Stewart helps Tigers avoid sweep

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Right fielder Quinn Stewart belted a dramatic two-out, two-run homer Sunday to ignite a four-run rally in the top of the ninth for No. 8 LSU as the Tigers salvaged a 5-2 victory over Kentucky at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

LSU (17-5, 1-2) snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided being 0-3 in SEC play for the first time since 1981. The Wildcats (17-4, 2-1) saw their win streak come to an end at eight games after capturing the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday.


LSU continued its trend of late-inning heroics, posting its 10th come-from-behind win of the season, none more thrilling than Sunday's game. The Tigers trailed 2-1 entering the final frame but posted four runs off reliever Andrew Albers on Stewart's blast and a two-run triple from centerfielder Jarred Bogany.


Junior right-hander Derik Olvey (5-0) turned in a gutsy eight-inning effort, limiting UK to two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out five and walking one. Olvey, who missed his regularly scheduled start on Saturday, was one of several LSU players battling the flu this weekend.


"I'm very proud of the way our young club competed in this game," said LSU coach Smoke Laval. "We had a lot of adversity to overcome this weekend, especially with several players having the flu. Today was a great example of the character of this team and hopefully it's a confidence-booster for our kids."


Olvey and Wildcat starter Greg Dombrowski engaged in a pitcher's duel through the first four innings. Dombrowski stifled the Tigers, retiring 13 straight from the last out of the first into the sixth. 


LSU's best scoring threat against the right-hander came in the sixth when Bogany broke Dombrowski's streak with a leadoff single into left field. Second baseman Jason Ogata's sacrifice bunt advanced Bogany to second, giving the Tigers a chance to tie the game with one out. 


However, left fielder Bruce Sprowl flied out to left, and UK third baseman Michael Bertram prevented a run-scoring single with a diving stab on shortstop Michael Hollander's groundball.


Olvey's only blemish through the first six innings was a leadoff solo homer by Bertram to start the fifth, the Wildcats' fifth dinger of the series. 


UK increased the advantage to 2-0 on two errors by the LSU defense in the seventh. With one out and a runner at first, shortstop Ryan Wilkes rolled a double-play grounder to Ogata who pulled Hollander off the bag at second with a wide throw.



Olvey was one out away from erasing the jam before he committed an error of his own, mishandling a throw from first baseman Steven Waguespack on centerfielder Antone DeJesus' roller. Bertram raced home before Olvey was able to recover the ball.


Meanwhile, Dombrowski cruised into the eighth inning by retiring two of the first three hitters. The frame looked to be over when pinch hitter Will Harris fanned on a ball in the dirt, but Harris was able to take first on the wild pitch.


Dombrowski then exited after limiting the Tigers to two hits in 7.2 brilliant innings of work, and Harris was lifted for pinch runner Chris McGhee. Albers inherited runners at the corners and immediately tried to pick off McGhee, but the freshman took second when nobody was covering second base. 


The miscue enabled Bogany to scamper home and pull LSU to within a run at 2-1.


Albers was one strike away from recording the save in the ninth, despite surrendering a leadoff single to Hollander. Stewart then deposited the southpaw's 2-2 curveball over the right field wall to put the Tigers in front, 3-2. 


For Stewart, it was his league-leading eighth homer of the season and seventh blast in his last 10 games.


Bogany accounted for the final margin with a two-run triple -- his third hit of the game -- into the right field corner after catcher Matt Liuzza and designated hitter Jordan Mayer reached on a single and a walk, respectively. 


Left hander Daniel Forrer notched the first save of his career, inducing a 3-6 double play groundball to end the game.


Albers (1-1) took the loss as he surrendered four runs on three hits.

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