Cats lose tight game on walk-off at Louisville


Pitcher Zach Logue delivers a pitch during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Cliff Hagan Stadium in , Ky. on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Photo by | Staff.

Chris Angolia

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No. 19 UK Baseball dropped a tight one to No. 5 Louisville by a final score of 7-6. Lexington native Devin Hairston ripped the game winning single in the ninth giving the Cards the victory.

The Cats jumped ahead in the first when Zach Reks doubled with two outs scoring Evan White who was walked to lead off the game.

After UK added another run in the top of the third on a RBI by Gunnar McNeill, UofL’s All-American Corey Ray led off the bottom half with a single that he turned into a double based purely off of hustle.

The next batter was Devin Mann who popped up to shallow right and Luke Becker and Tristan Pompey collided, but Storm Wilson made a ‘Web-Gem’ like diving catch to get the out.

The Cards would get a run on the board in the fifth making it 2-1, but UK would respond in the seventh.

Following a walk and a single to start the inning, Marcus Carson, who replaced Pompey, laid down a beautiful bunt that deadened on the third base line, loading the bases with no one out.

Riley Mahan drove in the first run on a sacrifice fly and then with two outs in the inning, White singled through the left side bringing in another run for the Cats. Wilson capped off the inning for UK with an RBI single and the Cats lead was 5-1.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Cards responded putting their first two hitters on and then a RBI groundout by Logan Taylor made it 5-2. Then Ray stepped in for UofL against Justin Lewis and put one over the 402’ sign in center field and just like that the score was 5-4.

The homer by Ray was Lewis’ first earned run allowed since early March breaking a scoreless streak that stretched 21 innings of play.

With two outs in the seventh, Brendan McKay hit what looked like would be the game tying home run for the Cards, but the 5’8″ Carson jumped up to rob McKay of a homer.

Carson continued his stellar play off the bench in the eighth picking up an RBI on a sac fly giving the Cats a 6-4 lead.

“(Carson) did a great job, you bring someone in in the middle of the game and he gets an RBI when it matters and catches a ball over the fence. A tremendous play by Marcus (Carson). I’m really happy for him,” head coach Gary Henderson said.

Lewis came back out for the eighth inning looking to keep UK ahead, but after a single to lead off the inning and a RBI double with one out, the Cards were knocking on the door.

Sean Hjelle came in to replace Lewis and was immediately plagued by a combination of passed balls and wild pitches. A wild pitch with two outs scored Danny Rosenbaum tying the game at six.

In the ninth, the Cats could not pose a threat which opened the door for the Cards who would capitalize on their opportunity and use a walk and a pair of singles to snatch the victory from UK.

UK starter Zach Logue had arguably his best outing of the year Tuesday going five innings allowing one run on six hits with two strikeouts. It was a very promising start from the lefty who looks as if he will continue to be UK’s mid-week guy going forward.

The Cats now welcome Arkansas for a weekend series that opens up on Thursday. The Razorbacks sit at 21-15 and are struggling in conference play with a record of 4-11.

“They will compete really well, we will get at it tomorrow and we will see who they got. It’s Arkansas and they’ll be good,” Henderson said.

Game one of the three game series is set for 6 p.m. Thursday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.