Wildcats Defeat Vanderbilt 9-5
May 12, 2000
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky Wildcats broke a 5-5 tie with four runs in the top of the ninth inning on their way to a 9-5 victory over the Vanderbilt baseball team on Friday night in Nashville, Tenn. With the bases loaded, Vince Harrison tripled down the right field line to clear the bases and drive in the eventual game-winning runs for the Wildcats. The Cats jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the game by hammering out four home runs in the third inning.
Vanderbilt starter Andy Beal (2-11) took the loss, but worked a career-high 8-2/3 innings and fanned a career-high 13 batters. Beal did not allow a walk until the ninth inning, breaking a streak of 17 straight innings without allowing a walk. With the loss, the Commodores fell to 21-31 overall, 5-22 in the Southeastern Conference.
Kentucky kept its chances alive for the SEC Tournament, improving to 35-18-1, 10-16-1 in conference play. Right-hander Josh Paxton (4-2) earned the win in relief for the Cats, pitching 3-1/3 scoreless innings to close out the game while allowing just one hit.
Brandon Webb started for the Cats and despite being spotted with a four-run lead, couldn't make it out of the sixth inning. In that fateful sixth, the 'Dores took the lead at 5-4 with three runs in the inning, two of which came on a home run by VU right fielder Adam Blue. In 5-2/3 innings, Webb allowed 11 hits and five runs (earned) while striking out nine. He did not walk a batter. By fanning nine, Webb moved within two strikeouts of tying the UK single-season strikeout record of 121 set in 1990 by Rod Bolton.
Andy Green started UK's third inning homer barage by leading off with his ninth round-tripper of the year. One hitter later, John Wilson broke his second seven-game homerless streak of the season with a solo shot to left field, his team-leading 18th of the season and the 50th of his career. Wilson is the first player in Kentucky history to reach the 50 home run plateau. UK then got back-to-back home runs from Vince Harrison and Seth Morris to cap off the outburst.
Vanderbilt answered with one run in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Ashley Freeman that allowed Kevin Geshke to score.
VU cut UK's lead to just two runs, 4-2, in the fourth when Andy Kropf homered to left field. The solo shot was his fifth home run of the year.
After Blue's long-ball tied the game in the sixth, VU's took its first lead of the game courtesy of an RBI single by Geshke.
Kentucky came back to tie the game in the seventh, 5-5, when Wilson drove in Green on a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Wildcats scored all four runs in the top of the ninth on two outs. Jeff Meade started the rally with a double to right field. VU intentionally walked Wilson and then gave up a walk to Aaron McGlone to load the bases. VU then went to bullpen for reliever Jeff Little. Little would give up the three-run triple to Harrison. Harrison would later score on a failed pick off attempt by Little for the final run of the rally.
Harrison led UK at the plate going 4-for-5 while four Commodores notched two hits a piece: Geshke, Freeman, Nonemaker and Kropf.
The two teams continue the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday.