Cousino, Littrell Lead Kentucky's 20-0 Drubbing of UIC
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Behind
six shutout two-hit innings from starter Corey Littrell and 19 total
hits, including a career-high four-hit outing from Austin Cousino and a
three-hit game from catcher Luke Maile, Kentucky posted a 20-0 win over
Illinois-Chicago to complete the three-game series sweep, on Sunday
afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
With the win, the Wildcats
completed the three-game sweep of the Flames, thanks to a twinbill
sweep on Saturday, with a 4-3 series-opening win and an 8-2 win in the
doubleheader finale. UK jumped all over the Flames on Sunday with two
runs in the first, three in the second, sixth in the third and two runs
in each the sixth and seventh. UK added five runs in the bottom of the
eighth for the final margin.
Kentucky (11-0) improved on the
nation’s best record, as one of only three teams in the NCAA still
undefeated entering Sunday’s competition. The Wildcats own the best
record in the nation through the first three weeks of the collegiate
season among teams that have played at least three games. UK joins
Gonzaga (10-0) as the undefeated teams remaining in college baseball
after this weekend, with previously unbeaten South Carolina suffering a
walk-off loss at Clemson on Sunday afternoon.
Off to a 11-0
start to 2012, UK has opened up with the fourth-best start to a season
in school annals, behind only the 19-0 starts from the 2007 and 2008
teams and a 15-0 start by the 2000 team.
The shutout was UK’s
second of the season, with the Wildcats also posting a 6-0 win at USC
Upstate earlier this year. UK’s 20-0 win is tied for the eighth-largest
margin of victory in program history, with a 27-0 win over UT Martin in
2007 is the school record for the largest margin in a win.
pitching staff allowed only two UIC hits in the game, both coming from
the same hitter, with the Wildcats facing only three hitters over the
minimum in the win.
Littrell turned in six shutout innings,
allowing only two hits and two walks, striking out seven. The
Louisville, Ky., native and the 2010 Louisville Slugger Kentucky High
School Player of the Year, Littrell threw first-pitch strikes to 10
hitters, hurling 86 pitches with 54 going for strikes. Freshman
southpaw Jeff Boehm relieved Littrell to start the seventh inning, with
Boehm tossing a shutout frame. Tyler Dunaway also made his first
collegiate appearance with a shutout inning in the eighth. Alex
Phillips finished out the game with a shutout ninth inning.
explosive offense was paced by the career-high four-hit game from
Cousino, UK’s dynamic freshman centerfielder. Maile also recorded three
hits and an RBI, with UK getting two-hit games from Zac Zellers,
Cameron Flynn and Thomas Bernal. Cousino and Maile both extended their
hitting streaks to a career-long 10 games. Zellers’ homer was the third
of the year for the reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the
Year, tying Maile for the team lead.
UK also got hits from
A.J. Reed, who totaled two RBI, with Brian Adams, Max Kuhn, Micheal
Thomas, Paul McConkey and Lucas Witt recording hits off the bench.
Kuhn’s two-RBI single in the eighth inning was his first career hit.
Thomas launched his first career hit, which came as a two-run homer.
native of Dublin, Ohio, Cousino has paced the UK offense during his
first 10 career games, owning the 10-game hitting streak and charting
at least two or more hits in eight of his 10 collegiate games. The
5-foot-10 outfielder and leadoff man has hit .447 (21-for-47) with six
doubles, one triple, one homer and 10 RBI, stealing three bases. As a
team, UK’s explosive offensive attack has hit .334 with 13 homers in 11
games, with UK owning a 2.64 team ERA on the mound. Overall, UK has
outscored its opponents 99-30 through 10 games in 2012.
(2-8) starter Matt Salemi (0-1) suffered the loss, going two innings,
allowing five hits and five runs, walking one without a strikeout. Tim
Suminski relieved him and allowed six runs without getting an out,
before Collin Weyer and Chris Hoffman worked the final six innings.
returns to action on Tuesday, hosting Tennessee Tech, coached by former
UK star Matt Bragga. First pitch at Cliff Hagan Stadium is slated for 4
The Wildcats got on the board in the first inning, as
Cousino led off with a walk, stealing second base. Zellers then got hit
by a pitch and after Thomas McCarthy flied out to leftfield, Maile
smacked an RBI single into the gap to score Cousino and push Zellers to
third base. J.T. Riddle then hung a sacrifice fly to rightfield to
In the second inning, UK plated three runs on
four hits, started by Flynn’s leadoff double, taking third after Bernal
singled to rightfield. Reida scored Flynn with a ground-ball double
play. Cousino then followed with a single into left-centerfield,
scoring on Zellers’ third homer of the year.
UK broke open the
game with six runs on four hits in the third inning, as Maile led off
with a double and Riddle drew a walk. After a double steal put two
runners into scoring position, Reed singled down the rightfield line to
score two. Flynn followed and drew a walk and Bernal got hit by a pitch
to load the bases. Reida forced home UK’s sixth run of the game with a
hit by pitch and Cousino plated two with a double down the rightfield
line. Zellers then scored another run with a single to rightfield.
the sixth, the Wildcats plated two runs on two hits, with Maile lacing
a single to the gap to leadoff and Riddle and Reed drew walks to load
the bases. Flynn hung a sacrifice fly to leftfield to score one and
Bernal singled through the left side to plate Riddle.
two runs in the seventh, when Adams led off with an infield single,
scoring after Thomas ripped a blast over the leftfield fence for his
first career hit.
In the eighth, with the UK bench unloaded,
UK plated five runs on four hits. Leadoff walks to Tyler Raymond and
Reida set the inning, with Cousino loading the bases with an infield
single, his fourth of the game. Adams forced home a run with a
bases-loaded walk and Kuhn came through with his first career hit, a
two-RBI single through the right side. After a pair of strikeouts, Witt
singled to centerfield to score two runs for the final margin.