PADUCAH, Ky. – Keenan Wiley tied the game in the top of the ninth inning with a two out, two-run double and Chris Wade singled home the game-winning run in the top of the 10th, as the No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats used three unanswered runs in the final two innings to come-from-behind for a 4-3 win over Murray State, in front of a school-record 1,651 fans at Brooks Stadium.
Wiley came up in the top of the ninth inning with two out and runners on first and second, ripping a first-pitch offering into the left-centerfield gap, scoring Wade and Bryan Rose from first, tying the game at 3-3. Wade went to the plate with the game-winner in the top of the 10th, ripping a single through the left side and scoring Collin Cowgill from third for the difference.
Wade led UK at the plate, with a 3-for-5, one run, one-RBI performance. Cowgill finished 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Wiley’s two RBI was a game-high, going 1-for-4. Ryan Wilkes extended his hit streak to eight games with a 1-for-4 game.
With UK needing a solid pitching performance in the ninth inning, the Wildcats turned to Scott Green, who struck out all six of the batters faced, picking up his sixth win of the year.
Paducah natives Clint Tilford and Brock Wright earned starting assignments with Tilford getting the pitching nod, going five innings, allowing three hits and striking out three. Mike Kaczmarek worked two innings, not allowing a runner and striking out two. Logan Darnell allowed the Murray State third run, in one inning, walking the run.
All of Murray State’s runs came on lead-off walks, getting five hits in the game.
Kentucky (39-14) returns to action on Thursday in the final Southeastern Conference series of the year, hosting Ole Miss on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Murray State (20-27) reliever Anthony Stacy took the loss, going 3.1 innings, allowing six hits and three runs, striking out five.
UK got the 10th inning started with a quick out, before Cowgill singled up the middle and Brian Spear hit into a fielding error in right field, moving Cowgill to third on a heads-up play. After Tyler Howe struck out, Wade singled through the left side, scoring the game-winning run.
In the ninth, UK got a one-out single from Wade and Rose drew a walk. Wiley ripped a first-pitch double in to the gap, scoring the hustling Rose from first.
Murray State got on the board in the second inning, getting a lead-off walk to take a 1-0 lead. Tyler Owen walked to lead off and Andrew Cella ripped a single into the left-centerfield gap, allowing Owen to move to third. Elliot Frey scored Owen, hitting into a fielders choice.
Cowgill evened up the game in the bottom half of the fourth, working a three-ball count and drawing what appeared to be ball four, as the outfielder began running to first after a pitch appeared to miss high at the letters. Home plate umpire Joe Lewis called it a strike, sending Cowgill back to the plate for the full-count offering. Cowgill tied the game up on the next pitch, belting a high fastball towering over the fence in left field for his 18th home run of the season, a light-tower shot.
Murray got a run in the eight, taking a 3-1 lead after Darnell walked the leadoff man, who came around to score on an infield single from Wes Cunningham.