Updated 6 months ago
Top-ranked Vanderbilt rallied to take a lead with two runs in the third inning and got the 13th win in 13 starts in 2013 from sophomore star Tyler Beede to post a 5-3 series-clinching win over Kentucky, on Saturday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (28-21, 10-16 Southeastern Conference) jumped out to an early lead for the second consecutive game, before Vanderbilt (44-6, 23-2 SEC) rallied in the next half inning with two runs on four hits to take a 2-1 lead, adding a run in the sixth for the final margin.
The Commodores now sit just two wins shy, with four to play, of equaling the best record in the storied history of the SEC.
UK freshman starter Kyle Cody (3-3) suffered the hard-luck loss in his second career SEC start. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound right-hander allowed eight hits and three runs, walking two and striking out two against the SEC's top offensive club. Cody allowed the two-run frame in the third and the run in the sixth in his third quality start of the year and his second consecutive.
Kentucky freshman Ryne Combs started the seventh inning in relief of Cody, allowing three straight hits to start the inning and worked 2.2 innings, allowing five hits and two runs, walking two and striking out one. Freshman right-hander Zach Strecker came on in the ninth to get the final out of the frame.
Beede (13-0) - regarded as the top sophomore in college baseball and as the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft - worked 5.1 innings, allowing only two UK singles, walking five and striking out five.
VU flame-throwing righty Carson Fulmer came on in a one-out jam with runners on the corners in a 3-2 game in the bottom of the sixth inning, getting a three-pitch strikeout and a groundout to end the best UK threat to jump back into the game. Fulmer worked 2.2 innings with five hits and two runs, walking two and striking out one. Lefty Jared Miller came on in a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the bottom of the ninth to face a left-handed hitter, getting the out for his first save of the year.
The Wildcats totaled four singles in the game, as Kyle Barrett, Zac Zellers, J.T. Riddle and Matt Reida each collected knocks. UK also got a two-walk game from Austin Cousino, with Micheal Thomas getting hit by two pitches. Barrett, a freshman out of Douglasville, Ga., extended his hitting streak to a club-high 13 games.
The series will conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will also be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, available on WLAP 630-AM in Lexington, WKJK 1080-AM in Louisville and online at UKathletics.com.
GAME NOTES: Kentucky is now 7-7 in the blue tops and white pants on the season ... The Wildcats own the all-time series lead against Vanderbilt 141-135-5, with a 71-51-1 record in Lexington ... Kentucky is now 19-14 against right-handed starters in 2013 ... The Wildcats are now 7-10 when playing in night games ... Kentucky is 2-2 in the second game of a double header, with a 3-5 record overall ... The Wildcats fall to 18-11 at Cliff Hagan Stadium in 2013, including a 6-8 mark in conference games ... Kentucky's record against top 25 opponents is now 6-13, and 1-6 going up against top 10 foes ... The Wildcats are 5-4 when freshman right-hander Kyle Cody starts ... Kentucky has had an error in only one of its past eight games.