Felker's walk off seals UK's series sweep of Sycamores
Jase Felker saw the winning run 180 feet away and figured why wait around?
The Princeton, Kentucky native laced a line drive to the gap on the first pitch he saw for a two-out, RBI single that scored Ryan Waldschmidt from second and secured a three-game sweep of Indiana State with a 7-6 victory in front of 2,128 fans at Kentucky Proud Park on Sunday.
The Wildcats (9-2) erased deficits of both 3-0 and 6-4, tying the game on Hunter Gilliam's solo home run in the eighth inning before Felker's winner in the ninth, the 14th time UK has scored a walk-off win during Coach Nick Mingione's tenure. Ryan Hagenow pitched two scoreless innings to get the win.
A four-run second erased an early hole before the Sycamores scored three in the seventh to go ahead 6-4. The Wildcats got one back in the bottom half of the inning then pulled within one when Gilliam's towering opposite field shot that clipped the top of the fence and caromed into the ISU bullpen.
After Hagenow threw up a zero in top of the ninth, Waldschmidt led off with his fourth hit of the game and moved to second on Grant Smith's sacrifice bunt. After Jackson Gray nearly ended it with a shot that was caught on the warning track, Felker smacked the winner.
- UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his seventh season at the helm and now owns a 185-131 career record. Kentucky is 118-38 in non-conference games under Coach Mingione.
- UK is 104-16 vs. non-Power Five opponents. UK is 71-33 in the month of March under Coach Mingione.
- UK pitchers have struck out 117 through 11 games.
- UK has held its opponents to three runs or fewer in eight of 11 games.
- Outfielder Ryan Waldschmidt went 4-for-4 with three runs and two RBI.
- He is the third UK player to have a four-hit day in 2023. He had his first multi-RBI game. First baseman Hunter Gilliam has started 124 consecutive games at the collegiate level.
- He has reached safely in all 11 games this season. He had his second home run, a game-tying shot in the 8th. Infielder Grant Smith has started all 127 games of his collegiate career.
- He had allowed his first hit of the season after 11.1 no-hit innings, a bloop single to LF. Season total: 1-0, 1 SV, 12.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 14 K
Kentucky has the front end of its only two-game midweek on Tuesday, March 7 at 4 p.m. ET at Kentucky Proud Park when Murray State makes the trip east. The game will be streamed on SECN+. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.