NORFOLK, Va. – Kentucky scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 7-5 lead while Ryne Combs pitched the final 3 2/3 innings to lift the Wildcats to a 7-5 win over Old Dominion University baseball Saturday evening at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.
The Monarchs scored five runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead. Kentucky got a run back on a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 5-4.
Kentucky (4-2) regained the lead in the seventh. Dean Ali got the first two batters out in the inning but A.J. Reed hit a solo homer to left center to tie the score at five. Ka’i Tom followed with a single, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. After back-to-back walks, Storm Wilson singled to right field to score a pair and give UK the final 7-5 score.
ODU got a runner on in the ninth but Combs was able to get a strikeout to end the game.
Old Dominion (4-3) got on the board in the first inning without the benefit of a hit. P.J. Higgins started the inning off with a walk and Connor Myers followed by getting hit by a pitch. Taylor Ostrich reached on a fielder’s choice and the Kentucky short stop did not get to second base in time so the bases were loaded with no outs. Jordan Negrini hit a sacrifice fly to center but Kentucky pitcher Chandler Shepherd got of the inning with no further damage.
The Wildcats scored on a two-run single from Reed in the third and took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on an RBI single from Kyle Barrett.
ODU stormed back in the bottom half of the inning with four runs to take a 5-3 lead. After the first two batters were retired, Higgins and Myers reached on infield singles while Ostrich squeaked one through the right side to score Higgins. Ben Slaton followed with an RBI single to left to tie the score before Negrini pounded a ball to the left center field fence for a two-run double for a 5-3 Monarch lead.
Ostrich and Slaton had two hits apiece for ODU while Negrini drove in three runs.
Reed was 3-for-4 with three RBI for the Wildcats while Austin Cousino also had three hits.
Combs earned the win tossing 3 2/3 hitless innings while Ali suffered the loss.
The Monarchs round out the ODU Invitational tomorrow when they host St. Joe’s at 3 p.m. Kentucky plays St. John’s at 11 a.m.