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June 2, 2012The Kentucky baseball team bounced back from Friday night's marathon-long defeat with a Saturday afternoon victory that kept its season alive.
Jerad Grundy pitched six solid innings and every member of UK's lineup got at least one hit as the Wildcats defeated Valparaiso 8-1 in an elimination game of the NCAA Tournament's Gary (Ind.) Regional.
UK (44-17) recovered to win after losing a 21-inning game to Kent State on Friday - the second-longest contest in NCAA Tournament history - that dropped the Cats to the loser's bracket of the four-team, double-elimination regional.
Fourth-seeded and Horizon League champion Valpo, which lost to top-seeded Purdue in a game that didn't finish locally until nearly 1 a.m. CDT Saturday, ended its season at 35-25.
UK will now face the loser of Saturday evening's Purdue-Kent State winner's-half game at 4 p.m. EST Sunday in another knockout game. If Purdue is UK's opponent, the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. If it's a rematch with Kent State, there will be no TV.
UK must still win three games in a row to advance to next week's super-regional.
Leadoff man Austin Cousino had three hits and drove in three runs against Valpo and Matt Reida added two hits and two RBIs to lead the Cats, who tied the school record for victories in a season.
Grundy struck out six while allowing five hits and four walks.
UK's Chandler Shepherd pitched the final three scoreless innings, giving up two hits.