Pompey, Shelby Homer Twice in 15-2 Rout
Kentucky (2-1) saw its offense explode on get-away-day during opening weekend for 15 runs on 20 hits, ripping seven home runs, its most in a single game since 2012. UK saw Pompey and Shelby each hit home runs – with Pompey owning three over the last two games, - with Marcus Carson, Kole Cottam and Dorian Hairston each hitting a blast.
The game began with three scoreless innings, before UK plated a run in the fourth and two in the fifth, for all the cushion righty Kyle Cody would need. The 73rd overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, Cody made his return to the mound for his senior season in dominating fashion.
A native of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Cody (1-0) won his 12th career game in his 29th start. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound right-hander worked seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk, striking out eight. He retired 20 of his last 22 hitters faced, allowing only two hard-hit balls, both doubled pulled down the line. Cody worked his third consecutive quality start and the 11th of his career. Cody finished throwing 85 pitches, with 58 going for strikes, throwing first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 25 hitters he faced.
With an eight-run lead in the eighth, UK turned to freshman 6-foot-11 righty Sean Hjelle for his UK debut. Hjelle struck out the side, working around two hits and an error. Brad Schaenzer got two outs in the ninth and Josh Smith made his collegiate debut with the final out in the game, allowing a solo homer.
Kentucky got a 4-for-5 game from Pompey, a 6-foot-4, switch-hitting product of the Canadian Junior National Team who finished just a single shy of the cycle. A native of Toronto, Pompey had three runs and four RBI. UK also got three hits from Shelby, who added a double, three runs and two RBI. Carson’s bit hit was a three-run homer and Cottam had two hits off the bench, his first career hits, including the homer in the eighth.
The Wildcats also got two-hit games from Luke Becker, Gunnar McNeill and Riley Mahan, with Evan White, Zach Reks and Hairston each adding a hit.
Shelby leads UK through three games, going 8-for-12 with four doubles, two homers and three RBI, drawing two walks. Pompey has hit 5-for-10 with a double, triple, three homers and six RBI.
Dayton (0-3) starter Zach Beaver (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing 10 hits and three runs over five innings. UD also used Masashi Sakamoto, Kevin Piersol, Charlie Dant and Andrew Cline in relief.
Kentucky will return to action on Friday with the opener of the Tony Gwynn Classic in San Diego, facing UC Santa Barbara.
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. McNeill led off with a single into shallow centerfield and Pompey ripped a one-hop double off the wall in centerfield. McNeill was gunned at the plate for the first out, but Reks scored Pompey with a two-strike single into right-centerfield.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, UK rallied with two runs on three two-out hits. Shelby doubled down the line, scoring on McNeill’s RBI single through the left side. Pompey then tripled down the rightfield line, scoring McNeill from first base.
UK hit three homers in the bottom of the seventh, scoring six runs and stretching its lead to 9-0. Shelby led off with a first-pitch bomb over the leftfield fence and after an out, Pompey ripped his own blast over the rightfield fence. After Becker reached on a dropped third strike and took second on Mahan’s walk, Cottam chopped a single up the middle to score Becker. Carson then ripped a three-run homer over the rightfield fence, scoring Mahan and Cottam.
Dayton got on the board in the eighth, plating a run on two hits and a UK error.
Shelby led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo homer over the 402-foot sign in dead centerfield. After a groundout, pinch hitter Tyler Marshall drew a walk. Pompey then smashed his second homer over the rightfield fence. Hairston then followed with an opposite-field jack of his own. After the second out, Mahan tripled off the wall in centerfield, scoring on Cottam’s no-doubt blast to left-centerfield.
Nick Gobert got Dayton a run in the ninth, hitting a solo homer.