White Helps Baseball Cruise Past Murray, 11-1

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Evan White drove in three runs and every position starter collected at least one hit, leading Kentucky to an 11-1 win over Murray State, on a gorgeous Wednesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

UK’s offensive explosion started with a pair of runs in the first, plating four runs in each the third and sixth innings, adding a single run in the fifth. Murray State got on the board in the fifth inning with a single run, getting into the UK bullpen.

A 6-foot-3 native of Gahanna, Ohio, White led the charge offensively for the Wildcats, as the sophomore first baseman has gone 14 for his last 21 at-bats, over a span of five games, while reaching base safely in 19 of his 24 trips to the plate. On the year, White – the reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week – is hitting .423 (22-for-52) with 18 RBI, four doubles, one triple, one homer and 18 RBI.

Kentucky (9-3) got hits from every player in its lineup, with White, JaVon Shelby and Riley Mahan each charting two hits. Shelby belted his fourth homer of the year, with UK also getting hits from Storm Wilson, Gunnar McNeill, Luke Becker, Tristan Pompey, Marcus Carson and Kole Cottam.

UK starter Zach Pop worked a career-long four innings in his second start of the year. Pop scattered five hits and a walk, allowing a run, striking out a career-best four, and exiting with a five-run lead after the fourth. Senior southpaw Dylan Dwyer (1-0) took over and worked two shutout innings, allowing just a single, striking out two to earn his ninth career win.

Senior Bo Wilson got a pair of outs in the seventh inning, with lefty Brad Schaenzer getting the final out in the frame. Freshman southpaws Josh Smith and Daniel Tillo then each worked shutout innings to conclude the win. 

Murray State (6-8) starter Austin Dubsky (0-2) worked 2.2 innings, allowing five hits and six runs – five earned – walking two. Murray State also used Derrik Watson, Andrew Bramley and Sheldon Baxter in relief.

UK will return to action on Friday, hosting the first of a three-game series with USC Upstate. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as White reached on an eight-pitch walk and Shelby singled to leftfield with two strikes. Mahan grounded back to the mound but the throw to try to get Shelby at second sailed wide, allowing White to score from second and Shelby to take third with one out. McNeill then scored Shelby with a hard-hit single to shallow rightfield.

In the bottom of the third inning, UK mounted a rally, as White singled to centerfield with one out and Shelby drew a full-count walk. Mahan then scored White with a single into right-centerfield, pushing Shelby to third base. McNeill grounded back to the mound and Shelby was out after a collision at the plate, with Mahan moved back to second base on the dead ball. Becker followed with an RBI single to leftfield, scoring Mahan from second base. Pompey then bounced a double down the rightfield line, scoring a pair.

Murray State got on the board in the fifth inning, chasing Pop from the game. Caleb Hicks led off with a double off the wall in rightfield and Kipp Moore replaced him at second with a double into the right-centerfield gap.

UK answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth as Shelby smashed his fourth homer of the year over the rightfield fence.

The Wildcats rallied for four runs on four hits in the sixth inning to take an 11-1 lead. Carson, Cottam and Wilson led off with singles to load the bases and White doubled down the line to score the trio. Dorian Hairston then scored White with a sacrifice fly.