Strieby Powers Baseball to Win Over Belmont
LEXINGTON – Junior Ryan Strieby launched his 18th home run of the season with a grand slam in the seventh inning that propelled No. 4 Kentucky to a 7-2 victory over Belmont on Monday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Strieby’s homer gave him 74 RBIs on the season, which breaks the 15-year old school record of 72 set by Rick Norton in 1991. He also took over the national lead from Winthrop’s Jacob Dempsey. The grand slam came in a seven-run seventh as the Wildcats rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score their 41st win of the season, which tied the school record – also set in 1991.
In the big inning, UK drew four walks, had one hit batsmen and an error before Strieby provided the only hit of the inning.
Kentucky (41-11) returns to action Thursday when it travels to Athens, Ga., to face the No. 11 Georgia Bulldogs. The Wildcats clinched a share of the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division championship with a sweep of Mississippi State on Sunday and can win their first overall league championship with one win.
Junior Zach Dials started and lasted five innings while striking out six Bruin batters. Dials was relieved by freshman Tommy Warner who closed out the game while allowing only two hits to pick up the win and improve to 3-0 on the season.
Belmont (23-28) was paced by solid pitching from starter Ben Meador. He threw four innings without giving up a Kentucky run before being replaced by Jon Camp, who took the loss to fall to 0-1. However, it was Chris Manning, the third pitcher of the evening, who gave up the blast to Strieby.
Belmont third-basemen Derek Wiley got the scoring started for the Bruins, squeaking a line drive home run over the left-field fence for the game’s first hit to give Belmont the early 1-0 advantage.
The Bruins added to their lead, plating one run in the third. Matt Warnat, who reached on a walk, scored on an Aaron Lautman double down the left line to give Belmont a 2-0 lead.