Cats Drop Commodores for First SEC Home Win

  • Box Score
    Behind brilliant pitching performances from Scott Wade and Joseph Blanton,
    the University of Kentucky baseball team defeated Vanderbilt, 6-4, for the
    Cats first home Southeastern Conference win on Friday night at Cliff Hagan

    Wade, who is among the conference leaders in ERA, picked up his third win
    of the season by tossing seven strong innings, scattering eight hits, and
    giving up only one earned run. With tonight's outing, Wade lowered his
    team-best ERA to 2.87.

    Blanton entered the game in the eighth inning with no outs and Vanderbilt
    runners on second and third and UK clinging to a 6-4 lead, but proceeded to
    strike out the side, ending the Commodores comeback threat.

    With the win, UK improved to 16-21, 4-12 in the SEC. Vanderbilt fell to
    17-20, 5-11 in conference play.

    The Cats got on the board in the third inning when Spencer Preston homered
    to center field, his sixth of the season and first since March 28. Jeff
    Tolotti then was hit by a pitch and stole second base. Spencer Graeter
    continued his clutch hitting by slapping a single to right field, plating
    Tolotti and giving UK a 2-0 lead.

    VU would respond with three unearned runs in the fourth. With two outs,
    Ashley Freeman reached on an error by UK shortstop Vince Harrison, scoring
    Ulises Cabrera-Valenzuela. Jonathon Kaye would make that error costly,
    following with a two-run homer and putting the Commodores up 3-2.

    UK battled back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Seth Morris
    doubled home Gordon Tyler, who had reached with a double of his own. Caleb
    Brock followed with an RBI single that plated Morris and regained the lead
    for the Big Blue.

    The seesaw affair continued in the fifth with VU tying the contest on a
    sacrifice RBI from Cabrera-Valenzuela. However, the tie would not remain
    knotted for long as Harrison made up for his error with a two-run homer in
    the bottom of the fifth.

     From there, the Wade and Blanton would hold the 'Dores scoreless for the
    final four innings, making the final tally 6-4 in favor of the Wildcats.

    Blanton picked up his first save of the season with his relief performance.
    Blanton did not allow a hit in two innings of work and struck out four
    batters. The save was Blanton's first of the year, third of his career.

    Despite going the distance for the Commodores, Jeff Little was saddled with
    the loss. Little gave up 12 hits and six runs, all earned, in falling to
    4-5 on the campaign.

    Both Graeter and Brad Pickrell extended their hitting streaks to 10-games,
    moving them to within one game of the longest streak any Wildcat has
    enjoyed this season.

    UK outhit VU 12 to eight. Pickrell, Harrison, Brock, and Preston led the
    way for the Cats with two hits apiece.

    Game two of the series will get underway at 2 p.m., on Saturday, April 14.
    Mark Michael (2-3, 4.40 ERA) is scheduled to be on the mound for the Cats.


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