Kentucky needed the last weekend of the regular season to secure a spot in the SEC Tournament. The No. 12 seed Wildcats will be one of the 6 SEC teams playing this weekend, staying alive by topping No. 8 seed Vanderbilt 10-2 in Friday’s elimination game.

UK broke the scoring ice in the bottom of the 2nd inning when Oraj Anu singled to left-center field, plating Ryan Ritter. The Commodores answered in the top of the 3rd inning, making it 1-1.

It remained 1-1 heading into the bottom of the 4th before the Cats’ bats got going again. Kentucky added 2 in the 4th and 2 more in the 5th, opening up a 5-1 lead. VU cut it to 5-2 in the top of the 7th inning before UK exploded for 5 runs in the bottom half of the inning, making it 10-2, the game’s final score.

The Wildcats finished with 16 total hits, going 12-of-26 with runners on and 7-of-18 with runners in scoring position. Kentucky did not need the long ball to score any of its 10 runs. Ritter led the way with 3 RBIs on a pair of doubles.

Kentucky used 4 pitchers. Starter Ryan Hagenow went 2 innings. Daniel Harper, who tossed 4.1 innings, got the win. Tyler Guilfoil pitched the final 3.2 innings to get his sixth save of 2022.

For the Cats, it’s their first time winning multiple SEC Tournament games since 2014. They’ll be playing another elimination game on Saturday against the loser of the LSU-Tennessee game.