Go Wild! Kentucky Claims Extra-Inning Victory in SEC Opener
Let’s get wild.
Hunter Gilliam raced home on a wild pitch with two outs in the 10th inning as Kentucky claimed its 12th consecutive victory with a 6-5 walk-off win over Mississippi State at Kentucky Proud Park on Southeastern Conference Opening Night.
The Cats (16-2, 1-0 SEC) took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, fell behind 5-4, then tied the game in the eighth inning before the winning run scored in extras. Gilliam opened the 10th with a line single to left field, moved to second on Ryan Waldschmidt’s sacrifice bunt, to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a second Nate Dohm wild pitch to Kendal Ewell, who had previously fouled off a two-strike pitch.
The Cats jumped out early with a four-spot in the first inning but saw the Bulldogs (13-6, 0-1) fight back to claim the lead in the fifth. Grant Smith laced a two-strike, two-out game-tying single in the eighth as reliever Mason Moore did yeoman’s work holding State scoreless for 4.1 innings. Reliever Seth Chavez then blew threw the State lineup to earn the victory.
- UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his seventh season at the helm and now owns a 192-131 career record.
- UK is 78-33 in the month of March under Coach Mingione.
- UK pitchers have struck out 181 through 18 games.
- UK has scored in 317 of 323 games under Coach Mingione.
- UK drew seven walks and two hit by pitch.
- UK notched its second traditional walk-off of the season and 15 times total under Coach Mingione.
- First baseman Hunter Gilliam has started 131 consecutive games at the collegiate level.
- He has reached safely in all 18 games this season and owns an 12-game hit streak.
- He led off the 10th inning with a single to left field and scored the game-winning run.
- Infielder Grant Smith has started all 134 games of his collegiate career.
- He had a game-tying two-strike, two-out single in the eighth inning.
- Outfielder Jackson Gray drew his 11th hit by pitch of the season, which ranks in the top five in nation.
- Infielder Emilien Pitre has reached base safely in 16 consecutive games.
- Pitcher Mason Moore threw 4.1 scoreless innings.
- He set new career-highs in innings pitched (4.1), strikeouts (7) and pitches (67)
- Pitcher Seth Chavez earned his second extra-inning victory in seven days with 1.1 perfect innings. He struck out the side in the 10th
Kentucky will try to win a series vs. Mississippi State on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET at Kentucky Proud Park. The game will be streamed on SECN+. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.