In a game that started at 4p.m. EST today, it took over 6 hours for the Kent State Golden Flashers and Kentucky Wildcats to decide who would advance in the winners bracket.
It wasn’t a stellar day for UK pitcher Taylor Rodgers, who struggled with his command all game long. After UK took an early 2-1 lead. Rodgers balked in the tying run in the third inning and proceeded to give up 2 more runs to put the Cats in an early 4-2 hole.
UK would rally after an Austin Cousino triple put him in scoring position in the 7th inning and Thomas McCartney grounded out but Cousino scored to tie the game at 4-4.
Kent State’s George Rogers would register his fifth hit of the day in the 8th inning and batted in the go-ahead run to give the Flashers a 5-4 lead.
Down to their last outs,UKrallied behind a Luke Maili singled in Cousino to tie the score at 5-5.
The two teams would then go into extra innings, and in the bottom of the 10th with two men on, Steven Hoagland tried to suicide squeeze the winning run in, but Zac Zellers was tagged out, and Austin Cousino struck out to end the inning.
In the top of the 12th with two men on,KentState’s van Campbell hit a deep fly ball but Cousino ran it down at the warning track to end the inning and keep the score tied.
In the bottom of the 12th, Michael Williams hit a double but missed 1st base while he was base running and was tagged out.
The Cats again had a chance to end the game in the bottom of the 15th inning. With the bases loaded with two outs,UK’s Paul McConkey popped out and the marathon continued.
Kent State’s Joe Kock delivered an infield single to score the go-ahead run in the 18th inning.
Paul McConkey ripped two balls down the line in right that went just foul off wall, but did draw the walk. A.J. Red would then single and UK had two men on with one out. Michael Williams would hit a double to drive in McKonkey but Reed was tagged out at the plate to keep the score tied at 6-6, and the game went into the 19th inning.
In the top of the 21st inning, Kent State’s Alex Miklos tripled in a the go-ahead run to give the flashers a 7-6 lead going into the bottom of the 21st. UK’s Thomas McCartney would come to the plate with two on and two outs, but struck out and the Cats lost a heartbreaker. The game lasted 6 hours, 37 minutes. They’ll have little time to sulk in this loss, as they’ll retake the field tomorrow at 4 p.m. against the loser of the Purdue/Valparaiso game.