UK completes perfect non-conference home schedule
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky capped a perfect non-conference home schedule for just the second time since 1979, dismantling Northern Kentucky 10-1 Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The No. 6 Wildcats’ 37 victories on the season are the most since the 2014 team also won 37 games.
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Spot starter Brad Schaenzer allowed one run in 5.2 innings, striking out five and yielding just three hits along the way to move to 5-0 on the season. The junior lefty was relieved by freshman left-hander Zack Thompson, who struck out all four batters he faced and erased the Norse’s only real threat of the night.
UK (37-16, 18-9 SEC) now has 26 wins at Cliff Hagan Stadium this season, the fourth most since the venue opened in 1979. The total is five shy of the 2006 team’s 31 home wins, a club UK head coach Nick Mingione was part of as an assistant coach.
Senior outfielder Marcus Carson’s two-run, two-out triple in the second inning provided all the runs UK would need and a five-run seventh highlighted by freshman catcher T.J. Collett’s two-run single put the game out of reach.
The Cats now head to No. 5 Florida for a three-game series with SEC championship implications. The series opens on Thursday night in Gainesville with UK needing to win at least two of three games to grab a piece of a title. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Bot 2nd – Kole Cottam and Riley Mahan walked. Troy Squires advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Marcus Carson tripled to left-centerfield, scoring Cottam and Mahan. UK 2, NKU 0.
Bot 3rd – Tristan Pompey singled to second base, and Zach Reks singled to right field. Both advanced on a wild pitch and Pompey scored when Cottam grounded out to the shortstop. UK 3, NKU 0.
Top 6th – Jake Richmond doubled down the left field line. Will Haueter singled to left-centerfield, which scored Richmond. UK 3, NKU 1.
Bot 6th – Squires singled up the middle. Luke Becker and Carson walked. Connor Heady doubled down the left field line, scoring Squires and Becker. Reks was hit by a pitch. T.J. Collett singled through the right side, scoring Heady and Carson. Mahan singled to center field, which scored Reks. UK 8, NKU 1.
Bot 7th – Becker walked and moved to second base after Pompey singled to right field. Evan White walked. Reks singled to right field, scoring Becker and Pompey. UK 10, NKU 1.
• Kentucky’s 37 wins on the season are the most since the 2014 team won 37 games.
• UK is now 26-5 at Cliff Hagan Stadium, marking just the fifth time in UK history the Cats have won at least 25 games at home.
o The 26 wins are the fourth most in a season at Cliff Hagan Stadium, five shy of the record 31 the 2006 team posted.
• Kentucky completed a perfect non-conference home schedule (16-0) at Cliff Hagan Stadium for just the second time since it opened in 1979. The other was 2008, in which the Cats went 19-0.
• Kentucky has gone 72 games without being shutout, the eighth-longest such streak in school history.
• Junior 1B Evan White extended his reached base safely streak to 20 games.
• Sophomore OF Tristan Pompey went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
o Pompey now has hit safely in 38 of his past 42 games.
o He has reached base safely in 24 straight games.
o He has 22 multi-hit games this season and 28 on his career.
• Senior OF Zach Reks went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI.
o Reks now has 22 multi-hit games this season and 33 for his career.
o Reks has a nine-game hitting streak.
o Reks has reached base safely in 23 consecutive games.
• Junior C Troy Squires went 2-for-4 with a double a run and a sacrifice bunt.
o The SAC bunt moved Squires up both the single-season and career sacrifices charts. Squires’ 11 sacrifices this season is tied for sixth on the single-season chart with Ryan Wilkes (2011) and Todd Young (1995). He moved into 11th place alone on the career list with 19.
o Squires now has multiple hits in six of his past seven games.
• Freshman C T.J. Collett went 1-2 with a two-run single.
o Collett now has two hits on the season, driving in six runs on them.
o Collett had a pinch hit grand slam vs. Ole Miss on March 23.
• Junior LHP Brad Schaenzer made his third start of the season.
o Schaenzer improved his record to 5-0 with the victory.
o He gave up just three hits, one run, one walk and struck out five in 5.2 innings.