Early Innings Spur Baseball to 10-5 Midweek Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky scored seven runs over the first three innings to spur a 10-5 win over Morehead State in midweek action, on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (15-5) scored four runs in the first inning, one in the second and two in the third to take a 7-1 lead early in the game. The Wildcats then used a strong three-inning relief outing from senior southpaw Dylan Dwyer to eat up the middle innings and post the win. It marked Dwyer’s 10th career win and his second in 2016.
The Wildcats collected eight runs on 11 hits, led by multi-hit games from Riley Mahan, Gunnar McNeill, Tristan Pompey, Zach Reks and Storm Wilson. With a 3-for-4 game, McNeill extended his hitting streak to 15 games and has reached base safely in all 20 of his UK games. First baseman Evan White extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a hit. UK also got a hit from each Luke Becker and Zach Arnold, with Arnold driving in a pair.
It marks the third consecutive game for the UK offense to collect double-digit hits and runs scored. UK posted an 11-4 win and a 14-6 win to conclude the weekend series at Georgia.
UK starter Zach Pop worked over two innings, allowing a run on a walk and hit, striking out one. After allowing the first two runners to reach in the third, UK turned to Dwyer in relief. Dwyer escaped the third inning and worked three innings, allowing only two hits and an unearned run, issuing a walk and striking out two. Lefty Brad Schaenzer started the sixth inning, working an inning and allowing two runs. Junior Logan Salow worked the seventh inning, allowing an unearned run and sophomore Zach Logue worked the eighth inning. Freshman Sean Hjelle worked a shutout ninth inning.
Morehead State (12-8) starter Matt Ellenbest (0-1) worked the first inning, allowing four runs on six hits. Morehead also used Curtis Wilson, Seth Boyle, Cable Wright and Jason Goe in relief.
UK will return to action this weekend, hosting No. 1 Florida in a three-game series, starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Wildcats got on the board in the first inning as Wilson led off with a single to rightfield. UK then executed a perfect hit-and-run with White chopping a single through the hole on the right side and Wilson motoring to third. After a strikeout and a White steal of second, Mahan smacked the first pitch of his at-bat through the right side to score the duo. UK then ran a second hit-and-run with Mahan taking third on a McNeill single up the middle. Becker followed and lined a 0-1 RBI single to rightfield to score Mahan and push McNeill to third base. Reks then laced a single up the middle, bouncing off the leg of Ellenbest, allowing McNeill to score.
Morehead State got on the board in the top of the second, as Reid Leonard singled with one out and Tyler Niemann singled off the glove of a diving Wilson in centerfield. Hunter Fain then singled into left-centerfield, allowing Leonard to score from second.
In the bottom of the second inning, UK got a leadoff single from Pompey down the third-base line. After Troy Squires laid down a sacrifice bunt, Wilson spanked a double down the rightfield line to score Pompey.
Kentucky plated two runs in the bottom of the third inning, as McNeill dropped a single into shallow leftfield and after a line out, Reks drew a walk. Pompey then dropped a double into shallow rightfield, scoring the pair of a 7-1 UK lead.
Morehead State plated a run in the fifth on a hit and a pair of errors. Ryan Kent doubled into left-centerfield with one out and Jesus Carrera reached on an error. Alex Stephens then forced home Kent on an RBI fielder’s choice.
The Wildcats added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, with Reks leading off the inning getting plunked by a 2-2 pitch, stealing second and taking third on a wild pitch. Arnold then came off the bench to hang a sacrifice fly to leftfield, scoring Reks.
Morehead State plated three runs in the seventh inning, as Jake Hammon led off with a single up the middle and Ryan Kent singled to leftfield. Jesus Carrera was hit by the first pitch he saw to load the bases. Alex Stephens then singled into left-centerfield to score Hammon. UK then induced a 4-6-3 double play to score Kent. Leonard then grounded up the middle, with the throw allowing him to reach on an error and Carrera to score.
Kentucky got a run back in the seventh inning, with Mahan singling with one out and stealing second base. McNeill then dropped a single down the rightfield line, scoring Mahan.
In the eighth inning UK got a leadoff double from Reks and an RBI single from Arnold into left-centerfield.