LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Freshmen Braden Kapteyn and Cory Farris each belted home runs, with Kapteyn charting a 4-for-6, four-RBI game and Farris totaling a 3-for-5, five-RBI outing to lead the Kentucky Wildcats to a 18-10 win over Morehead State in the final home game of the 2009 season, on a beautiful Tuesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Trailing 10-9 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, UK got a pinch-hit double from Marcus Nidiffer and a RBI double from Farris to even up the game heading to the eighth. The Wildcats put the game away with an eight-run eighth inning, getting a two-RBI double from shortstop Chris Wade, a RBI bunt single from Keenan Wiley, a grand slam from Farris and an RBI single from Gunner Glad.
Not only did Kapteyn contribute a four-hit, four RBI game – equaling the best output of his career – but the freshman from Lansing, Ill., hurled the final two innings of the game, allowing only one hit and striking out three, improving to 5-0 on the year. Wade joined the RBI-fest with a 4-for-5, five-RBI day. Glad totaled a 3-for-5 game, with Chad Wright finishing 2-for-5, and Chris Bisson going 3-for-5 with four runs scored. Farris’ game came on the heels of one of the better outings of his career Sunday, when the Florence, Ky., native went 2-for-4 with his first career extra-base hit, snapping a streak of 66 consecutive at bats without an extra-base hit for the blossoming hitter. After doubling off the wall against Auburn Sunday, Farris exploded in a big way Tuesday, ripping his second double and first career homer – a grand slam – both coming in clutch RBI situations.
UK starter Clint Tilford lasted just 1.1 innings for Kentucky, allowing six runs – all earned – on eight hits while walking three and striking out none. Senior Jonathan Huff was the first out of the bullpen for UK, giving the Wildcats four solid innings. The righty allowed four earned runs on three hits while walking five and inducing two double plays. Kentucky turned to sophomore Mike Kaczmarek in the sixth inning, getting 1.1 innings out of the lefty who allowed only one hit, while striking out two. Kapteyn then started the eighth inning for UK, shutting the door on the Morehead offensively.
The Eagles got on the board in the first inning, getting three perfectly-placed hits. J.D. Ashbrook started the game with an infield single on a slow-hit ground ball to short, then advanced to third on a high chopping double just over the head of the Kentucky third baseman by Daniel Pugh. Morehead State then got its first run when Drew Lee was jammed by Tilford but still fisted the ball into left, scoring Ashbrook. After Lee was picked off first base for the first out of the inning, Bottoms sent a rope off the high right field wall, scoring another run and giving the Eagles a two-run lead. Taylor Davis then singled up the middle on a slow grounded ball up the middle putting runners on the corners. The Eagles got their final run of the inning when Andrew Deeds hit a sacrifice fly to right field. All together in the first inning, Tilford gave up three runs on seven hits.
After two quick outs to start the bottom of the first, the Wildcats answered the Eagles with a run of their own in the first inning, when Bisson reached on a single to the shortstop and Glad roped a line-drive single into the right-center field gap, scoring Bisson. Wade then hit a fly ball to the warning track in left field. The ball was dropped by the left fielder, allowing Glad to score and Kentucky to cut the lead to one. With two outs, Kapteyn hit a laser line drive to the left field wall, scoring Wade and tying the game at three.
Morehead State plated three more runs in the second inning, led by a two-RBI double into left-center field by Lee. The inning started on back-to-back walks to Ashbrook and Pugh, both scoring on the 17th double of the year for Lee. After a balk and a walk, Tilford was replaced in the game by senior righty Jonathan Huff. Deeds greeted Huff with a single up the middle, scoring a run and putting runners at first and second with one out. The inning ended when Huff got Eric Bainer to ground a ball back to him, inducing a 1-6-3 double play.
The Eagles scored again in the third inning, when Lee plated his fourth RBI of the game. With runners on first and second and two outs, Lee sent a laser line drive to right field that scored Redmon and gave the Eagles a 7-3 music.
Kentucky tied the game in the third inning, highlighted by a two-RBI double by Wade. The inning started when Bisson led off with a single up the middle and then Glad ripped a double to left field. Both runners came home to score on Wade’s double into the left center field gap. Kapteyn then hit his second double of the game with a rope that landed just fair down the left field line, scoring Wade and cutting the MSU lead to one. Wiley then walked, and Suerdick flied out to the first baseman on a bunt attempt bringing up Farris with runners at first and second, one out. The Kentucky right fielder singled through the right side of the infield, loading the bases. Wright tied the game with a sacrifice fly into center field, scoring Kapteyn and moving two runners into scoring position for Burns. The rally ended when Burns grounded out to shortstop.
The Wildcats took the lead in the fourth inning when Kapteyn hit his fourth homer of the season. With two outs, Wade continued the inning by being hit by a pitch giving Kapteyn a chance to give Kentucky a lead. Kapteyn sent a rope to right center field, that cleared the McDonalds sign with ease giving UK a 9-7 lead.
The Eagles cut the lead to one in the sixth inning when Bottoms doubled into left center field scoring Lee. The inning started when Pugh walked and was called out at second on Lee’s fielder choice. Bottoms then doubled with a laser shot just out of the reach of a diving Wright. Later in the inning, Morehead State took the lead with a two-RBI single by Luke Bainer off of reliever Mike Kaczmarek.
UK evened up the game in the bottom of the seventh, plating one run on two hits. With one out, catcher Nidiffer pinch hit for Suerdick and turned on a pitch, sending it down the left-field line for his sixth double of the year. Farris, a native of Florence, Ky., followed and belted a two-strike offering into right field for his second double in as many games, scoring Nidiffer from second and making it 10-10.
In the eighth inning, with the bases loaded and Farris at the plate, Kentucky delivered the decisive blow that ended the upset hopes of the Eagles. Farris sent a soaring fly ball into right center field that cleared the wall and landed just to the right of the observation deck for the freshman’s first career home run. The inning started on a fielding error by the MSU second baseman, Glad then doubled to left field for his second double of the game. Wade then delivered two RBI when he singled up the middle. Wade then scored when Keenan Wiley hit an infield bunt single and the pitcher threw wildly to first. After an intentional walk to Marcus Nidiffer, Farris sent his laser over the right field wall.