Cousino, Reed Lift No. 22 Baseball to Twinbill Sweep
March 5, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Austin Cousino collected three hits and A.J. Reed drove in three runs to boost his NCAA lead in RBI, lifting No. 22 Kentucky to an 11-4 win over Cincinnati, sweeping a doubleheader on Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (11-2) posted a doubleheader sweep over the Bearcats on Wednesday, getting a 7-0 win in the opener, behind the first midweek complete-game shutout in the modern era (2003-present) of the UK program from sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer. A native of Murray, Ky., Dwyer worked nine innings for the win in the opener.
“Dylan Dwyer did a good job throwing strikes and only walked two guys and went nine innings,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “He didn’t do a great job of 0-0 strikes, but did a very good job of throwing strikes after that. He threw a really good mix the entire day. (In a midweek doubleheader) You don’t have to go a complete game, but you have to get some innings. It should really help his confidence going forward. He is really talented. It is just a matter of putting it all together. He has to stay poised, repeat his delivery and finish guys off. He did a really good job of that today.”
UK also got the first career homer from freshman JaVon Shelby in the opener of the doubleheader, with the second baseman also smacking a double.
“JaVon (Shelby) keeps getting better at second base,” Henderson said. “He got the opportunity to play second base for 18 innings, so that was really good. He is looking more comfortable every day. He got two hits in the first (game) and one in the second. He still has a ways to go as a freshman hitting in this league. It was a great game for him as he hit two line drives that resulted in a double and a homerun. He clobbered both those, so he is progressing and getting better.”
In the nightcap, UK jumped out with two runs in the first, one in the second and a six-run frame in the third, with UC chipping away with two in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth. UK added two tallies in the sixth for the final margin.
The Wildcats were led by a three-hit game from Cousino, a preseason All-America centerfielder. Cousino went 3-for-5 with a triple – his second of 2014 – and two runs scored. UK also got a two-hit game from Kyle Barrett and Zach Arnold, with Barrett going 2-for-5 with an RBI and Arnold posting a 2-for-4 game with an RBI.
UK got a 1-for-3 game with three RBI and a walk from Reed, who leads college baseball in home runs and RBI. Reed has now hit .426 (20-for-47) with four doubles, seven homers and 24 RBI in 13 games, with a .541 on-base percentage.
The Wildcats also got hits from Shelby, Ka’ai Tom and Thomas Bernal, with Connor Heady driving in one run and Max Kuhn drawing two walks and scoring twice.
UK starter Andrew Nelson worked four innings, allowing four hits and two runs – one earned – walking one and striking out three.
“That was the most relaxed in his four appearances,” Henderson said about Nelson. “He should pitch well for us. He did a nice job of keeping the ball low. He got a little tired in the fourth. He did a great job of staying ahead and keeping it down through three innings.”
Sophomore Taylor Martin allowed a run and two hits in an inning, with sophomore Sam Mahar working the fifth, getting an out and allowing a run. Spencer Jack (1-0) took over with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the sixth inning, getting out of the jam. Jack worked 2.1 innings for his first career win, allowing just one hit and one walk, striking out one. UK used freshman Robert Zeigler to get an out in the eighth, with Zach Strecker working a perfect ninth inning by striking out the side.
Cincinnati (2-9) starter Grant Walker (0-2) worked three innings, allowing eight hits and nine runs – seven earned – walking two and striking out four. Colton Cleary worked three innings, allowing three hits and two runs, walking one and striking out one. Austin Woodby came on to work the final two innings, striking out three.
UK will return to action on Friday opening a three-game series at Cliff Hagan Stadium with Ball State, with first pitch slated for 4 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats got on the board in the first inning, as Cousino singled with one out and Kuhn drew a walk. After Cousino stole third base, Reed grounded out to the right side, allowing Cousino to score, with Kuhn scoring after an error on UC first-team preseason All-America second baseman Ian Happ, who was playing first base, who went 1-for-7 with five strikeouts in the doubleheader.
UK added a run in the second, as Bernal was hit by a pitch to leadoff, scoring on Heady’s sacrifice fly to leftfield.
In the third inning, UK busted the game open, getting six runs on six hits. Cousino led off the inning with a triple to centerfield and Kuhn followed with another 3-2 walk. Reed then smashed a two-RBI single up the middle, scoring on Bernal’s double to centerfield. Arnold then scored Bernal with a single down the line, with Barrett forcing in Arnold with a two-out single to centerfield.
In the fourth inning, Justin Glass drew a one-out walk, taking third on Happ’s double, scoring Glass with a ground ball RBI.
Cincinnati got a run back in the fifth inning, as Russell Clark doubled to leadoff and Matt Williams scored him with a single to leftfield.
UC got a run in the sixth inning, as Happ drew a one-out walk, scoring on Connor McVey single to leftfield.
UK added two runs in the sixth inning, as Shelby led off with a single and Barrett reached on an infield single after Shelby collided with second baseman Collin Hawk, who was charging the grounder. Cousino followed with an RBI single and after a fly out and an intentional walk to Reed loaded the bases, Tom hung a sac fly to score Shelby.