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Wildcats Hold On For 6-4 Opener In NCAA Tournament

UK Athletics

Riley Mahan knocked in two runs on three hits, right-hander Sean Hjelle allowed Ohio eight hits while top-seeded Kentucky got 13 in a 6-4 victory Friday in the opener of the NCAA Tournament Lexington Regional.

Hosting their first regional since 2006, the Wildcats (40-20) gave Hjelle a two-run cushion in the first inning when Luke Becker and Mahan each delivered RBI hits. Kentucky added four runs in the middle innings, scoring twice in the sixth on bases-loaded walks to make it 6-0. Every Kentucky batter had at least one hit to help the Wildcats end a two-game slide.

That offense came in handy as No. 4 seed Ohio (31-27) finally broke through on Hjelle (10-3) in the eighth on Rudy Rott's three-run homer. Logan Salow gave up a run in the ninth but earned his 11th save.

Kentucky will face the North Carolina State-Indiana winner on Saturday, while the Bobcats (31-27) will face the loser.

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