LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Despite a dynamite start from senior Kyle Cody, Alabama plated single runs in the first and eighth innings to post a 2-1 win over No. 13 Kentucky, on an overcast Sunday afternoon, April 10 at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (22-9, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) committed a two-out throwing error with a runner on third base in the top of the first inning, allowing Alabama to take an early lead it would not relinquish. Alabama then scored a run in the eighth inning to stretch its lead to 2-0. UK plated its run in the bottom of the eighth, and with the go-ahead run at the plate, UK flied out to the wall on a towering drive to end the rally.
After the Wildcats posted wins in the first two games of the series, 3-2 on Friday and 6-2 on Saturday to win their fourth straight series to open league action, Alabama posted the win on getaway day, with the early defensive miscue giving the Tide strong momentum.
The Wildcats are off to the second-best start to conference play in program history, just behind a 9-3 start from the 2012 school-record 45 win season.
A native of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Cody (3-2) turned in a tremendous start for the Wildcats, allowing just one earned run in 7.1 innings, allowing just four hits, walking two and striking out three. Senior righty Zach Strecker took over in the eighth inning, making his 72nd career appearance. Strecker escaped the inning and retired all four hitters he faced before Logan Salow came on to get a left-handed hitter out to end the inning.
The Wildcats were limited to five hits in the game, with Storm Wilson, Dorian Hairston, Evan White, Gunnar McNeill and Troy Squires each collecting knocks.
Alabama (19-13, 6-6 SEC) starter Nick Eicholtz (2-1) threw a dominating, two-hitter to lead the Crimson Tide to the salvaging win. He allowed just a leadoff single in the fourth, a one-out double, poked through the opposite-field infield in the seventh inning, and a two-out single in the eighth.
With the tying run at the plate and two outs in the eighth inning, Alabama turned to southpaw closer Thomas Burrows, who earned his seventh save of the year with the final four outs.
Meanwhile, it was announced that UK's Tuesday game with EKU has been postponed with a make-up date to be determined.
Kentucky (22-9, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) returns to action on Wednesday, hosting No. 4 Louisville at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus (online) and the UK Sports Radio Network, available in Central Kentucky on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Photo by UK Athletics