LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – On the heels of its first loss of the Lexington Regional in the NCAA Tournament the night before, the top-seeded Kentucky baseball team bounced back with a 14-9 win over second-seeded Indiana in a Sunday afternoon elimination game at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Following the victory, Kentucky advances to Sunday night’s regional final for a rematch with No. 3 seed NC State, which defeated the Wildcats 5-4 Saturday night. UK improves to 41-21 on the season, while Indiana ends its 2017 campaign at 34-24-2.
Junior second baseman Riley Mahan’s grand slam in the top of the sixth highlighted Kentucky’s first double-digit scoring output since a 12-4 win at Florida on May 18. Mahan went 4 for 6 at the plate Sunday, recording two runs and five RBIss to go along with his home run.
Sophomore catcher Kole Cottam turned in a 2-for-5 performance, notching three RBIs, as well as a solo homer to center field in the fourth inning. Senior centerfielder Marcus Carson logged two hits in three at bats, two runs, an RBI, and a right-field homer in the top of the second that broke open what was a 1-1 ball game. As a team, Kentucky tallied 18 hits to Indiana’s 10.
Freshman lefty Zack Thompson improved his season record to 8-2 after seven innings on the mound. The Selma, Indiana, native allowed four runs off six hits, striking out seven and walking one. The Hoosiers’ Cal Krueger received the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits, striking out one and walking three over 3.1 innings of work. Senior first baseman Austin Cangelosi led the IU offensive charge with one run and two RBI’s on a pair of hits, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh.
Kentucky heads into the second leg of its Sunday doubleheader facing elimination once more. First pitch between UK and NC State is scheduled for 7:04 p.m. ET. With a win, the Wolfpack claims the regional crown and advances to next weekend’s Super Regionals. With a Kentucky win, the two teams will face off one final time on Monday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
For continuing coverage of the Lexington Regional, visit the Tournament Central Page on UKAthletics.com.
*Note: The game photo that accompanies this story is courtesy of UK Athletics