In the longest college baseball game of the 2013 season, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defeated the No. 24 Cats 3-2 in 18 innings at Bowling Green Ballpark. Trevor Lowe of the Hilltoppers led off the bottom of the 18th with a home run to left field, clinching victory for UK’s in-state rival.
After falling behind 1-0 early, UK center fielder Austin Cousino smacked a solo home run in the sixth inning to pull the Cats even at 1-1. That score would hold until the 13th inning, when each team would score a run off an error by the opposing team. The Hilltoppers committed a three-base error with two outs to allow UK to take a 2-1 lead in the top half of the inning, but the Cats committed a two-out error of their own in the bottom half to allow WKU to prolong the game at 2-2. That score would hold until Lowe’s home run five innings later.
The marathon against WKU is UK’s second 18-plus inning game in the last year; UK and Kent State played a 21-inning thriller in the opening round of last year’s NCAA Tournament regional.
This game, albeit three innings shorter, still lasted 5 hours and 57 minutes, and the two teams stranded a combined 33 runners on base while scoring just five runs combined.
CLICK HERE to view the chaotic box score from the game, courtesy of UK Athletics.
With the loss, the Cats continued their recent slide, now having dropped their last seven consecutive games. UK now must put this game behind them and focus on its match-up Thursday night at No. 16 Ole Miss, a game that will be nationally televised on ESPNU. The game will be the first of a three-game series between the conference rivals.