Dustin Beggs throws eight shutout innings as Kentucky Wildcats top Mizzou

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In a game that had major postseason implications for both teams, Kentucky's Dustin Beggs summoned a dominant pitching performance on Friday against Missouri.

Beggs (9-2) tossed eight shutout innings against the Tigers, allowing only six hits and two walks while striking out six in the Wildcats' 2-1 victory that evened the series at a game apiece.

It was a potential must-win game for Kentucky (31-24, 14-15 SEC), who lost Thursday's opener 9-3 at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Cats likely need to win the series finale on Saturday to hold onto a tenuous NCAA Tournament projection.

Meanwhile, Mizzou (26-28, 9-20) is fighting to stay alive for an SEC tourney berth. Only 12 of the league's 14 schools will advance to Hoover, Ala. The Tigers are battling Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn and Arkansas for the final two spots.

Sean Hjelle picked up the save for UK, allowing a run in the ninth inning before picking off Mizzou pinch runner Johnny Balsamo to end the game.It marked the eighth save of the season for the Cats' 6-foot-11 freshman closer, which ranks third in program history.

The UK offense was powered by two hits from Evan White, his 23rd multi-hit game of the season, and an RBI single from Riley Mahan. JaVon Shelby stole home for the Cats' other run.

Reggie McClain (5-4) was the tough-luck loser for Mizzou, allowing two earned runs on six hits and no walks over eight innings. He struck out eight.

The series concludes at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

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