No. 20 Baseball Pounds Wright State 11-1 Wednesday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In his first career start, Kentucky junior right-hander Kyle Jackson went five innings without allowing an earned run and the UK bullpen tossed four shutout frames in relief, as the 20th-ranked Wildcats posted a dominating 11-1 win over Wright State, on Wednesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (14-3) got a hit from eight of nine position starters, with senior centerfielder Keenan Wiley and junior shortstop Taylor Black each contributing three RBI. Wiley went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a walk and Black added a 1-for-2, one walk, three-RBI outing. Senior Gunner Glad added a 2-for-4, two-RBI game, sophomore Braden Kapteyn went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and sophomore Chad Wright charted a 2-for-4 evening.
Jackson, a native of Kearney, Mo., got his first career start and responded well, going five innings, allowing only four hits and one unearned run, striking out two. Jackson threw just 53 pitches with 38 going for strikes. His lone run allowed came after a two-out error in the top of the first inning, retiring 13 of the final 15 hitters he faced.
Junior southpaw Mike Kaczmarek came on in relief and went 1.1 shutout innings, striking out two and allowing one hit. Freshman Walter Wijas got two outs in the seventh inning and then UK used two pitchers for their first action of the season, as Chase Greene, a native of Nicholasville, Ky., tossed one shutout inning and sophomore Joe Devine tossed a perfect top of the ninth.
UK charted 12 total hits, with 11 going as singles, with the lone extra-base hit coming on Black's second double of the year. Sophomore Cory Farris was the only UK starter to not tally a hit, adding a sacrifice fly and an RBI, also drawing a walk.
Kentucky sophomore Andy Burns extended his career and club-best hitting streak to 13 games with a 1-for-4 game. UK junior preseason All-American Chris Bisson, making his first start in six games due to injury, responded with a 1-for-4 outing, drawing a walk and scoring two runs, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, dating back to the 2009 season. Wiley, a native of Richmond, Ky., extended his hitting streak to 11 games, Kapteyn stretched his streak to 10 games and Wright extended his streak to six games.
Kentucky (14-3) returns to action in its first Southeastern Conference weekend of the season, hosting No. 19 Ole Miss (13-4) in a three-game set, Friday-Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. First-pitch Friday is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. UK will start junior southpaw Logan Darnell (3-0, 2.17 ERA) against Ole Miss All-American lefty Drew Pomeranz (2-0, 1.54 ERA) Friday night.
The Raiders got on the board in the top of the first, taking a 1-0 lead of two hits and a UK error. After Cameron Fagg popped out to lead off, Jake Hibberd chopped a single through the left side and Casey McGrew followed with a single into centerfield, just out of the diving glove of UK centerfielder Keenan Wiley. After a fielder's choice got Hibberd at third, Quentin Moore hit a sharply hit grounder at third base, taking a tough hop and going as a fielding error, allowing McGrew to score.
The Wildcats answered with four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-1 lead. After Wright grounded out 1-6-3, Burns jumped on the first pitch of the at bat and laced a single into leftfield, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Bisson and Kapteyn followed with walks to load the bases for Farris. Farris worked the count to 3-2 and drilled a line drive right at the centerfielder, allowing Burns to score on the sacrifice fly. Glad then followed and ripped a single through the left side, scoring Bisson. After a passed ball moved Kapteyn and Glad into scoring position, Wiley extended his streak to 11 games with a single into centerfield, making it 4-1.
UK added six runs on six hits and a WSU error to take a 10-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Bisson led off with a single up the middle, Kapteyn lined a single through the left side and Farris drew a walk to load the bases. Glad followed and chopped an infield single off the pitcher, allowing Bisson to score from third. Wiley then ripped an RBI single through the right side and Nidiffer hung a sacrifice fly into centerfield, bringing up Black. UK's shortstop laced a double into the left-centerfield gap, clearing the bags and bringing Glad and Wiley home.
Kentucky added a run in the bottom of the seventh, as Wiley drew a lead-off walk, moving into scoring position on a wild pitch. After Marcus Nidiffer singled to leftfield to move Wiley to third base, Black hung a sacrifice fly into centerfield to score Wiley for the final margin.