Brown Pitches Baseball to Series-Opening Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Zack Brown worked seven innings without allowing an earned run and Evan White belted his first home run of the year, leading Kentucky to a 5-1 win over Buffalo to open the series, on a cloudy Friday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (5-3) posted the series-opening win behind the strength of Brown on the mound and a nine-hit attack. UK scored single runs in the first, second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
A native of Seymour, Ind., Brown (1-2) worked seven innings without allowing an earned run, surrendering three hits and four walks, striking out six. He exited with a three-run lead to start the eighth inning, working his first quality start of the year and the ninth of his career. Sophomore southpaw Brad Schaenzer started the eighth, working around a leadoff walk in the eighth, and senior righty Bo Wilson pitched the ninth.
The Wildcats were led at the plate by the first homer of the year from White, who went 3-for-4 with a stolen base. Sophomore second baseman Luke Becker set a new career high with three hits, adding a double, with UK also getting a two-hit game from Riley Mahan, including a double off the top of the wall in rightfield. UK also got a hit from Gunnar McNeill and sacrifice flies from Marcus Carson and Tristan Pompey.
Buffalo (3-4) starter Alec Tuohy (1-2) – a high school teammate of UK’s White – worked 6.2 innings, allowing nine hits and five runs – four earned – walking three and striking out three.
The series will resume on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as White – facing his high school teammate – smashed a first-pitch homer over the leftfield fence, his first bomb of the year.
Buffalo answered in the top of the second, as Vinny Mallaro drew a walk and Mike Abrunzo grounded a hard-hit ball off the lip of the infield, with the wicked hop thwarting a potential double-play chance and going as a single. After a wild pitch pushed a pair into scoring position, Brown responded with two outs, before a fielding error allowed Mallaro to score from third as the tying run.
Kentucky took advantage of a two-out error in the bottom of the second. Becker opened the inning with a single to centerfield, taking second on a balk and scoring on a groundball hit by Troy Squires that forced a throwing error.
In the fourth inning, UK plated its third run, as Becker doubled to lead off and Carson moved him to third with a fly out. Becker then scored on a wild pitch for a 3-1 lead.
Kentucky added to its lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Mahan led off with a single to leftfield and Becker pushed him to third with a single through the right side. Carson then hung a sac fly down the leftfield line, scoring Mahan for a 4-1 lead.
In the seventh inning, White led off with a single to centerfield, stole second base and took third on a wild pitch. Pompey then hung a sacrifice fly to rightfield, scoring White.