Newton Walk-Off Slam Gives Baseball Win Over Ohio
May 10, 2000
LEXINGTON, Ky.- University of Kentucky first baseman Robert Newton hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as the Wildcats came back to beat the Ohio Bobcats, 8-5, on Wednesday night in the final game at Cliff Hagan Stadium for the 2000 UK baseball season.
Kentucky (34-18-1) trailed 5-4 heading into the final frame after Ohio (28-20-1) took the lead with two runs in the fourth and sixth innings. The win was just the second of the season for the Cats when trailing after eight innings. UK is now 5-4 this season in games decided in the last at-bat.
Newton's first career grand slam came off Ohio reliever Dan Cobb who retired the first two hitters in the ninth, but got into trouble after Andy Green extended the game with a single to left field, giving him his second career four-hit game. Cobb (0-1) was victimized by a fielding error by OU third baseman Jeff Rook on a hard grounder by Jeff Meade. Aaron McGlone then set the stage for Newton's heroics by loading the bases with an infield single that deflected off Cobb's glove.
"You just gotta feel great for our guys tonight," UK's coach Keith Madison said. "Robert came up in a clutch situation and gave us a good at-bat by working for a pitch he could drive. This is a great way for us to head into the weekend."
The Cats travel to Vanderbilt this weekend for the final Southeastern Conference series of the regular season needing to win at least two of three to have a chance to earn their third consecutive berth into the SEC Tournament. Even with a sweep of Vandy, the worst team in the conference, Ole Miss must lose two games against Arkansas while Tennessee must lose once to No. 1 South Carolina.
Newton entered the game in the fourth inning as a replacement for John Wilson, who was ejected from the game in the bottom of the third after going out of his way to barrel over OU catcher Jeremy Johnson. Cobb retired Newton to end the seventh inning, but in the junior's next at-bat, he pulled his seventh home run of the season just over the wall in the right field corner that sits 310-feet from home plate.
After pitching 2-2/3 scoreless innings, Cobb took the loss despite allowing no earned runs. The error by Rook made all four ninth-inning runs unearned. UK's right-hander Joseph Blanton pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the victory, moving to a perfect 4-0 this season one day after earning his second career save with two scoreless innings of work in a 3-1 win over Western Kentucky.
With UK starter Rob Corrado allowing just one run (unearned) in three solid innings of work, the Cats took a 3-1 lead after three innings. In the first, Wilson gave the Cats the lead with a single driving in Green who crushed his team leading 15th double to start the inning. After the Cats regained the lead in the second on a run-scoring double play, Vince Harrison reached on a fielder's choice that scored Aaron McGlone and led to the play at the plate that resulted in Wilson's ejection.
The Cats lost the lead as Josh Paxton and Breck Price allowed two runs (earned) in their first inning of work. Price, after giving up two hits and walking two in his only inning of work, gave way to Jon Hooker who held the Bobcats at bay by tossing two scoreless innings of relief.
In addition to Green's four hits, four other UK players contributed multi-hit games to UK's 13-hit attack. McGlone, Wilson, Jason Wolfe and Seth Morris each collected two hits and scored four of UK's eight runs in the game.
Meade for the team-lead with six game-winning runs batted in this season.
With his seventh-inning single that stood as his third hit of the day, Andy Green moved past Aaron
McGlone for the all-time UK hit lead, 265 to 264. McGlone tied him with single one hitter later and the two seniors remain tied after each singled in the ninth for their 266th career hits.