GEORGE: 'Cats claw to come from behind win

Trailing 4-2, UK scored four runs in the sixth inning to come from behind and beat Tennessee Tech 6-4 in the second game of their weekend series against the Golden Eagles at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

"We just did not do a good job of grasping the strike zone today," Cohen said. "We really weren't prepared for this ballgame and I'm a little disappointed in that. But good teams find ways to win even when they aren't playing well."

UK left a season-high 10 batters on base, but was finally able to plate some of those baserunners in the sixth inning.

"We couldn't move runners and when we did move them we couldn't get them in," Cohen said. "Again I think that has to do with the strike zone. We just weren't locked in to the strike zone."

Tennessee Tech took the lead in the sixth inning after trailing 2-1 for most of the game. Freshman reliever Clint Tilford faced seven batters sixth inning, and the Golden Eagles roughed him up for four hits and three runs, giving them the 4-2 edge.

Tilford recorded just two outs before Dewayne Oxford spelled him with two on and two out.

Cohen said that Tilford was a starter throughout high school and is still trying to adjust to working out of the bullpen.

"He's a guy that needs to create some two-seam sink, and it was just as flat as a pancake today," Cohen said. "I think he was just cold and was trying to figure out his delivery and he just couldn't get the ball where he wanted to."

Oxford shut out Tennessee Tech for the game's final three and one third innings, allowing UK to mount a comeback with an explosive sixth inning.

Sawyer Carroll singled and Matt McKinney both doubled to give UK runners on second and third to lead off that inning. Sean Coughlin drove in Carroll with an RBI single. Brian Spear, the Cats' next batter, doubled down the right field line, plating McKinney and tying the game 4-2. Pinch hitter Mike Brown then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Coughlin and put UK back on top, 5-4. Spear scored later in the inning on a wild pitch to put UK out front for the game's final score.

It was the second straight game that a big inning has propelled the Cats to victory.

"We seem to be doing that here lately," Coughlin said. "We seem to have a huge inning there in the middle of the game instead of going right off the bat in the first or second inning."

Coughlin was 2-for-4 with an RBI on the afternoon. He said its ability to put together big innings showcased the team's killer instinct.

"We see the openings and we go right to it," Coughlin said. "There were a couple of huge gaps in the outfield that we just pummeled there at the end. We just find ways to win when we need to."

Tennessee Tech loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but Oxford forced a groundout to get out of the jam. Cohen was the first out of the dugout to greet Oxford after the final out of the inning.

"I thought there were some things that happened to him out there that were uncontrollable," Cohen said about Oxford. "I thought he maintained his poise and he did a great job."

Oxford earned his first win of the season as the Cats improve to 6-0 on the year.

"We just did whatever we had to do to win today," Oxford said. "We didn't play our A-game, but we scrapped."

Chris Rusin started the game and threw five complete innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits.

UK will conclude its three-game series with Tennessee Tech Sunday. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 1 p.m.

AllWildcats Top Stories