First-Inning Dooms No. 7 Baseball in Sweep at Red-Hot No. 2 LSU
April 7, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. -- No. 2 LSU plated five runs in the first inning on four extra-base hits, leading to an 11-4 win over No. 7 Kentucky to complete the series sweep and give the Tigers their 11th consecutive win, on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in front of 10,971 at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers set a new program mark with their series sweep over the Wildcats, with their 30-2 start to the season eclipsing the record set in 1986. LSU also improved their conference-leading record to a staggering 11-1.
Kentucky (22-8, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) suffered its first series defeat of the year in the matchup with the blistering-hot Tigers. UK had opened the conference season with series wins at Florida, vs. No. 14 Mississippi State and Georgia.
UK’s four-game road trip saw the Wildcats play four games at top-10 foes, with UK getting a midweek 10-inning win at No. 9 Louisville. During the four-game, top-10 road swing, UK played in front of a total of 38,198 fans.
The Wildcats mounted a nine-hit attack, getting four runs, with one in the first and three in the seventh. A.J. Reed had UK’s big swing, a two-strike, two-out, three-run homer in the seventh. UK also got hits from Austin Cousino, Zac Zellers, Max Kuhn, Micheal Thomas, Kyle Barrett, Matt Reida and Lucas Witt. Zellers scored a pair of runs and Kuhn drove in Zellers with his first-inning RBI. Barrett went 2-for-4, adding an eighth-inning single to leftfield.
UK starter Corey Littrell (4-1) suffered his first loss of the year, working four innings, allowing nine hits and a career-high nine runs – four earned – walking three and striking out one. Sophomore right-hander Chandler Shepherd came on to start the fifth and did yeomen’s work, tossing three inning, allowing two hits and one run, walking one. Freshman Ryne Combs started the eighth, surrendering a walk and getting one out. Senior Walter Wijas got the final two outs of the game for UK in the eighth inning.
LSU starter Cody Glenn (5-1) worked a quality start in a winning effort, tossing six innings, allowing six hits and one run, walking two and striking out one. LSU used Nick Rumbelow, Joey Bourgeois and Chris Cotton in relief.
UK will return to action after its grueling four-game road trip with a midweek game vs. Austin Peay (25-6) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium, before welcoming Tennessee for a three-game series.
UK got on the board in the top of the first inning, as Zellers smashed a single into centerfield, taking second on a groundout from Reed. Kuhn then singled with two strikes and two outs to score Zellers, giving Kuhn a team-high 10 two-out RBI in 2013.
LSU immediately responded in the bottom of the first inning as Sean McMullen led off with a double off the leftfield wall. Mark Laird then laid down a bunt back to the mound, with McMullen going to third and Littrell’s throw sailing wide of first base. Alex Bregman then extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a triple off the wall in left-centerfield. Mason Katz – the NCAA RBI leader – scored Bregman with a sac fly. Christian Ibarra then doubled off the wall in left center and JaCoby Jones hit a homer out of the ballpark in leftfield to give LSU a 5-1 lead after just two outs recorded.
LSU scored a run in the third inning, added three runs in the fourth and got single runs in the seventh and eighth.
UK got three runs in the seventh, as Reida singled to leadoff and Zellers drew a two-out walk. Reed then smashed a 1-2 pitch over the rightfield fence for his team-high eighth homer of the year.
GAME NOTES: Junior second baseman J.T. Riddle made his team-leading 98th consecutive start … Zac Zellers has reached base safely in 14 consecutive games with his first-inning single … Max Kuhn scored Zellers with his team-high 10th two-out RBI of 2013 and his 13th two-out hit … Corey Littrell picked off his fourth runner of 2013 in the second … A.J. Reed hit his team-high eighth homer of the year in the seventh inning … Casey Schroeder reached base for the first time in his career with a full-count walk in the eighth … Kentucky falls to 10-1 in 2013 when scoring first and 17-3 when scoring in the first inning … UK is now 1-2 in its black and gray uniform combination … UK is now 6-4 against left-handed starting pitching … UK suffered its first loss on Sunday in 2013, falling to 6-1 … UK is now 19-4 in day games … UK is 5-4 on the road in 2013 … UK is now 3-4 vs. top-25 teams and 1-3 against top-10 foes … LSU extends its series lead to 46-25-1, including a 26-7-1 mark in Baton Rouge.