Tide take series from tough-luck Cats

The opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play was a tough pill to swallow for Gary Henderson's Kentucky baseball squad.

The opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play was a tough pill to swallow for Gary Henderson's Kentucky baseball squad.

After losing Friday's opener in bizarre fashion that included having a home run taken away, hitting into a bases-loaded triple play and a rally-killing interference call, the Wildcats sandwiched a win in Game 2 between another tough loss in Saturday's finale.

Down to its final out in both the ninth and 10th innings, Alabama got two-run homers in each frame to spoil UK starter Andrew Nelson's gem and claim the series with a 5-3 win.

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A.J. Reed had belted his NCAA-leading ninth home run to stake UK to a 3-1 lead entering the ninth, but the Crimson Tide got a two-out homer from star first baseman Austen Smith to send the game into extra innings.

With two outs in the 10th, Alabama shortstop Mikey White hit a game-winning home run off the first pitch he saw from UK reliever Spencer Jack after Chance Vincent had reached on an infield single.

Alabama (12-6, 2-1 SEC) denied No. 20 Kentucky (14-6, 1-2 SEC) of its first series win in Tuscaloosa since 1993.

Nelson worked a career-long 8.2 innings, allowing only two earned runs on seven hits with five strike outs and no walks. He gave way to Logan Salow (1-1) with two outs in the ninth, who was charged with one of the two runs the Tide scored in the 10th.

Jon Keller started for Alabama. He entered the game with a 0.83 ERA, but the Cats got to him for three runs on eight hits in a no-decision. Thomas Burrows (3-0) picked up the win in relief, pitching a scoreless 10th inning.

The Cats got a three-hit game from Reed, including his three-run homer in the fifth inning. Austin Cousino and Max Kuhn each had two hits, while Micheal Thomas and Thomas Bernal each added one.


The Cats got a strong start from Chandler Shepherd (4-0) in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. The junior right-hander allowed only two earned runs on nine hits over 7.2 innings while striking out five and walking none.

Thomas, a senior catcher, went 4-for-4 and drove in three runs to lead the UK offensive attack. Kyle Barrett, Cousino, Kuhn, Reed and Bernal each added one hit for the Cats. Cousino recorded his second home run of the season and drove in a pair of runs. Bernal had one RBI.

Alabama's Justin Kamplain (2-2) started and took the loss for the Tide, allowing five earned runs on six hits and a walk over five innings.

Kentucky returns to action Tuesday, playing host to Western Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

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