Some walkoffs are beautiful. Some are ugly. But no matter what, they are victories. The Cincinnati Bearcats’ walkoff win against the Kentucky Wildcats on Wednesday was of the latter variety, but that doesn’t matter when you look at the standings.
UC (5-6) scored two unearned runs to escape with the win, including a throwing error from third in the bottom of the 10th inning that allowed shortstop Eric Santiago to run home and end the game with the Bearcats on top 2-1.
While the wild finish gets the headlines, the job done by the Bearcats pitching staff really needs to be commended. Led by starter A.J. Olasz, UC pitchers navigated their way through the minefield that is the UK lineup, allowing only four hits and a single run through 10 innings. If you read the preview for this game, you know that the Wildcats came into Wednesday hitting a blistering .335 as a team, so a 4-for-33 showing was certainly a change of pace.
Olasz pitched the best game of any UC starter this season, pushing his way through 6 2⁄3 innings during which he allowed all of two hits and a walk while striking out two. Jarod Yoakam gave up the lone run scored by the Wildcats, taking the win away from Olasz, but A.J. Kullman improved to 3-1 by tossing 2 1⁄3 shutout innings of relief.
While the Bearcats pitched well, they didn’t do much with the lumber, going 5-for-32 with 13 strikeouts. UK starter Zack Thompson dominated through six innings, allowing three hits and no runs while striking out eight. The Bearcats didn’t record an RBI in the game, while Jace Mercer, A.J. Bumpass, Kyle Mottice and Treg Haberkorn all went 1-for-4.
UC will now turn its sights on the weekend, when they will travel for a three-game series against another SEC foe in Tennessee.