Riley Mahan's ninth-inning grand slam lifts Kentucky Wildcats over Alabama

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Riley Mahan is developing a reputation as "Mr. Clutch" this season.

Kentucky's sophomore shortstop, who hit a game-tying home run in the 10th inning to help the Wildcats beat No. 1 Florida earlier this month, blasted a grand slam in the ninth inning Saturday to give UK a 6-2 walk-off victory over Alabama at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Mahan's game-winner came after the Crimson Tide had evened the game at 2-2 with a dramatic homer of their own by Will Haynie with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against UK closer Sean Hjelle. It marked the first run that the Cats' talented freshman right-hander had surrendered this season in 11 innings on the mound.

The long ball made a winner out of Hjelle (2-0) but it was UK ace Dustin Beggs who once again dominated the mound. The senior right-hander worked seven innings, allowing only one unearned run on four hits and a walk while striking out 10. He fell short of picking up his eighth win, but the Cats have won every game he has started this season.

UK pitchers Beggs, Justin Lewis and Hjelle combined for 12 strikeouts and only one walk on the day.

Storm Wilson, Evan White and Zach Reks each had two hits to lead UK, which was able to overcome stranding 12 runners on base against Alabama starter Jake Walters and four Tide relievers. Jon Keller gave up Mahan's slam, saddling Ray Castillo (0-1) with the loss after loading the bases with hits by JaVon Shelby and Gunnar McNeill and a walk by Reks.

No. 13 Kentucky (22-8, 8-3 SEC) has now won each of its first four league series. The Cats will seek the sweep of Alabama (18-13, 5-6 SEC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

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