Middle Innings Power Baseball to 12-4 Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Junior Braden Kapteyn drove in four RBI, senior shortstop Taylor Black had three hits and four RBI and senior Mike Kaczmarek belted his first career homer, to help power the Kentucky baseball team to a 12-4 win over Canisius, on Wednesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (14-8) got strong offensive performances in the game, as UK plated 12 runs on 15 hits and five walks, including a five-run fourth inning and a four-run fifth frame. Kapteyn and Black led UK with four RBI in the game, with Kapteyn batting 2-for-6 and Black totaling a 3-for-5 game. Kapteyn was one of five multi-hit performances in the contest, including, Kaczmarek, Black, Brian Adams and Chad Wright. Kaczmarek, UK's primary closer on the mound, belted his first career homer as part of a 2-for-3 game, while Wright went 2-for-3 and Black added a 2-for-4 game.
Adams, a scholarship wide receiver on the football team, participated in the opening spring football practice in the morning around 9 a.m. ET, a nearly three-hour practice. A 6-foot-4, 230-pound native of Gainesville, Ga., Adams registered the start in centerfield on Wednesday night, batting 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base. Adams, rated as the fourth-best Southeastern Conference prospect available for the 2012 MLB Draft by Perfect Game USA, is planning on participating in both UK football practices during the spring and as UK's everyday centerfielder will be available for UK baseball games throughout the spring practice season. On the year in 18 starts, Adams is batting .333 (19-for-57) with six doubles, eight RBI and five stolen bases.
The Wildcats also got hits from third baseman Thomas McCarthy, catcher Luke Maile and freshman second baseman Matt Reida. UK unloaded the bench in the late innings, with freshman infielder Tyler Townsend making his first career appearance and UK using catchers T.J. Daugherty and Micheal Thomas late in the game. Freshman J.T. Riddle, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, had his team-high and career-long hitting streak snapped at nine games.
UK starter Jonathan Paquet went a career-long 4.1 innings, allowing five hits and two runs, walking one and striking out a career-best five. Paquet was relieved by Walter Wijas, who allowed two unearned runs in 1.2 innings, while Alex Phillips and Nick Kennedy helped close out the contest. Wijas (3-0) picked up the win, before Phillips and Kennedy closed the door.
Canisius (6-14) was coming off an eye-popping 32-17 win at Morehead State on Tuesday. Canisius starter Scott Whitehead (0-2) took the loss, allowing nine hits and six runs in four innings.
UK jumped on the board with a run on two hits in the bottom of the first. Wright ripped a line drive to centerfield with one out, with the diving attempt from Canisius centerfielder Ryan Coppinger allowing Wright to scamper to second with a double. After Kapteyn popped out, McCarthy lined his ninth double of the year into the gap in left-centerfield, scoring Wright.
The Golden Griffs took the lead with two runs in the third inning as Kevin Whitehead led off the inning with a single and Ralph Alloco followed with a single through the infield. After Will Chomicki got hit by a pitch to load the bases, Ryan Coppinger hung a sac fly to leftfield to score Whitehead. Sean Jamieson then singled up the middle to score Alloco.
In the fourth inning, UK broke the game open with five runs on five hits. After Riddle led off the inning with a groundout, Luke Maile singled and Kaczmarek rifled his first career extra-base hit, a double, down the line. After Adams drew a walk to load the bags, Reida scored Maile with a groundout and Black scored two more with a single to leftfield. After Wright singled to center, Kapteyn scored two with a single through the left side.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats added four runs on four hits, including a solo homer from Kaczmarek, who got the scoring started with a two-out bomb into the deck in right-centerfield. Adams then singled and Reida doubled into the gap to score Adams and then Black and Wright got hit by a pitch. Kapteyn then singled for a two-RBI knock for the second consecutive inning.
In the seventh inning, UK plated two runs on two hits, with Daugherty drawing his first career walk, moving to second on a wild pitch during Thomas' at bat. Thomas drew a walk as well and Sam Kidd reached on a fielder's choice. After Townsend got hit by a pitch, Black singled through the infield for a two-RBI base hit.