider fired five one-hit, shutout innings before giving up a run in the sixth. The 6-foot-7 junior left-hander struck out five and walked two before the game was delayed for 92 minutes in the middle of the sixth inning.
Schneider held UK (22-11) to a pair of walks through 41⁄3 innings. Thomas Bernal broke up the no-hitter with a double to left field, but was stranded.
After the rain delay, Schneider hit Austin Cousino and gave up a single to Max Kuhn. Cousino scored when A.J. Reed reached on a fielder's choice.
Craig Pearcy replaced Schneider, averted further damage and went the rest of the way for his sixth save.
"He pitched very well," McGuire said of Schneider. "He struggled with command a little bit earlier in the year for us and was in our weekend rotation. We moved him out. He hasn't thrown on the weekend for about four weeks. ... The key, as good an offensive club as Kentucky is, we can't give them free bases. We've got to make them hit for everything they earn, and I thought he did that tonight."
"We were not ourselves offensively, there's no question," UK coach Gary Henderson said. "We didn't get a hit until the fifth inning. (We) certainly fought at the end there, but a very, very slow start offensively."
Morehead (16-16) scored single runs off of UK lefty Ryne Combs, a sophomore from Bryan Station, in the first and second innings.
The Eagles made it 3-0 in the fourth. Bobby Burns led off with a double off Combs and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Logan Salow came on to strike out two batters, but Burns scored on Blaine Tanner's single to right.
MSU got another run in the sixth. Chris Robinson led off with a double and continued to third on an error by right-fielder Kyle Barrett. With the infield drawn in, Burns bounced a single through the right side to score Robinson.
After Kentucky scored in the sixth, Morehead padded its lead to 6-1 on Robby Spencer's two-run homer in the seventh.
The Cats came up with a pair unearned runs in the eighth. Kuhn reached on a two-base error, then scored on Reed's double to center. Reed gained third on another fielding error and scored Ka'ai Tom's groundout.
Pinch-hitter Storm Wison homered for UK in the ninth.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.