Five-run fifth leads to UK's first loss

A five-run fifth inning sparked Kansas State to a 7-5 win over Kentucky on Thursday in Myrtle Beach, S.C., marking the first loss of the season for the No. 8 Wildcats.

A five-run fifth inning sparked Kansas State to a 7-5 win over Kentucky on Thursday in Myrtle Beach, S.C., marking the first loss of the season for the eighth-ranked Wildcats.

Playing in the Carravelle Resort Invitational, Kentucky saw a 3-0 lead evaporate in the decisive fifth inning that included seven consecutive K-State batters reaching base safely.

Kansas State (3-1) trailed 5-3 in the middle of the fifth inning before knocking UK starter A.J. Reed out of the game. Five singles, including two of the infield variety, helped chase the Wildcats' preseason All-America selection from the mound after surrendering four earned runs. A bases-loaded walk surrendered by UK reliever Chandler Shepherd pushed across the fifth K-State run.

The Big 12's Wildcats added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning on Shane Conlon's two-run homer to right. Conlon finished the game 5-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Those runs proved to be key as UK's Reed belted his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth inning to pull the Cats within 7-5, but K-State's Jake Matthys closed the door on a potential comeback by retiring the red-hot J.T. Riddle to end the game.

Sophomore third baseman Max Kuhn led UK with a 3-for-4 game at the plate. Riddle extended his hitting streak to seven games with a 1-for-4 day. He has now reached base safely in 17 of 23 plate appearances this season.

Reed (1-1) took the loss, allowing seven hits and four runs through 4.1 innings of work. Shepherd worked two innings, allowing five hits and one run.

Kansas State starter Joe Flattery worked four innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking two and striking out two. Levi MaVorhis (1-0) picked up the win in relief, working two innings of two-hit baseball and allowing only an unearned run.

Kentucky (3-1) returns to action on Friday at Pelicans Park, facing Elon at 11 a.m. ET. The Cats will send senior southpaw Jerad Grundy (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound to face Phoenix ace senior lefty Dylan Clark (1-0, 1.50 ERA).

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