UK Baseball

Kentucky baseball: Cats turn back Georgia in 10th with four walks and hit-by-pitch

Kentucky's Austin Cousino hit a two-run double in the fifth inning Friday to give the Cats the lead at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky's Austin Cousino hit a two-run double in the fifth inning Friday to give the Cats the lead at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Herald-Leader

Just win, baby.

That is Gary Henderson's Al Davis-like advice for his Kentucky baseball team, which did as told Friday.

After blowing a ninth-inning lead, the Wildcats rebounded in the 10th to edge Georgia 3-2 in the opener of a three-game Southeastern Conference series.

"Certainly you'd like to score more runs. That's obvious," Henderson said. "But you have to win games like that because you're going to play them — you're going to play low-scoring games. That's certainly, by no estimation, a pretty game. A close game, but it was bordering on a game of giveaway there for just a bit.

"But you've got to win those games. Not every game is going to be aesthetically pleasing."

UK starter A.J. Reed pitched 81⁄3 strong innings, giving up a run on six hits.

"I got some quick outs and was able to go deep into the game," said Reed, who threw 75 of his 113 pitches for strikes.

Trevor Gott (3-0) blew a save for the first time in eight chances this season, but got the win.

Georgia gave the game away, issuing four walks and hitting a batter in the 10th. Reed and Gott, meanwhile, did not walk a batter.

Matt Reida started the 10th-inning rally with a one-out walk.

Georgia Coach David Perno pulled reliever Jarrett Brown and called in his closer, Jared Walsh (1-3), who had been playing in right field.

Walsh had all kinds of problems locating and walked Austin Cousino on four pitches. Zac Zellers walked on a full count to load the bases.

Reida tried to score when a ball in the dirt skipped away from catcher Brett DeLoach, but was easily retired.

Reed was hit by a pitch to re-load the bases, and Max Kuhn drew a four-pitch walk to force in the winning run.

The Bulldogs (9-18, 0-7 SEC) snapped a nine-game losing streak Wednesday by beating Clemson.

Friday, they took a 1-0 lead on UK in the fifth inning.

DeLoach, who had three of Georgia's nine hits and scored both runs, led off with a single. He advanced on a groundout and fly ball, then scored on No. 9 hitter D.J. Smith's single to right.

No. 8 UK (20-5, 5-2) came back with two in the bottom of the fifth. Paul McConkey singled to right and Micheal Thomas was safe when Georgia starter Sean McLaughlin slipped as he tried to field a bunt. Reida bunted the runners up, and Cousino brought both in with a ground-rule double.

Reed dodged bullets in the third and seventh. Zack Bowers led off the third with a double and was bunted to third. But Reed got a groundout and strikeout. In the seventh, the Bulldogs put runners on second and third with one out. Reed got Bowers to pop up and retired Smith on a groundout.

"I think he may have been a little sloppy on some leadoff hitters a couple times just in terms of location," Henderson said. "But ... once again, A.J.'s at his absolute best when he needs to be."

DeLoach greeted Gott with a single, stole second and, one out later, scored on pinch-hitter Jess Posey's single.

Gott had been 17-for-18 in save chances over his career, with no earned runs allowed.

"He threw, I think, 32 pitches and he left two of them up. Tonight, they got through," Henderson said of Gott. "But he's the least of our concerns."


Saturday

Georgia at Kentucky

When: 2 p.m.

Radio: WWTF-AM 1580


SEC standings

Eastern Division SEC All

Vanderbilt 5-1 22-4

Kentucky 4-2 19-5

Tennessee 3-3 13-10

South Carolina 3-4 20-6

Florida 2-4 11-15

Missouri 2-4 9-12

Georgia 0-6 9-17

Western Division SEC All

Alabama 6-1 17-10

LSU 5-1 23-2

Texas A&M 5-2 18-9

Arkansas 4-2 19-7

Mississippi 3-3 22-4

Mississippi State 2-4 22-6

Auburn 0-7 15-11

Friday's games

Georgia at Kentucky, (n)

Mississippi at Florida, (n)

Alabama at Auburn, (n)

LSU at Missouri, (n)

Texas A&M at South Carolina, (n)

Tennessee at Vanderbilt, (n)

Mississippi State at Arkansas, (n)

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