Grundy, Cousino Lift No. 23 Kentucky to Series Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Behind
a career-long 7.1 shutout innings from junior starter Jerad Grundy and
a three-hit game from freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino, No. 23
Kentucky improved its NCAA-leading record to 15-0 with a 7-5 win over
Canisius, clinching the series on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at
Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (15-0) now sits as the only team
in college baseball still undefeated after previously unbeaten Gonzaga
suffered a loss on Friday. The Wildcats are off to the third-best start
in program history, equaling the 15-0 opening the 2000 team posted
under Keith Madison. UK set the school record in 2007 and 2008 with a
UK’s league-leading offensive attack again
exploded against the Golden Griffs, as UK pounded out 12 hits and nine
runs, a game after posting a season-best 22 hits and adding 19 runs in
the series-opening win on Friday. The Wildcats got a homer for the
second consecutive game from junior outfielder Cameron Flynn, his
club-best fourth of the year.
A native of Dublin, Ohio,
Cousino charted three hits in four at bats, extending his hitting
streak to 14 games, with multi-hit games in 11 of his 14 career
contests. The freshman centerfielder has reached base safely in every
game of his NCAA career and his 14-game hitting streak ranks as the
best for a UK player since first-team All-America outfielder Sawyer
Carroll ended his UK career on a 16-game hitting streak.
also got a game-high three RBI from freshman slugger A.J. Reed, who
went 2-for-4 while hitting No. 4 in the order for the second
consecutive game. Second baseman J.T. Riddle went 2-for-3 with two RBI,
while shortstop Matt Reida delivered his third consecutive multi-hit
game, batting 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. The Wildcats also got a
hit from catcher Michael Williams, who returned to the field after not
making a start behind the plate since Feb. 25.
in a strong start for the Wildcats, his second consecutive dominating
start. The junior southpaw tossed a career-long 7.1 shutout innings,
allowing only three hits and two walks, striking out seven and facing
only four over the minimum in his final pre-Southeastern Conference
tune up. UK used freshman righty Taylor Martin in his second career
appearance for the final two outs in the eighth inning, before Walter
Wijas got one out in the ninth. With runners on the corners and one out
after a fielding error in the ninth inning, UK turned to sophomore
Trevor Gott, who allowed three hits without an earned run, and got the
final two outs of the game by strikeout.
starter Garrett Cortright (2-2) went six innings, allowing 11 hits and
seven runs, walking three and striking out one. He was relieved by Alex
Tufts, who tossed the final two innings of the game for the Golden
The series will conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at
Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the 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 sophomore southpaw Corey
Littrell (2-0, 1.89 ERA) to the mound to face off with CC standout
freshman right-hander Devon Stewart (0-1, 3.12 ERA).
an early lead in the bottom of the second inning, as Flynn led off with
a monster home run into the deck behind the right-centerfield fence.
The homer was Flynn’s team-high fourth of the year and marked the
second consecutive game with a homer for the Lexington, Ky., native.
Wildcats added two runs in the bottom of the third inning, taking a 3-0
lead. Reida led off the inning with a single up the middle, moving to
second after Cousino laced a single to centerfield. Zac Zellers then
laid down a sacrifice bunt and Luke Maile loaded the bases with his
10th walk of the year. Reed then singled home two with knock through
the right side, plating Reida and Cousino.
UK stretched its
lead to 4-0 with a run on two hits in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Riddle reached on a one-out single through the right side, swiping
second base during Reida’s at bat for his second steal of the season.
Reida then smacked a single up the middle to score Riddle from second.
the bottom of the fifth inning, UK plated three runs on three hits for
a 7-0 advantage. Zellers drew a walk, taking second on a groundout up
the middle from Maile. Reed then singled up the middle to score
Zellers, advancing to second on a passed ball. Williams pushed Reed to
third base with a single through the left side and McCarthy loaded the
bags with a walk. Riddle then ripped a double down the rightfield line,
with Reed and Williams scoring and McCarthy gunned down at the plate
for the final out.
Canisius got on the board courtesy of the UK
error in the ninth inning, plating five runs on four hits for the final