Northern Kentucky Hands No. 12 Baseball 5-4 Midweek Setback

Box Score | Photos | Notes 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning lifted Northern Kentucky to a 5-4 win over No. 12 Kentucky, on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium. 

Kentucky (17-7) and NKU traded two-run innings early in the game, before UK took a 3-2 advantage into the sixth inning. NKU then rallied with three runs, as UK committed an error and had a defender slip while chasing a routine fly ball in the outfield during the inning, allowing the Norse to score the decisive runs. 

The Wildcats were held to seven hits in the game, with Evan White extending his hitting streak to 17 games with a 1-for-4 outing. Junior DH Gunnar McNeill stretched his streak to 19 games with an infield single, with UK also getting a triple from JaVon Shelby and hits from Dorian Hairston, Zach Reks and Riley Mahan. Sophomore second baseman Luke Becker belted his first career home run in the setback. 

UK starter Zach Pop worked a career-high tying four innings, allowing two runs on four hits, not issuing a walk and equaling his career-best with four strikeouts. Sophomore lefty Brad Schaenzer (0-1) started the fifth in relief, tossing three innings, allowing three runs – one earned – walking one and striking out two. Justin Lewis tossed shutout frames in the eighth and the ninth. 

Northern Kentucky (8-16) starter Tyler Miller (1-2) worked six innings, allowing four runs – three earned on six hits, not issuing a walk and striking out three. Soft-tossing southpaw Charlie Jerger started the seventh, tossing three shutout innings for his second save of the year. 

Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday, hosting Xavier at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. 

The Wildcats struck first in the bottom of the second inning, as McNeill reached on an infield hit to open the frame and Reks followed with a single through the left side. After a line-out double play got Reks off first, Hairston singled through the right side, scoring McNeill from second base. Mahan then scored Hairston with a RBI single to left-centerfield. 

Northern Kentucky tied the game in the third inning, with Tito Montgomery sparking the inning with a one-out single and Conor Ledger singling with a hit-and-run in play. After a second out pushed a pair of runners into scoring position, Logan Spurlin then singled to centerfield, scoring the duo to even the game at 2-2. 

NKU rallied to take the lead in the sixth inning, with taking advantage of a slip in centerfield and an error that forced UK to make five outs in the inning. Spurlin tied the game in with his fourth home run of the year over the centerfield fence. After the second out, Mike Moffatt singled to shallow centerfield, with UK’s Storm Wilson slipping while trying to charge the ball. Dominic Mercurio kept the frame alive by reaching on an error, scoring Moffatt. Kyle Colleta then reached on an infield single and Quint Heady doubled into the cap, scoring Mercurio.