Grand Return: Jackson Gray Clubs Grand Slam to Power No. 16 Kentucky
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Jackson Gray slugged a game-winning grand slam deep into the night as No. 16 Kentucky rallied from a four-run deficit for a 10-8 victory over Western Kentucky at Nick Denes Field.
Gray, who transferred to UK from WKU after the 2022 season, belted a 3-2 pitch over the UK bullpen beyond the right field wall in the seventh inning and Grant Smith added a three-run shot an inning later to help outlast the Hilltoppers. It was UK’s eighth true road win of the season and improved its record to 22-3.
The Cats looked a step slow in the early going, falling behind the scrappy ‘Toppers 4-0 through six innings. But the rally finally arrived when Emilien Pitre walked to open the seventh and scored from first when the centerfielder mishandled Hunter Gilliam’s single to the gap. An error allowed another run to score before Gray’s titanic shot.
Seth Logue earned the win on the mound and Zach Hise closed it out in the ninth for his first save at UK.
- Kentucky is 29-6 over its last 35 games dating to last season.
- UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his seventh season at the helm and now owns a 198-132 career record.
- Kentucky is 126-38 in non-conference games under Coach Mingione.
- UK is 111-16 vs. non-Power Five opponents.
- UK is 84-34 in the month of March under Coach Mingione.
- UK is 16-1 this March.
- Mingione now is 8-1 vs. WKU.
- Mingione is 33-12 vs. in-state opponents.
- UK has scored in 324 of 330 games under Coach Mingione.
- The Cats stole one base and now are 46-of-59 on the season.
- Kentucky used eight pitchers in the game.
- First Baseman Hunter Gilliam ran his hit streak to 18 games and he now has reached safely in all 24 games in which he’s played.
- The streak is the 5th-longest at UK since 2005.
- Outfielder Jackson Gray went 2-for-5 against his old team with four RBI and a grand slam.
- He now has reached safely in 16 consecutive games.
- He belted a go-ahead grand slam in the 7th
- Infielder Grant Smith has started all 141 games of his collegiate career.
- He homered for the second time in as many games.
Kentucky returns to Lexington to face No. 25 Missouri this weekend. First pitch is 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday. It will be streamed on SECN+. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network (630 AM WLAP, locally).