Kentucky Falls to Florida After Wild Ninth
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In a finish delayed from Friday evening by rain, the Kentucky’s baseball team dropped a heartbreaking 10-9 decision at the hands of No. 7 Florida Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.
The game’s final four innings were completed Saturday after the Gators led 5-4 through the five innings, played Friday night. Immediately on Saturday, Florida pounced on Kentucky pitcher Craig Snipp with a pair of singles followed by a Matt LaPorta three-run homer to left. Winds gusting out at up to 20 miles per hour aided in the shot that extended the lead to 8-4.
Kentucky rallied for a run in the seventh as Antone DeJesus’ knocked his second triple of the game and scored on John Shelby’s RBI single. Each finished the game with three hits, marking the fourth time in five games Shelby has recorded at least three hits.
The game got very interesting in the ninth as the Wildcats loaded the bases and got a single by J.P. Lowen to score a pair and cut the lead to one. Ryan Wilkes doubled home the tying run and Shaun Lehmann and DeJesus each drew walks to force in the go-ahead run.
However, the Gators were not willing to go quietly. Justin Tordi led off the ninth with a solo home run to knot the game, 9-9. Jared Kubin reached on a one-out walk, took second on Brandon McArthur’s single before moving to third on a fielder’s choice. He scored on a wild pitch by Adam Revelette, who relieved Brock Baber in the ninth.
Baber took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year. He was responsible for both runs in the ninth.
Bryan Ball worked all five innings Friday for Florida and but earned a no decision after Kentucky rallied. Steven Porter picked up his first win of the season by throwing a third of an inning.
Craig Snipp relieved starter Scott Green on Friday in the fourth and worked two innings Friday and one Saturday, allowing six runs on six hits. He was followed by a pair of true freshmen – Tommy Warner and Greg Dombrowski – who each worked a scoreless inning in his SEC debut.
Friday night, the Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Florida rallied with a two-run third and a three-run fourth to take the lead. Kentucky wasted no time in the first as J.B. Schmidt drew a lead-off walk and DeJesus followed with his first triple. He came home on Lehmann’s RBI groundout.
DeJesus beat out an infield single in the third and came around to score on a Shelby single for Kentucky’s third run.
In the third, the rain began to fall and Florida began to rally. Gavin Dickey was hit by a pitch and Adam Davis singled with no outs. Dickey came home on a groundout that was the second out of the inning before Justin Tordi singled home Davis to cut the lead to 3-2.
The inning closed the book on Green who had worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first as well. He threw three innings and allowed two runs on four hits.
J.P. Lowen sent the first pitch of the fourth inning over the scoreboard in right field to push the Kentucky lead to two runs, 4-2. It was his second home run in three games.
In the fourth, the Gators took the lead with a three-run outburst. Davis belted an RBI double and LaPorta followed with a sacrifice fly to score Dickey. Brian Leclerc’s two-out RBI single scored Davis and gave Florida the lead, 5-4.