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No. 23 Baseball Plates 19 in Series-Opening Win

Michael Williams hit his first homer of the year.

Michael Williams hit his first homer of the year.

March 9, 2012

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Cameron Flynn, Matt Reida and J.T. Riddle each collected three hits and Luke Maile charted three RBI, as No. 23 Kentucky pounded out a season-high 22 hits in a 19-9 shellacking of Canisius in the series opener, on Friday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky (14-0) exploded for 19 runs on 23 hits as the Southeastern Conference's leading offense collected a one-run inning in the second, three runs in the third, four runs in the fourth, six runs in the sixth and two runs in each the seventh and eighth innings. UK's 22-hit attack marked a season-best, eclipsing the previous high of 19 hits in a 20-0 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday.

The Wildcats improved on the NCAA's best record and the longest winning streak in the nation with the win. UK's 14-0 start marks the fourth-best opening to a season in program history, as the 2000 team opened 15-0 under Keith Madison and the Wildcats set a school-record with a 19-0 start in both 2007 and 2008. UK is one of only two undefeated teams in college baseball to have played at least three games, joining Gonzaga (10-0).

UK got hits from every member of its starting lineup, with Flynn, Reida and Riddle standing out with their three-hit outings. Flynn and Michael Williams each launched homers, with Flynn equaling the team lead with three home runs and Williams belting his first of the campaign. Flynn went 3-for-5 with two RBI, a walk and three runs scored, while Williams finished 1-for-4. Reida tied his career-high with a 3-for-4 game, including two RBI and a walk, his second consecutive three-hit performance, while Riddle went 3-for-5.

Centerfielder Austin Cousino extended his hitting streak to a team-high 13 games, the longest hitting streak for a UK player since 2010, with the UK freshman hitting safely in every game of his collegiate career. A 5-foot-10 former Baseball America first-team High School All-America selection, Cousino also stole his fourth base of the year.

Maile finished with a 2-for-3 game at the plate with three RBI, while third baseman Thomas McCarthy belted a double and went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Outfielder Zac Zellers also added a pair of runs scored, going 1-for-4.

UK starter Taylor Rogers worked 6.1 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs, walking two and striking out five. He was relieved with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the seventh by freshman Jeff Boehm, with Boehm allowing the grandslam to the first hitter he faced, putting three additional runs on Rogers' line. UK used Chris Garrison to get out of the jam in the seventh, with Tyler Dunaway taking over in the eighth inning and recording his first career strikeout in his second career appearance. Tim Peterson came on in the ninth to work a shutout frame.

Canisius (7-6) starter Billy Martin (1-1) worked five innings, allowing 12 hits and nine runs, walking one and striking out two in the loss. Tim Seil took over for Martin and allowed six runs in one inning, with CC using Rohn Pierce to finish out the game.

UK returns to action on Saturday, hosting the Golden Griffs at 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM and online at UKathletics.com. UK will send junior southpaw Jerad Grundy (2-0, 3.24 ERA) to the mound to face CC sophomore right-hander Garrett Cortright (2-1, 5.06 ERA).

The Wildcats got on the board in the bottom of the second inning, as Williams launched a 1-2 pitch from Martin off the videoboard in left-centerfield, his first homer of the year.  

UK stretched its lead in the bottom of the third inning, plating three runs on three hits. Reida led off with a single up the middle, taking second after a balk. Cousino then scored Reida from second with a single into the gap, taking second after Zellers was hit by a pitch. Maile then smacked a single up the middle, scoring Cousino and pushing Zellers to third base. Reed then forced home Zellers with a ground ball that was turned into a double play.

Canisius got on the board in the fourth inning, plating two runs on four hits to cut the UK lead to 4-2. Drew Pettit singled up the middle to leadoff and Chris Gruarin singled to centerfield to put two runners on base. After a lineout from Shane Zimmer, Jimmy Luppens singled to centerfield to score Pettit. After Jesse Kelso laid down a sacrifice bunt, Brooklyn Foster singled through the right side to score Luppens.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, UK took an 8-2 lead with four runs on five hits. Flynn led off with a single to rightfield, motoring to third base on McCarthy's double down the line. Riddle then ripped a two-RBI single to rightfield, taking third with Reida singled to centerfield. After a pair of unproductive outs, Maile delivered a two-out, two-RBI single to score Reida and Riddle.

UK added to its lead in the fifth inning, as Flynn launched a towering blast over the 30-foot high wall in rightfield, his third homer of the year.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, UK broke open the game with six runs on six hits, taking a 15-2 lead. Zellers led off the inning with a single into the gap and Maile was hit by a pitch. Reed then lined a single down the rightfield line to score Zellers, with Maile scoring on a wild pitch during the Williams at bat, with Reed moving to second base. Flynn then drew a walk to bring up McCarthy, who ripped his RBI single into the left-centerfield gap. After Riddle loaded the bases with a single off the 30-foot wall in rightfield, Reida hung a double down the opposite-field line to score two. Cousino forced home the final run of the frame with an RBI groundout.

Canisius got on the board and chased Rogers from the game in the seventh, loading the bases with one out on Rogers. UK turned to Boehm for the bases-loaded challenge, with Pettit connecting on a pitch into the wind to centerfield for a grandslam, making it 15-6. After another pitching change, CC added a run after a bases-loaded walk from Garrison on a 3-2 pitch.

UK stretched its lead with a pair of runs in the seventh inning, as Maile got hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning and A.J. Reed doubled to leftfield. After a hit batter loaded the bases, Flynn singled to leftfield to score Maile. UK then pinch hit for McCarthy in the form of freshman infielder Max Kuhn, who hung a sacrifice fly to centerfield for the RBI, his first career sacrifice fly.

The Golden Griffs added a run in the eighth inning, as UK turned to Dunaway for his second career pitching appearance with UK nursing a 10-run lead. Seger led off with a double into the gap, scoring on Torralba's single to leftfield. Luppens scored Torralba with an infield single.

UK added two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Lucas Witt singled to lead off the inning, scoring on Micheal Thomas' double into the gap. Pinch hitter Tyler Raymond then scored Thomas with his first career hit, a line drive up the middle.  

GAME NOTES: Freshman A.J. Reed hit cleanup for the first time in his career ... Freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino extended his hitting streak to a team-best 13 games with a single to leadoff the first inning ... Cousino has now hit safely in every game of his career ... Cousino then stole his fourth base of the season ... Michael Williams hit his first homer of the year as a shot off the videoboard in the bottom of the second inning ... Zac Zellers got hit by his SEC-leading seventh pitch of the year ... Luke Maile drove in two runs with a two-out single in the fourth, his sixth and seventh two-out RBI of the year ... Matt Reida stole his third base of 2012 ... Cameron Flynn hit his third homer of the year, tying Maile and Zellers for the team lead ... Max Kuhn recorded his first career sacrifice fly in the seventh inning ... Tyler Dunaway recorded his first career strikeout, striking out the side in the ninth inning ... Tyler Raymond notched his first career hit as an RBI up the middle in the eighth inning.

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