One pitch away.
That's how close Kentucky came to averting a disastrous inning Friday.
The Wildcats didn't escape, though, and No. 8 Vanderbilt went on to pound UK 13-3 in the opener of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The game was tied 3-3 through six innings.
In the seventh, Vandy used a double, single and hit batsman to load the bases with none out.
UK starter Zack Brown (4-5) struck out the next batter, induced a flyout, and then worked the count to 2-2 on Ro Coleman.
A ball made it a full count, and Coleman jumped on the next pitch for a three-run double to left-center.
Rhett Wiseman followed with a two-run homer, his second shot of the game, to give Vandy an 8-3 lead.
"Zack certainly wasn't as sharp tonight, but he competed really well," UK Coach Gary Henderson said. "And then obviously put himself in a hole in the seventh, and was one pitch away from getting out of it, but didn't get out of it. And that's the difference, really, in the game.
"He overthrew the 2-2 to get the full count and threw one down the middle. And Coleman hit a three-run double."
Vandy (34-13, 16-6 SEC) tacked on another five runs in the eighth.
"For 62⁄3, (Brown) battled really well," Henderson said. "But it's a nine-inning game, and we didn't pitch well enough tonight to win."
The defending national champs struck quickly in the first, with No. 2 hitter Wiseman smacking a solo home run over the center-field wall. That snapped Brown's shutout streak at 152⁄3 innings.
The Commodores made it 2-0 in the second. Will Toffey, who had a four-hit game and scored as many times, led off with a double. He was sacrificed to third and scored on Karl Ellison's groundout.
Kentucky (25-19, 10-11) had an answer in the bottom of the second, though.
JaVon Shelby led off with his sixth homer of the year, to left. Dorian Hairston then drew a walk, and Marcus Carson bunted him over to second. Thomas Bernal drove Hairston home with the tying run by driving a double down the left-field line.
The Wildcats took a 3-2 lead in the third.
Ka'ai Tom reached on a one-out single, then took second on an errant pickoff throw. Hairston's single up the middle scored Tom.
Vandy tied the game at 3 in the fourth inning, when Toffey parked a two-out solo homer off the top of the wall in center field.
The Commodores broke the game open in the seventh.
UK used two singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Kyle Wright came on in relief of Carson Fulmer (9-1) and struck out Shelby to end the threat.
"It's a team game and the more runs you score, the more margin of error and the more you have the ability to withstand errors in other parts of the game," Henderson said. "But, bottom line, we've got to pitch better if we're going to beat Vanderbilt.
"We've got to pitch better. I was really, really glad to see us play solid defense for another night. I thought we had competitive at-bats. But if you're going to beat good people, we're going to have to beat them in a low-scoring game and we're going to have to pitch better."
UK center fielder Kyle Barrett, who has reached safely in 36 of 42 games this season, did not play due to illness.
The series continues Saturday at 6:30 p.m., with Kentucky throwing righthander Dustin Beggs (6-2, 2.84) against Vandy lefty Philip Pfeifer (3-2, 3.18).