Kentucky picked up a very important win in Game One of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Alabama Crimson Tide. After evening the series, the Bat ‘Cats will have a rubber match with the Tide to try and win a pivotal Southeastern Conference series. Game Two has a scheduled first pitch time of 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Back-to-back doubles from Chase Estep and Austin Schultz got the scoring started in the third inning. Oraj Anu followed it up with a RBI single to score Schultz and put the ‘Cats on top 2-0.
The play of the game came on the defensive end for Kentucky in the top of the fourth inning. A leadoff double followed by a balk placed an Alabama runner on third base with nobody out in the inning. However, Sean Harney stepped up with a big strikeout to record out number one. Then, right fielder John Rhodes caught a fly ball and gunned down the runner attempting to tag up and score on the sacrifice fly. The play at the plate got the ‘Cats out of the inning unscathed.
The game would start to open up for Kentucky in the fifth inning as they put a three spot on the board to jump ahead 5-0. Coltyn Kessler hit a bomb over the bullpen in right field and then Ryan Ritter hit a two-RBI double down the left field line to further build the ‘Cats lead.
B5 | UK 3, Alabama 0 pic.twitter.com/n6a7jLB9bx
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 25, 2021
The additional run support came in handy as the Crimson Tide answered in the top of the sixth inning with a two-run home run off the bat of Owen Diodati. However, that was all the noise Alabama would make at the plate.
Senior Sean Harney was excellent on the mound in just his second start of the season. Typically pitching in the closer role for Kentucky, Harney struck out five batters in his six innings of work while allowing just two runs on five hits. Hunter Rigsby came in and shut things down in the seventh inning.
The 5-2 win over Alabama moved the Wildcats to 23-13 on the season and 8-9 in SEC play. The Crimson Tide fell to 24-14, also 8-9 in the league.