May 12, 2012
LEXINGTON, KY. – In the first game of a Saturday Southeastern Conference doubleheader, the Alabama Crimson Tide suffered a 7-6 loss to the seventh-ranked Kentucky Wildcats from Cliff Hagan Stadium. With the loss, Alabama falls to 18-32 overall and 7-19 in SEC play. The Wildcats improve to 40-11 and 17-9 in conference play.
After the Crimson Tide opened a 5-1 lead with three runs in the seventh, the Wildcats responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead at 6-5. Alabama tied the game with a run on an RBI single by Jared Reaves in the eighth, but Kentucky scored the game-winning run on a bases loaded walk in the eighth.
In the eighth, losing pitcher Josh Rosecrans (0-2) gave up a run without allowing a hit. Rosecrans hit the first batter of the inning, then after a strikeout, walked three straight hitters to allow the winning run to score. UK closer Trevor Gott (3-0) earned the win after throwing the final 1.1 innings for the Wildcats. Gott did not allow a hit with three strikeouts and a walk to close out the game.
UA starting pitcher Jon Keller pitched into the seventh inning, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks, but once again did not factor into the decision. Kentucky starter Jared Grundy allowed one earned run on eight hits in 5.0 innings in a no decision.
The Tide out-hit the Wildcats 14-11 as five different UA players had at least two hits in the game. Reaves and James Tullidge had three hits each, as Tullidge recorded his fifth multiple hit game of the season and second three hit game of his career. Taylor Dugas, Austen Smith and Jon Kelton were all 2-for-4 in the game.
With two hits, Dugas, who holds the school record with 329 career hits, moved into sole possession of third all-time in the SEC, passing Mississippi State’s Richard Lee (1995-98). Jay Waggoner (1992-95) of Auburn is second with 341 hits and LSU’s Eddy Furniss (1995-98) holds the conference record with 352 knocks.
Kentucky took a 1-0 lead after one, scoring an unearned run thanks to a fielding error on UA shortstop Reaves. The error came with two outs and runners on the corners for the Wildcats.
Alabama scored two runs with two outs in the sixth inning to take its first lead in the game and the series. After Smith singled off Grundy, he stole second and scored on a single by Kelton. Kelton advanced to second on an error by the Kentucky left fielder and scored when Tullidge followed with a RBI double for a 2-1 Tide lead.
In the seventh, UA loaded the bases with no outs off UK reliever Alex Phillips. With the bases loaded, Smith forced out Dugas at home with a ground out to third. Rosecrans then delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Reaves, and with runners on second and third, Brett Booth’s line drive up the middle hit Phillips and bounded into right field to allow both Moore and Smith to score for a 5-1 Tide lead.
The Wildcats responded with five runs in the seventh to regain the lead at 6-5. UK loaded the bases with no outs to chase Keller from the game. Reliever Jake Hubbard struck out the first hitter he faced, then Cameron Flynn delivered a sac fly to center to drive in one run. Michael Williams followed with a RBI single to left, then J.T. Riddle followed with a two-run double down the left field line to even the score at five. After a single by Thomas McCarthy put runners on the corners, an error by Kelton at second allowed Riddle to score the go ahead run.
In the eighth, Tullidge delivered his third hit of the game with a leadoff single, then moved to second on a sac bunt by Andrew Miller. After a wild pitch allowed Tullidge to move up to third, Reaves had a two-out RBI single to center to score Tullidge and tie the game at 6-6.
The Wildcats scored the go ahead run in the eighth inning without getting a hit off reliever Rosecrans. Rosecrans hit Austin Cousino to open the inning, then after a passed ball and a wild pitch allowed Cousino to move to third, Rosecrans struck out Zellers for the first out of the frame. An intentional walk to Luke Maile put runners on the corners, then after a walk to Cameron Flynn, Michael Williams walked on a 3-2 pitch to push the winning run across.
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