Amen! Leh-Mann! 'Cats walk-off to 8-7 win

LEXINGTON - Senior Shaun Lehmann drove a 2-0 pitch off the wall in right-center field to plate Sean Coughlin for the game-winning run as No. 23 Kentucky took game one of its series with 19th-ranked Florida, 8-7, on Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Game two of the series still scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Kentucky left-hander Craig Snipp (4-1, 2.10) takes the hill against Florida right-hander Bryan Augenstein (6-2, 2.51). The game will be televised by the Big Blue Sports Network and can be seen on UPN and FSN South in the Lexington area.

The game had been held over from Friday night after rain forced it to be suspended in the seventh inning. It is the second straight year UK and Florida have had their series opener played over two days because of weather.

When the game resumed, the Wildcats led 7-5. Entering the top of the eighth, closer Brock Baber took over on the mound. Two high-chop groundballs produced singles before Baber tried to get the lead runner on Matt Gaski's sacrifice bunt but failed, which loaded the bases. Adam Davis followed with a two-run single to tie it.

Florida threatened in the ninth but came up empty against reliever Andrew Albers. With men on second and third and one out, Albers got a strike out and a fly ball to end the inning.

With one out in the home half of the ninth, Coughlin singled off the Gators' closer, Darren O'Day. John Shelby then grounded to second to move the runner and set up Lehmann's heroics.

Friday night, Kentucky came back from three runs down to take a 7-5 lead when the game was stopped. The rally got going with one out in the seventh when Antone DeJesus rocked his second double of the game. Collin Cowgill singled to make it 5-3 and chase starter Bryan Ball. He was relieved by Steven Porter, who got Billy Grace to ground out right away. However, on the play, he was called for a balk.

Grace didn't waste the second chance, roping one over the wall in right-center field to tie it. It was Grace's fifth homer of the year, but first in 11 games. The rally didn't end there as Ryan Strieby followed with a walk and Sean Coughlin doubled in the left-center field gap to give UK the lead.

An out later, Michael Bertram lifted a single to right to make it 7-5. After his at bat, the sky opened up and the game was suspended because of heavy rains and lightning.

It was 2-1 entering the seventh before Florida took the lead with a four-run rally capped by Matt LaPorta's two-run home run. All four runs were unearned as starting pitcher Aaron Tennyson committed a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt in the inning.

Chris Petrie led off the frame with a single Gavin Dickey reached on the error. A sac bunt and an RBI ground out later, it was tied 2-2. Brian Jeroloman followed with an RBI single to bring up LaPorta.

Kentucky led early with a two-run first inning. Antone DeJesus set the tone for the inning with an incredible 15-pitch at bat before doubling to leadoff the game. He came around when Ball threw wide on Cowgill's sacrifice bunt. Ryan Strieby doubled him home an out later.

Florida benefited from an error in the second to cut the deficit in half. Brian Leclerc reached when John Shelby booted a ground ball. Two singles later, he was on third for Chris Petrie's RBI ground out.


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