LEXINGTON, Ky. – Cam Hill did not enter the sport till the ninth inning, did not have successful. a putout and even an official at-bat, but pushed Kentucky to a dramatic 5-4 walk-off win over Missouri on Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Proud Park, securing a sequence win on opening weekend within the Southeastern Convention.
Hill, a redshirt junior outfielder, got here in as a defensive alternative within the prime of the ninth inning earlier than main off the underside half by taking a pitch off the helmet. After convincing trainers and UK head coach Nick Mingione he was unhurt, he promptly scooted to second on a handed ball and stole third to take a seat 90 ft from victory. When Lukas Veinbergs’ pitch to Kirk Liebert popped out of catcher Chad McDaniel’s glove and caromed towards the Missouri dugout, Hill raced residence, sliding throughout residence plate with a headfirst slide to attain the game-winner.
“He wore a ball within the head,” Mingione mentioned. “Then his velocity completely impacted the sport. He steals third after which a ball barely will get previous the catcher and he scores and we win the sport together with his legs. Completely impacted the sport.”
Hill, often called a gritty, do-anything-it-takes teammate, did not hesitate to take the hit by pitch and arrange the Cats’ first walk-off win since John Rhodes’ residence run beat Murray State on Mar. 4, 2020.
“I noticed it come out of his arms and towards (my head) and I mentioned I wasn’t going to maneuver,” Hill mentioned.
The victory moved UK to 13-3 general and 2-0 within the SEC for simply the third time previously 15 seasons. They’re going to look to safe a sweep on Sunday, which might be the primary league sweep since taking three from Tennessee on Could 12-14, 2017.
Saturday’s win did not come simply however confirmed resilience. The Cats fell behind 3-0 within the second inning earlier than tying it an inning later, punctuated by Austin Schultz scampering residence on a groundout to the catcher by T.J. Collett. Schultz later saved a possible run with a diving catch in centerfield.
Prime 2nd – Keefer walked and Swanger reached on a hovering fly ball that fell for successful. Cepicky tripled to LCF, scoring each runners. Cepicky scored on a SAC fly. Missouri 3, UK 0.
Backside 3rd – Coltyn Kessler and Ryan Ritter walked. Austin Schultz singled to load the bases. Oraj Anu hit an extended single into the LF nook, scoring Kessler. John Rhodes grounded out to 3B, scoring Ritter. Schultz and Anu moved up. Schultz raced residence on a groundout to the catcher. UK 3, Mizzou 3.
Backside 8th – Trae Harmon walked. Jaren Shelby pinch ran for Harmon. Zeke Lewis executed a pinch hit SAC bunt to maneuver Shelby to second. Reuben Church was deliberately walked. Kessler singled to LF to load the bases. Ritter hit a SAC fly to RF, scoring Shelby. UK 4, Mizzou 3.
Prime 9th – Montgomery walked. Lancaster pinch ran. Keefer singled to RF. Cepicky hit into fielder’s selection, Lancaster to 3rd. Peterson reached on a two-out, pinch hit infield single to SS, scoring Lancaster. UK 4, Mizzou 4.
Backside 9th – Cam Hill was hit by a pitch and superior to second on a handed ball. Hill stole third. Hill scored on a handed ball. UK 5, Mizzou 4.
- UK is 2-0 in SEC play for the primary time since 2017 and simply the third time previously 15 seasons (2008 and 2012).
- The final time the Cats received in walk-off vogue was vs. Murray State on March 4, 2020 when John Rhodes hit a solo residence run.
- UK is 40-21 at Kentucky Proud Park beneath head coach Nick Mingione.
- The UK pitching workers has 30 consecutive video games with seven or extra strikeouts, together with 24 with 10 or extra.
- The UK pitching workers has struck out 184 batters and walked simply 41 this season.
- The workers entered the sport fourth the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
- Junior IF/OF Austin Schultz went 2-for-4 with a run and a triple.
- Schultz has reached base safely in 71 of 76 profession video games.
- He presently has a career-long 12-game hit streak.
- He logged his ninth multi-hit recreation of the season and 24th profession.
- Senior 1B T.J. Collett was hit by a pitch to increase his team-best reached base safely streak to 16 video games. He additionally drove in a run with an RBI groundout.
- Senior C Coltyn Kessler went 1-for-2 with a run and two walks.
- Kessler walked his first two occasions to the plate, extending his streak to eight straight plate appearances the place he reached safely (three hits, 5 walks).
- Junior OF Cam Hill entered within the ninth inning as a defensive alternative earlier than his toughness and legs received it within the backside of the inning.
- Hill was hit by a pitch, superior to second on a handed ball, stole third and scored the deciding run on a second handed ball.
The Cats will look to comb the opening SEC sequence on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is about for midday ET. The sport will likely be aired nationally on the SEC Community. The radio name will likely be on the UK Sports activities Community.