Resilient Wildcats Outlast Southern Illinois in 10 Innings
CARBONDALE, Illinois – Emilien Pitre delivered a clutch at-bat that resulted in the game-winning hit with two outs in the 10th inning as Kentucky scored a hard-fought 5-4 extra inning road victory at Southern Illinois in Friday night’s series opener.
Kentucky (12-2) claimed its eighth consecutive victory.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead but left 15 runners on base to allow the veteran Salukis to scratch back into the contest, eventually tying the game in the ninth inning. Seth Chavez came in on the mound, extricated the Cats from that inning then locked the game up with a 3-2 fastball to freeze SIU’s leadoff hitter and strand the tying run at third in the 10th.
UK has already won three true road games this season, this time over a SIU team that had won 84 games the past two seasons.
- UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his seventh season at the helm and now owns a 188-131 career record.
- Kentucky is 121-38 in non-conference games under Coach Mingione.
- UK is 107-16 vs. non-Power Five opponents.
- UK is 74-33 in the month of March under Coach Mingione.
- UK pitchers have struck out 148 through 14 games, 10.6 per game.
- UK has held its opponents to three runs or fewer in 10 of 14 games.
- First baseman Hunter Gilliam has started 127 consecutive games at the collegiate level.
- He has reached safely in all 14 games this season and owns an eight-game hit streak.
- He has a team-high six multi-RBI games and five multi-hit games.
- Infielder Grant Smith has started all 130 games of his collegiate career.
- Infielder/Outfielder Jase Felker has reached base safely in 13 consecutive games.
- Infielder Emilien Pitre has reached base safely in 12 consecutive games.
- After falling behind 0-2 with two outs in the 10th, he fouled off three pitches, took another and then singled home the game-winning run.
- Outfielder Nolan McCarthy had two hits, including a double, and an RBI.
- Pitcher Darren Williams pitched 6.0 innings, giving up seven hits (five infield hits) and a two-run home run, the first runs he has allowed all season.
- He started the season with 15.1 scoreless innings.
- Pitcher Seth Chavez got his first win with 1.2 scoreless innings.
Kentucky and Southern Illinois will meet again on Saturday. The game will be streamed on ESPN+. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.