No. 25 KSU Wins 20th Straight, Ends No. 11 UK's Historic 2012
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After playing seven scoreless innings, No. 25 Kent State got a three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning from Evan Campbell - the first homer hit in the tournament - leading the Flashes to their nation-leading 20th consecutive win, ending No. 11 Kentucky's school-record season with a 3-2 loss in the NCAA Gary Regional Championship, on Sunday night at U.S. Steel Yard.
Kentucky (45-18) eliminated host Purdue in the first game of the day with a 6-3 win over the host, No. 14-ranked Boilermakers. With the win over Purdue to advance to face Kent State, UK won its school-record 45th game, eclipsing the school record of 44 wins in 2006 and 2008. In its last two NCAA Tournament appearances, UK has eliminated Big Ten host schools Michigan (2008) and Purdue.
"Obviously disappointed to lose," UK head coach Gary Henderson said. "I'm really proud of our kids. I'm proud of the effort. I'm proud of the concentration. I'm very impressed and pleased with Chandler Shepherd's effort tonight. Very good. Again, we played errorless defense."
The two teams battled through seven scoreless on Sunday before the homer from Campbell, just a day in between playing 21 innings in the NCAA Tournament opener, the second-longest game in NCAA postseason history. After besting Kentucky 7-6 in the 21-inning thriller, Kent State posted a win over Purdue on Saturday and the Wildcats bested Valparaiso to advance to the Sunday round of the regional.
The game-winning homer from Campbell, his seventh of the year, hit metal railing below the yellow mark in rightfield - according to video from the WKYT-TV reporter Brian Milam. The ball bounced back into play, with two runners on base and two outs, but was immediately ruled a homer by the first-base umpire, who made the call from just on the edge of the infield grass.
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