Seventh-Inning Rally Completes Twinbill Sweep
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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Zach Arnold came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit, go-ahead RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning, lifting Kentucky to a 4-3 win over Murray State in the second game of a home-lidlifting doubleheader, on Tuesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
After Kentucky opened its 2015 season on the longest road stretch for the program since 2001, a 10-game span with trips to Wilmington, N.C., Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Port Charlotte, Fla., UK opened its home schedule with a doubleheader with Murray State.
Kentucky (9-3) opened the two-game day with a 4-1 win over the Racers in the first game and a 4-3 win in the finale. In the first game, freshman lefty Zach Logue worked 6.2 innings and allowed one run in his first career start to post the win. UK then turned to another freshman southpaw, Brad Schaenzer for his first career start in the nightcap. Schaenzer worked five innings and allowed one run, walking one and striking out three.
Arnold, a native of Frankfort, Ky., stepped to the plate as the pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning and pulled a double down the line, scoring Connor Heady as the go-ahead run. The Wildcats then went on to score three runs to take a 4-1 lead into the eighth inning.
UK totaled 11 hits in the game, led by a three-hit game from freshman Riley Mahan. Kyle Barrett charted his 11th multiple-hit game in 12 contests in 2015, going 2-for-3, with Ka'ai Tom also collecting a pair of hits. Arnold, Shelby, Heady and Thomas Bernal each added hits.
Junior righty Zach Strecker (1-0) took over to start the sixth inning, working two innings, allowing two hits and one earned run, walking one and striking out five to pick up the decision. Sophomore lefty Logan Salow came on to get three outs in the eighth inning and finished off the game for his second save of his career and the first of the year.
Murray State (3-8) starter Brandon Hicks worked three innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run, not issuing a walk and striking out two. Andrew Bramley, Sheldon Baxter and Tyler Anderson worked in relief for the Racers.
UK will return to action on Wednesday, playing host to Wright State at 4 p.m.
The Wildcats got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, as Barrett singled to leadoff and took second on a throwing error on a botched pick-off attempt. Tom then singled up the middle, scoring Barrett for an early 1-0 lead.
Dalton West led off the second with his third homer of the year, a blast over the leftfield fence, evening the game at 1-1.
UK rallied for the lead in the seventh inning, as Heady led off with a single, taking second on Barrett's sacrifice bunt. Arnold then painted a double down the leftfield line, scoring Heady and giving UK a 2-1 lead. After a second out, Shelby doubled to leftfield, scoring pinch-runner Troy Squires from second base. Shelby then stole third base and came around to score on a wild pitch that sailed into the MSU dugout, giving UK a 4-1 lead.
Murray State cut into the UK lead with a two-out, two-RBI single to centerfield in the top of the eighth inning, cutting the UK lead to 4-3.