Lexington, KY (WAVE) - UK baseball made history early Tuesday morning. The Cats beat N.C. State 10-5 to win an NCAA Regional for the first time in school history.
SEC Pitcher of the Year Sean Hjelle came out of the bullpen to throw 3 1/3 masterful innings to pick up the win. The 6'11" Hjelle improve to 11-3. He struck out five Wolfpack batters, including the side in the bottom of the ninth.
N.C. State struck first, a two-run homer by Brett Kinneman in the second gave them a 2-0 lead. The Cats answered with four in the top of the fourth, but the Pack went up 5-4.
UK took the lead for good in the top of the seventh, Kole Cottam drove in two with a double to right to give the Cats a 7-5 lead. They added three more in the ninth for the final margin. All in front of a Cliff Hagan Stadium record crowd of 5,005.
Up next for the Cats is archrival Louisville in a Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium. The best of three series will begin either Friday or Saturday. The NCAA will announce the Super Regional schedules on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. The winner of the Super Regional will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.