Kentucky Wildcats rally for 3-2 win over Austin Peay in home opener

Kentucky rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday to claim a 3-2 win over Austin Peay in the Wildcats' home opener at chilly Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Gunnar McNeill (pictured above) and Luke Becker each delivered a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning to give UK the victory. McNeill also hit his second home run of the season earlier in the game to account for the Cats' first run.


Kentucky (4-3) posted its 17th consecutive win in a home opener and the eighth straight for coach Gary Henderson.

To do so, the Cats had to overcome an inconsistent outing from their pitching staff, which issued eight walks on the day.

Zach Pop started for UK and worked into the fourth inning. The right-hander allowed no earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two. Zach Logue and Justin Lewis worked the middle innings in relief, avoiding several jams against the Governors, to give the Cats a chance to win late.

Zach Strecker (1-0) earned the win with his shutout inning of relief in the eighth. Freshman Sean Hjelle, a 6-foot-11 right-hander, closed it out for his first save of the year.

 Austin Peay (4-4) started left-hander Josh Rye, who allowed three hits and one run over four innnings. CJ Burrow (0-1) took the loss for the Governors in the decisive eighth inning.

UK returns to action on Friday at 4 p.m. ET, welcoming Buffalo for a three-game series at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

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