Martin Shines in Relief as Baseball Tops Morehead
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Storm Wilson smashed his first home run of the year and Taylor Martin fired 2.2 shutout innings in relief for his first career decision, leading Kentucky to a 9-4 win over Morehead State, on a perfect Wednesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (16-9) jumped out to an early lead with a five-run first inning and a homer from Wilson in the third. After Morehead State rallied with a four-run fourth inning to chase freshman starter Zach Pop from the mound, Martin took over to retire the first six hitters he faced and nine of 10 hitters overall. Martin's relief excellence and a two-run double from Connor Heady gave UK an 8-4 lead after six innings, with UK getting a run in the eighth.
A native of Brampton, Ontario, Pop made his first career start, working 3.2 innings, allowing five hits and four runs - two earned - walking two and striking out one. After allowing a pair of two-run homers with two outs in the fourth, UK turned to Martin in relief. Martin worked 2.2 shutout innings, allowing a single and no walks, striking out one. Zach Strecker took over for Martin with one out in the seventh, working 1.2 shutout innings with a strikeout. Logan Salow worked the ninth inning, getting one out, before Spencer Jack got the final two outs of the game.
The Wildcats were led at the plate by the two-RBI performance from Wilson, who belted his first homer of 2015 and the fifth of his two-year career. UK got a two-hit game from JaVon Shelby, with Zach Arnold notching a two-RBI hit. UK also got hits from Evan White, Thomas Bernal and Marcus Carson, with Ka'ai Tom ripping his eighth double of the year and adding a RBI hit in the eighth inning.
Morehead State (11-12) starter Seth Boyle (0-2) worked three innings, allowing five hits and six runs, walking one. Matt Anderson took over to start the fourth inning, working 2.1 innings, allowing two hits and one run, striking out three. Cable Wright, Tyler Keele and Craig Pearcy also worked in relief for the Eagles.
UK will return to action on Friday, traveling to face No. 1 LSU for a three-game series, staring at 8 p.m. ET on SEC Network+.
UK struck for four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, starting with a one-out single from White. Tom then drew a four-pitch walk and Shelby loaded the bases with a single into right-centerfield. Wilson was then plunked by a pitch to score a run and Bernal beat out an infield chopper for a RBI hit. Arnold then singled into the right-centerfield gap to score two runs, with the fifth run scoring on a balk call with two outs.
A native of Somerset, Ky., Wilson belted his first homer of the year with one out in the bottom of the third, lacing a line drive the other way over the leftfield fence.
A two-out hit from Robby Spencer in the top of the fourth brought Nick Newell to the plate, with Newell belted his second homer of the year on a line over the leftfield fence. A two-out error allowed the inning to continue for Alex Stephens, who also hit a two-run homer.
UK added two runs to its lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking an 8-4 advantage. After Bernal reached first on a dropped third strike and was erased by Arnold on a fielder's choice, Carson pushed Arnold to second with a bunt single. Heady then doubled down the leftfield line to score the duo for a four-run lead.
UK got a two-out run in the eighth inning, with Tom ripping a RBI single to score Heady.