Kansas State beats UK baseball 7-5


LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A five-run fifth inning spurred Kansas State to a 7-5 win over No. 8 Kentucky, handing UK its first loss of the 2013 season, on Thursday evening at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park, during day one of the Carravelle Resort Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina.

Kentucky (3-1) suffered its first loss of the year as K-State erased a three-run UK lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with a five-run frame that included seven consecutive hitters reaching base safely.

The Wildcats got a 3-for-4 game from sophomore third baseman Max Kuhn to lead UK at the plate, with J.T. Riddle extending his hitting streak to seven games with a 1-for-4 game, adding a walk. Over the first four games of 2013, Riddle has reached base safely in 17-of-23 trips to the plate.

Kentucky also got hits from A.J. Reed and Matt Reida, with Austin Cousino scoring a run and Lucas Witt contributing a sacrifice fly. Reed launched a towering homer to rightfield with two outs, his first homer of the year.

Reed (1-1) worked 4.1 innings in the loss, allowing seven hits and four runs, not issuing a walk and striking out three. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound lefty left in the fifth after allowing three consecutive seeing-eye singles to score a pair of runs. Sophomore right-hander Chandler Shepherd took over for Reed with two on in the fifth inning, allowing three consecutive hitters to reach and two runs to score on the Reed pitching line. Shepherd worked two innings, allowing five hits and one run, walking two and striking out one. Freshmen Zach Strecker and Dylan Dwyer came on in relief in the seventh and each struck out their respective hitter with runners on base. Dwyer worked a shutout inning with a strikeout, while freshman righty Kyle Cody got the final out of the eighth inning.

Kansas State (3-1) starter Joe Flattery worked four innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking two and striking out two. Levi MaVorhis (1-0) replaced him to start the fifth inning, working two innings, allowing two hits and one unearned run, striking out one. Lefty Landon Busch got an out in the seventh, with Jake Matthys working 1.2 shutout innings of relief.

UK will return to action on Friday at Pelicans Park, facing Elon at 11 a.m. ET. UK will send senior southpaw Jerad Grundy (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound to face Phoenix ace senior lefty Dylan Clark (1-0, 1.50 ERA).

The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the fourth inning, loading the bases with no outs on a walk from Reed and singles from Riddle and Kuhn. After a Bernal grounder to third got the lead out at the plate in the form of Reed, Witt hung a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Riddle from third base. Down 1-2 in the count, Reida then scored Kuhn with a two-out single smashed into centerfield.

In the top of the fifth inning, UK got a run to stretch its lead to 3-0. Cousino led off with a hard-hit ball to second base that went as an error, with the centerfielder motoring to second on a hit-and-run with Zac Zellers. Reed then smashed a single through the right side to score Cousino from second base.

The Cats took a 5-3 lead after batting around on five singles in the bottom of the fifth inning. Austin Fisher got hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, taking second on a groundout. Shane Conlon, Jared King and Ross Kivett each singled on seeing-eye infield knocks, scoring two runs and chasing Reed from the game. Shepherd then walked the bases loaded with Jon Davis and Damion Lovato singled home two with a seeing-eye single through the left side. R.J. Santigate then singled to keep the stretch of seven consecutive Cats hitters to reach and Shepherd walked Blair DeBord on four pitches to force home a run.

Conlon pushed the lead to 7-3 with a two-out homer over the rightfield fence. Conlon finished the game 5-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored.

Reed launched his first homer of the year with two outs in the ninth, cutting the K-State final margin to 7-5. He scored Jeff Boehm, who drew a walk to leadoff the ninth.

GAME NOTES: J.T. Riddle made his team-high 70th consecutive start … With a lead-off walk in the second inning, Riddle has reached base safely in 16-of-19 trips to the plate to open 2013 … Riddle followed that at bat with a single through the left side, reaching in 17-for-20 trips to open 2013 … Matt Reida recorded his 24th career two-out RBI in the fourth inning and his team-high fourth of 2013 … Lucas Witt hung his third career sacrifice fly and the first of 2013 … Riddle extended his hitting streak to seven games … Austin Cousino had his team-long hitting streak snapped at seven games … A.J. Reed hit his first homer of the year and his fifth career bomb.

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