MAHAR DAZZLES IN FIRST CAREER START AS UK BEATS CINCY
Freshman Sam Mahar Tosses Six Shutout Innings in First Collegiate Start
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In his
first collegiate start, freshman southpaw Sam Mahar carried a perfect
game into the fifth inning, tossing six shutout innings, with No. 2
Kentucky getting homers from Austin Cousino, Luke Maile and J.T. Riddle
in a 7-0 win over Cincinnati, on a pleasant Tuesday night at Cliff
Kentucky (33-5) rode the strong starting
debut from Mahar (3-1) to the shutout win, its fourth shutout of the
year. Mahar worked six-shutout, two-hit innings, starting the top of
the fifth with his perfect game intact. The Wildcats jumped out to an
early lead in the win, plating three runs over the first three innings,
before a three-run fourth inning put UK in the lead for good.
struck out a career-best five in his six innings, before UK used
freshmen Chandler Shepherd, Spencer Drake and Taylor Martin, and junior
Walter Wijas to finish of the game. Shepherd worked a shutout inning,
while Drake and Martin combined to toss a shutout frame in the eighth.
Wijas worked a shutout ninth.
UK belted three homers in
the game, using the team-leading 10th of the year from Maile, the sixth
from Cousino – who was celebrating his birthday on Tuesday – and the
fourth of the season from Riddle. UK tallied nine total hits in the
game, with Cousino, Maile and Thomas McCarthy collecting two-hit
contests, with McCarthy adding two RBI. Cousino led off the game with
his sixth homer of 2012 and his second leadoff homer to open a game on
the season. UK also got hits from Matt Reida and Michael Williams, with
Zac Zellers drawing a walk and A.J. Reed notching a walk and an RBI.
(12-24) starter Brad Mergen (0-3) suffered the loss, allowing eight
hits and six runs in 3.2 innings, walking three and striking out two.
Corey Atkinson worked 3.1 innings, allowing one hit and one run,
walking two and striking out five. Corey Hough got the final three outs
for the Bearcats.
UK will return to action on Friday,
hosting No. 1 LSU in a matchup of the top teams in the nation and the
teams leading the SEC. The series will open on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET
at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The series will resume on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET
and conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Wildcats got on the board quickly, as Cousino launched a leadoff
offering over the rightfield fence, his sixth homer of the year and his
second to open up a game in 2012. Maile then cranked the Wildcats’
second home run of the inning, his team-high 10th homer of the year
over the leftfield fence, giving UK a 2-0 lead.
to its lead in the third inning, plating one run on three hits. Reida
led off the inning with a double off the wall in rightfield, his sixth
double of the year. After McCarthy reached on a bloop single down the
rightfield line to move Reida to third base, Reed scored Reida with a
RBI fielder’s choice.
The Wildcats added three runs in the
bottom of the fourth, taking a 6-0 lead. Riddle drew a one-out walk and
Williams followed with a single into the gap in right centerfield,
pushing Riddle to third. Reida then hung his first career sacrifice fly
to deep centerfield to score Riddle. Cousino followed Reida’s sacrifice
fly with a single to rightfield that would move Williams into scoring
position. After a wild pitch that placed runners on second and third,
McCarthy pounded a two RBI single into centerfield.
stretched its lead to 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth, as Riddle cranked
his fourth homer of the year over the rightfield fence.
NOTES: Freshman lefthander Sam Mahar made his first career start …
Freshman Austin Cousino hit his sixth homer of the year to leadoff the
game in the first … Cousino is the first UK player to hit a leadoff
homer since he hit one to open the Buffalo game on Feb. 24 … Cousino
has now reached base safely in 34 of his 37 career games, with his
leadoff homer coming on his 19th birthday … Luke Maile hit a solo homer
in the bottom of the first inning, his team-leading 10th of the year …
Maile established a new career high with his 10 homers, topping his
team-high of nine in 2011 … The 2011 season was the first for UK since
1990 that a UK player didn’t reach double-digit homers … Matt Reida hit
his sixth double of the year to leadoff the third inning … With a walk
in the second inning, Zac Zellers has reached base in a team-best nine
games … Reida hung his first career sacrifice fly … J.T. Riddle hit his
career-high fourth homer of the year … Mahar worked a career-high six
shutout innings, striking out a career-best five … UK’s 33 wins
in 2012 marks the seventh-most wins in UK single-season history.