March 3, 2012
Box Score |
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky junior starter Taylor Rogers struck out a career-high 10 in five innings and UK got a dominating relief outing from right-handers Tim Peterson and Trevor Gott, to post a 4-3 series-opening win over Illinois-Chicago in the first game of a doubleheader, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (9-0) continued its season-opening winning streak, the fourth-longest winning streak to open up the season in program history. The Wildcats were handcuffed offensively but got clutch pitching from Rogers, Peterson and Gott, along with Walter Wijas.
Rogers (3-0) went five innings, allowing only five hits and two runs, walking two and striking out a career-high 10. He was relieved by Wijas in the sixth inning with a runner on and no outs, getting three outs to get out of the frame. Wijas allowed a solo homer to leadoff the seventh inning, tossing two frames with two hits and one run allowed, striking out one. Tim Peterson replaced Wijas in the eighth inning, getting a perfect frame with one strikeout and starting the ninth with two outs, before an error and a seeing-eye single created a ninth-inning jam. Gott came on to get his second save of the year, tossing three pitches for the game-ending strikeout.
The Wildcats collected seven hits and four runs, drawing six walks and getting hit by three pitches. UK got big hits from Austin Cousino and Luke Maile, with the duo extending their hitting streaks to a team-high eight games. UK also got hits from J.T. Riddle, A.J. Reed, Lucas Witt, Thomas Bernal and Matt Reida, as seven of UK's nine starters collected hits. Reed recorded an RBI double to centerfield and Maile notched a RBI single leftfield in the bottom of the sixth for the game-winning RBI.
UIC (2-6) starter Matt Heaslip was solid through four innings, allowing three hits and one run, walking four and striking out five. Brian Evak (1-1) took the loss, allowing three hits and three runs in four innings.
Kentucky fell behind early after UIC's leftfielder Boss took a two-out pitch to centerfield in the top of the second inning. Then in the top of the fourth, Boss struck again when he doubled off the top of the wall that scored Ryan who led off the inning with a hit by pitch.
The Wildcats would not be held off the scoreboard long however, when Witt led off the fourth with a walk and advanced him to second when Bernal earned another walk. Reida then singled on a perfectly laid bunt to the third-base side. Cousino then brought around Witt to score with a fielder's choice grounder.
Riddle recorded a one-out single to spark UK in the fifth inning. The following hitter, Reed, sent a shot to center that went as a double. Riddle came all away around to score from first base. After a strikeout by Witt, Bernal came up and hit a hard chopper to the shortstop, Shober, who was wild on the throw allowing Reed to score from second.
Kentucky continued the scoring the following inning when Zac Zellers scored on a Maile line-drive single into left. Maile then stole second base but the inning was thwarted when Addison caught Riddle's fly ball in centerfield.
UIC answered the Wildcats with a leadoff homerun by Jurich. After a successful sacrifice bunt attempt by Addison, Rogers induced two groundouts to Reida at short to stop the attempted comeback.
The UK bullpen shut down the Flames the rest of the way with Wijas, Peterson and Gott going scoreless for the final two innings after the solo-blast. With Gott collecting the save, his second save of the year.
GAME NOTES: Freshman Austin Cousino extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single to leadoff the third ... With a walk in the third inning, Luke Maile has reached base safely in nine consecutive games to open the season ... Cousino recorded his first career walk to start the bottom of the sixth inning ... Taylor Rogers struck out a career-high 10 in just five innings ... Maile stole his team-high fifth base of the year ... Cousino's six-game multi-hit streak was snapped with just one single and he has hit safely in each career collegiate game ... Tim Peterson allowed the first hit of his UK career, a single in the ninth inning after going five hitless innings to start his career ... Trevor Gott recorded his second save of the year and the fourth of his two-year career.