Take 3: 'Cats sweep USC; tie for SEC Lead

When Greg Dombrowski was notified that he had tied the most victories by a UK pitcher since 1997, joining the likes of Brandon Webb atop the school leaderboard, the New York native couldn't help but laugh.

"I'm surprised," Drombrowski said, holding himself from breaking into laughter. "That's all I can say about that."

Although he probably wouldn't have said it himself, the surprised look on the Rome (NY) native's face was probably more in reference to the fact it had been 10 years since someone had broken the 6 win barrier at Kentucky, and even moreso because it only took Dombrowski more than halfway through the SEC year to accomplish the feat.

Welcome to UK Baseball; where records are falling everyday for the once 'left-for-dead' program pre Mitch Barnhart.

Dombrowski worked the first five innings, allowing six runs on nine hits, but was the pitcher of record after Kentucky fought back from a 6-0 deficit en route to a 12-9 victory in front of over 2,100 fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium Sunday.

"It was a rough one - obviously - for me," Dombrowski commented. "I got alot of groundballs, that got through the infield. I just tried to battle the best I could to keep our team in the game. Our teams bats were tremendous today. Our bats won the game today."

Trailing 6-0 heading into the fourth, the bats came alive. Junior All-American candidate Ryan Strieby hit a solo home run, that was subsequently followed with a two-run shot by second baseman John Shelby to make it a 6-3 game heading into the fifth.

After Dombrowski retired the Gamecocks in order on six pitches in the fifth, the Wildcats used a two-out rally in scoring four of its five runs in a wild bottom half inning which saw the seventh-ranked Gamecocks relenquish their lead.

After Strieby scored on a Michael Bertram double into the gap and Billy Grace walked, shortstop Ryan Wilkes recorded an RBI single to get the Wildcats within one.

The scene was then set for senior Shaun Lehmann, who would hammer a three-run homer that gave Kentucky its first lead of the ball-game.

"The at-bat before he went curveball-curveball and I hit it pretty well," Lehmann said afterwards. "After he threw me a curveball for a strike on his first pitch, I knew he would come back with a fastball. He did and I just got a good swing on it and tried to get it caught up in the wind and it did - the rest - well - is history."

History indeed, as the Wildcats completed the sweep of the seventh-ranked Gamecocks and helped pit them atop the SEC Eastern Division heading into the final four series of the season.

It is the first time Kentucky has swept a ranked opponent since taking three from No. 5 LSU at home in 1991.

"This is huge, anytime you can sweep somebody, especially in this league," Dombrowski described. "It's just a great feeling and it's definitely another stepping stone for us as a team."


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