Baseball Completes Sweep of Northwestern
LEXINGTON – Kentucky’s offensive juggernaut steam-rolled Northwestern, 10-3, to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
In the three games, UK crossed the plate 41 times while pounding out 42 hits, including 14 for extra bases. The 14 runs is the most for the Wildcats in a three-game sweep since 1903.
Led by Antone DeJesus’ .583 clip, five different players hit better than .500 for the weekend. With a hit in all three games, DeJesus extended his hitting streak to 17 games dating back to last year.
Kentucky provided more than just average, belting six home runs on the weekend. Sean Coughlin led the way with three before Northwestern quit pitching to him. He drew five walks and was hit by a pitch in seven plate appearances after the third long ball.
While the offense provided the fireworks, the pitching staff kept Northwestern at bay all weekend and Sunday was no different. Greg Dombrowski worked seven strong innings and allowed just one run while getting 14 groundball outs. Northwestern tagged him for 10 hits, but seven of them reached the outfield grass on the roll. Three of the hits came consecutively in the fourth as the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead.
In improving to 3-0 on the season, Dombrowski struck out three and walked none. He has not walked a batter in 21 innings this season and in 37 innings dating back to last year.
Dombrowski kept Kentucky in it early while the offense found its groove. Despite getting the leadoff man in the second, third and fourth, the Wildcats could not get the big hit until the fifth when they pushed seven runs across.
In a wild inning, Northwestern starter George Kontos walked the first two batters and hit the third to load the bases. After uncorking a pair of wild pitches to plate two and walking another batter, Kontos served up a three-run homer to Ryan Strieby that made it 5-1. The pitch also ended his day.
Dan Schwartz entered and promptly gave up a pair of singles and a two-run double to Michael Bertram for a 7-1 UK lead.
Schwartz made it through the order exactly once when Streiby chased him with an RBI double that scored Collin Cowgill, who had doubled to lead off. Billy Grace greeted reliever Andrew Smith with a sacrifice fly that made it 9-1.
Streiby was Kentucky’s main bat of the day, going 4-for-5 with four RBI. He had a single, two doubles and a homer.
Andrew Albers took over for Dombrowski in the eighth and pitched well only to have his defense let him down. Two errors led to a pair of unearned runs in the inning.
Kentucky added a run in the eighth and Zach Dials worked a perfect ninth for the final margin.
The Wildcats return to action with five home games this week, beginning with Western Kentucky on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Notes: Ryan Strieby set a career high with four hits and four RBIs … Strieby has reached safely in all 11 games this season … With a single in the fifth, Antone DeJesus extended his hitting streak to 17 dating back to last season … Kentucky scored 41 runs in the series, its highest total in a three-game sweep since 1903 … It is the first time UK has scored 10 or more runs in three straight games since 2000 … Greg Dombrowski improved to 3-0 this year and is 5-0 in his career … Dombrowski has not walked a batter this year and in 37 innings dating back to last season … Kentucky’s seven-run fifth was its biggest inning of the season … Kentucky has a home run in eight straight games and 10 of 11 this year … Kentucky has swept its last three home non-conference series.