MAILE POWERS NO. 2 BASEBALL TO 22ND CONSECUTIVE WIN
CINCINNATI -- Behind a
career-high four hits from Thomas McCarthy, three hits from Luke Maile,
including his sixth homer of the year, and 5.2 shutout innings from
freshman Chandler Shepherd, No. 2 Kentucky posted a 10-7 win over
Cincinnati – to extend its school-record winning streak to 22 games to
open 2012 – on a gorgeous Wednesday night at Marge Schott Stadium.
(22-0) won its school-record 22nd consecutive game to open the season,
as the Wildcats lead the NCAA in wins and longest winning streak. UK
has now equaled the second-best winning streak in the storied history
of the Southeastern Conference, tying the 22-game winning streak set by
the 2000 South Carolina Gamecocks. LSU owns the SEC record – a 23-game
winning streak – with a 23-game streak that began on April 22, 2008 vs.
Tulane and ended on June 1, 2008 against UC Irvine in the NCAA Super
The Wildcats were paced at the plate by one of the
hottest hitters in college baseball, Maile, UK’s star catcher and first
baseman. After belting two homers, including a Friday-night walk-off
homer in a series sweep of No. 2 South Carolina over the weekend, Maile
launched his sixth homer of the year in the win over UC, reaching base
safely in all six plate appearances. Maile finished 3-for-3 with two
RBI, a double, a homer, two walks and a 3-2 count hit by pitch. UK also
got a career-best four hits from McCarthy, who added his fifth double
UK got hits from all nine members of the starting
lineup, as A.J. Reed, Cameron Flynn and Michael Williams each recorded
multiple-hit games. J.T. Riddle, Matt Reida, Austin Cousino and Zac
Zellers each added hits.
UK starter Chandler Shepherd (2-0)
worked a career-long 5.2 innings, allowing five hits and two runs, not
issuing a walk and striking out two. Shepherd faced only two three-ball
counts in the game, finishing just one out shy of his first career
quality start. Walter Wijas came on to replace him with two outs and a
runner at third base in the sixth inning, getting out of the inning and
getting an out in the seventh. Wijas allowed two runs without
surrendering a hit, walking one and striking out one. Tim Peterson
replaced him with one out and two on in the seventh, allowing two hits
and two runs, and getting two outs. Senior lefty Alex Phillips took
over in the eighth inning, and tossed the final two innings for his
first save of the year and the third of his two-year career, allowing
three hits and one run.
Cincinnati (8-11) starter Grant Walker
(1-1) worked 3.2 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs, walking
two and striking out two. Jason Pascuzzi replaced him in the fourth,
getting out of the jam and working one inning, allowing four hits and
one run. He was relieved by Matthew Lathuras, who tossed 1.1 frames
with two this and one run allowed. Thomas Gentile replaced Lathuras,
working a shutout inning, with Ryan Atkinson taking over in the eighth
and allowing one run on one hit and one walk in an inning. Zach Isler
took over for Atkinson in the ninth, allowing two hits and two runs in
0.2 innings, with Evan Hills ending the ninth with one out.
will return to action with its second Southeastern Conference series of
the year, traveling to face Tennessee for a three-game series in
Knoxville, starting Friday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. All three games
will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel
on the call.
The Wildcats jumped on the board in the top of
the first inning, as Cousino led off the inning with a full-count walk,
taking second after a balk was called during Zellers’ at bat. Zellers
then grounded out to the right side, to move Cousino to third with one
out for Maile. Maile then lofted a single to leftfield over the drawn
in infield, scoring Cousino. Reed followed and extended his hitting
streak to a club-high 13 games with a liner into the gap, allowing
Maile to motor to third base. Flynn then hung a sacrifice fly to
rightfield – his SEC-leading fifth of the year – to score Maile from
third base. McCarthy then delivered some clutch hitting with a double
to deep centerfield, scoring Reed from first base.
UK added a
run in the top of the third inning, as Maile smashed his sixth homer of
the year as a no-doubt blast as the first pitch over the
left-centerfield fence, giving UK a 4-0 lead.
The Wildcats added
to its lead in the top of the fourth inning, as Riddle led off by
chopping a grounder into the hole on the right side, forcing an off
balance throw to first that sailed wide, allowing Riddle to take second
on the two-base error. Williams then scored Riddle with a hard-hit
single ripped to leftfield. After a pair of fielder’s choices, Zellers
singled into the gap in left-centerfield, pushing Cousino to third
base, with Zellers taking second on the throw. Maile was then
intentionally walked to load the bases for Reed, brining on a
left-handed reliever to end Walker’s day. Reed narrowly missed the
grand slam on the left-on-left matchup, as his two-out fly ball was
caught against the wall in rightfield for the final out.
the fifth inning, UK added a run to make it 6-0. After a leadoff out,
McCarthy singled through the left side, with Riddle replacing him at
first base after a fielder’s choice. Riddle then moved to second after
Williams singled to the opposite field. Reida then notched his eighth
two-out RBI of the year with a single through the right side, allowing
Riddle to score his second run of the contest.
added a run in the top of the sixth frame, as Reed replaced Maile at
first base after an unorthodox fielder’s choice on a dropped fly in the
outfield. McCarthy then ripped a single up the middle and Riddle scored
Reed with a single into the right-centerfield gap for a 7-0 UK lead.
got on the board for the first time in the sixth inning with some
two-out hitting, cutting the UK lead to 7-2. After a leadoff out, Jake
Proctor snapped Shepherd’s streak of 15 consecutive hitters retired
with a single through the left side and Taylor Schmidt followed with a
single to rightfield. After a line-out, Braden Kline tripled off the
diving glove of Cousino in right-centerfield, scoring Proctor and
The Bearcats plated four runs on two hits in the
bottom of the seventh to cut the UK lead to 7-6. After a leadoff out,
Wijas hit Kiley Jones on the first pitch and walked J.P. Jackson. Pinch
hitter T.J. Jones then singled up the middle and Proctor scored two
with a triple into the gap. Schmidt then scored another with a
sacrifice fly to leftfield.
UK immediately answered with a run
in the top of the eighth, as Flynn led off with a single to centerfield
and McCarthy drew a four-pitch walk. After a fielder’s choice on an
attempted sacrifice bunt got McCarthy out at second base and put
runners on the corners with one out, Williams was struck out to bring
up Reida. With two strikes on Reida, Flynn motored home to score on a
wild pitch, making it 8-6 UK.
The Wildcats added two runs with
some two-out hitting in the ninth inning, as Zellers led off with a
laser down the leftfield line, taking second on an error. Maile then
drew another walk and after a Reed strikeout, Flynn smacked a single
through the left side to score Zellers from second. McCarthy then
notched his fourth hit of the game with a single up the middle to give
UK a 10-6 lead and chase Isler.
UC got on the board in the
bottom of the ninth inning, as Jackson reached on a fielder’s choice,
scoring on Proctor’s RBI single.