Stewart Smacks Game-Winning Double to Lift Cats Over Ball State in 10 Innings
March 10, 2002
Sophomore Caleb Stewart smacked a two-out double off the right field wall to score Brad Pickrell in the bottom of the 10th inning and give the University of Kentucky baseball team a 6-5 comeback victory over Ball State in frigid, windy weather conditions at Applebee's Park Sunday afternoon. With the win, UK claimed the weekend series over BSU, two games to one.
"I thought our guys competed extremely well, especially in the last five innings," Coach Keith Madison said. "We made some costly errors early on, but we did not let those mistakes effect us mentally. Our guys played with a lot of confidence and courage today, and it was really nice to get two great pitching performances from our bullpen."
Craig Snipp made his third start for the Wildcats (8-8) and lasted 4.1 innings before being relieved by sophomore right-hander Mark Galvin. The Cardinals (2-5) took advantage of four Wildcat errors in the first four innings and crossed the plate five times off Snipp, with only two earned runs being assigned to the freshman left-hander.
After Ball State scored a run in the first off a sacrifice fly by BSU designated hitter Adam Metzler, UK answered with two runs off Cardinal starter Andrew Anderson in its half of the third. Sophomore third baseman Cory Hahn reached on a fielding error by BSU right fielder Brad Snyder and senior Robert Newton was awarded first base after being plunked by Anderson. Junior right fielder Gordon Tyler lit the scoreboard for the Cats when his two-run double to right brought Hahn and Newton home.
Anderson handed the ball to Brian Lynch in the bottom of the sixth, and the Cats wasted no time in getting to the right-handed reliever as junior shortstop Russ Rutherford cracked his first home run as a Wildcat over the left-center fence, skimming Ball State's lead to 5-4. Galvin did his job by keeping the Cards off the bases, pitching 4.1 scoreless innings. The Elizabethtown, Ky. native, allowed only three hits while walking one and fanning three in his sixth appearance of the season.
Newton started the Cats' game-tying rally in the seventh when he was hit by a pitch for the fourth time in two games. Junior Seth Morris, who extended his team-leading hitting streak to seven games, singled down the right field line and after Mike Ferris walked, Rutherford ripped a grounder to third that BSU third baseman Marc Franz could not handle, allowing Newton to touch home and send the game to extra innings.
Senior Bryan Felkel entered in the ninth and chalked up his first win of the season after sitting down four straight batters, including two strikeouts to end the 10th inning. In the UK 10th, Pickrell dropped a single in shallow right with two down and was brought home on a stand-up double off the right field wall by Stewart, giving the Cats a 6-5 win and evening their season record at 8-8.
UK will next be in action on Wednesday, March 13 when it plays host to Austin Peay at Applebee's Park in a 3 p.m. contest before opening Southeastern Conference action next weekend at Auburn.
Ball State 100 310 000 0 - 5 10 3 Kentucky 002 101 100 1 - 6 8 4 Win: Felkel (1-0) Loss: Henry (0-1) Time: 2:58 Attendance: 182