CINCINNATI -- The No. 30 Kentucky baseball team exploded for 11 runs on 15 hits and got a strong starting pitching performance from sophomore Sean Bouthilette, who struck out six in a career-high six innings, to lead the Wildcats to an 11-2 pounding of the Cincinnati Bearcats, Tuesday night at Marge Schott Stadium.
Kentucky (17-8) got a career pitching performance from Bouthilette, who set career highs with six innings pitched and six strikeouts. The Elizabethtown, Ky., native, walked just one and allowed only two runs and three hits in his six innings, with only one run earned. Bouthilette tossed first-pitch strikes to 17-of-23 hitters faced to improve to 1-0 on the year and 3-1 in his career.
UK got an outstanding offensive performance, plating 11 runs on 15 hits, including a four-hit game from senior Gunner Glad, who launched his third homer of the year. UK freshman catcher Luke Maile, a native of Crestview Hills, Ky., got his third career start in a return to his nearby hometown, launching his second homer of the season, a game-tying shot off a 2-2 count in the second inning. Maile, a 6-foot-3 backstop, owns two career hits, both solo home runs.
The Wildcats also got outstanding offensive performances from Chad Wright, who singled in his first three plate appearances and never saw a good pitch after that, walking in his final two at bats. Taylor Black and Chris Bisson both singled in their contribution to Kentucky's six-run second inning that closed the door on Cincinnati early. They both ended with two hits in the game, Bisson's second hit coming in the fourth and Black's in the sixth. UK also got a 2-for-2 outing from Florence, Ky., native Cory Farris, who added a walk and an RBI.
Cincinnati (12-10) starter Kevin Johnson (0-1) took the loss, allowing seven hits and six runs in his 1.2 innings of work, with only one run going as earned.
The Wildcats also used freshman right-hander Walter Wijas in relief, with Wijas going two shutout innings, before giving way to sophomore Joe Devine, who tossed the ninth inning.
UK will return to action Wednesday, hosting No. 18 Western Kentucky at Cliff Hagan Stadium, with first-pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. ET. Fans can hear the game live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio).
The Bearcats got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning, plating an unearned run in the first inning. After Bouthilette got the first two hitters out, Chris Peters reached on an infield single, hit to shortstop. Jimmy Jacquot drew a walk to put runners on first and second, bringing Kendal Coleman to the plate. Coleman hit a hard grounder at Bisson at second base but the ball took a hard bounce, going as an error and allowing Peters to score.
UK answered to take a 4-1 lead with four runs in the top of the second. After Johnson retired the first two UK hitters, Maile came to the plate and worked a 2-2 count. Maile belted the 2-2 offering over the left-field fence, his second career hit and his second career homer. Both of Maile's two homers this season have come on 2-2 offerings. Farris followed and lined a two-strike, two-out single up the middle, bringing Black to the plate. Farris took off from first base with Black at the plate and Kevin Johnson left a pitch out over the plate, allowing Black to single into leftfield and Farris to scamper to third base. That brought Neiko Johnson to the plate, who took the first pitch he saw into rightfield, a pop up that bounced out of the glove of the UC leftfielder, allowing Farris and Black to score. Wright followed and ripped a single through the right side, scoring Neiko Johnson from second base. Bisson then moved Wright to third base with a hard-hit single through the right side of the infield, just off the glove of the UC first baseman. Kapteyn then drew a walk to load the bases for Glad, who singled into rightfield, allowing Wright and Bisson to score.
The Wildcats added three runs on four hits in the fourth inning, as Wright led off with his second push bunt of the game and his third hit in as many plate appearances. Wright then stole second and moved to third on Bisson single into centerfield. During Kapteyn's at bat, Wright came home to score on a passed ball, with Bisson moving to second on a stolen base and Kapteyn drawing a walk. Glad followed and singled into a vacated spot on the right side of the infield, with Bisson attempting to score from second on the infield single, getting thrown out at the plate. That brought Wiley to the dish, who laid down a perfect bunt single to score Kapteyn. After Maile got hit by a pitch to load the bags, Farris lined a sacrifice fly into centerfield, allowing Glad to score.
UC got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, as Kevin Johnson led off with a first-pitch homer over the right-centerfield fence, his fourth homer of the year.
Kentucky stretched its lead to 11-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning. After Kapteyn grounded out to leadoff, Glad belted the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence, his third homer of the year. After Wiley struck out, Maile got hit by a 3-1 pitch, his second of the game, and stole second base for his first career steal. Farris followed and drew a walk on the 14th pitch of the at bat, bringing Black to the plate. Black lined a single into centerfield, scoring Maile from second.