Cats evade walk-off at Indiana


University of Kentucky senior Luke Heyer warms up in the outfield during the game against Louisville on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Charlee Schaefer

The No. 21 UK baseball team evaded a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth against the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday evening to secure another midweek game by a final score of 7-6.

The Cats started producing immediately. With his 51st RBI of the season, Luke Heyer traded places with Tristan Pompey and doubled over the center fielder’s head with two outs in the first inning.

Senior left-hander Brad Schaenzer got his first start in months as freshman Daniel Harper has been used in the majority of midweek games this season. The bullpen was heavily utilized again as it has been in recent weeks, pitching the final 5.1 innings after Schaenzer departed.

To leadoff the fourth, Indiana’s starter Andrew Saalfrank threw eight straight balls and walked two UK batters

After 10 straight balls, Saalfrank was replaced by star reliever Cal Krueger who had a 7-2 record with 3 saves and a 2.06 ERA coming in.

A sacrifice-bunt by Ryan Shinn advanced runners and Coltyn Kessler got an RBI with his hit to right field, scoring Heyer. Ben Aklisnki hit a full-count two-out double to extend the lead to 3-0.

Trey Dawson then singled to right field in the fourth to make it 4-0.

The Hoosiers also gained a pair of runs in the fourth, but in the following inning, Heyer hit his 17th home run of the season to give his second and third RBI of the game.

It did not take long for the Hoosiers to bring it within one run of tying the game off of UK’s bullpen as another run scored and Ryan Fineman hit a two-run home run to answer Heyer’s. 

Pompey gave the Cats some insurance in the top of the ninth with his own home run.

The Hoosiers again answered in the bottom of the inning with Drew Ashley’s home run to left field but could not get anything else off of UK’s closer Chris Machamer. Machamer secured the game at 7-6.

With the win in the books, UK will head back to Lexington to prepare for a big series this weekend. The Cats will play the final three games at Cliff Hagan Stadium in a three-game set against the Mississippi State Bulldogs starting Friday.

First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.