A pair of freshman pitchers yielded only a pair of solo home runs as No. 8 Kentucky bounced back nicely with a 5-2 win against a solid Indiana club in front of 2,448 fans on a lovely Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The win moved the Wildcats to 33-16 overall and 22-5 at home for the season. The Cats begin a three-game series with Tennessee on Friday as part of Senior Weekend, closing out the Southeastern Conference portion of the regular season home schedule.
Even though IU struck first on the scoreboard, the Cats wasted no time responding as they plated two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. The second inning was more of the same. Tristan Pompey, Evan White, and Zach Reks smoked three consecutive doubles into right-center field, which boosted the Wildcat lead by two more runs. Pompey went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and three runs. In his 20th multi-hit game of the season, White saw two doubles on four at bats with a run and an RBI.
Despite giving up a solo home run in the first inning, freshman lefty Zack Thompson was a commanding presence on the mound throughout the rest of the game. The Indiana native eclipsed his former career-high strikeout total (8) in the top of the sixth inning when he struck out Michael Lloyd – the Hoosier that homered in the first. Thompson went on to finish with 10 strikeouts and surrender just three hits and two walks in his 11th start this season.
Freshman righty Chris Machamer entered in the seventh inning and made quick work of the Hoosiers, striking out the first two batters he faced. He only needed eight pitches to get through the inning on his way to four punchouts in two innings of work.
Senior closer Logan Salow came on in the ninth and rebounded from a tough weekend with his ninth save of the season, tying him for the second most in a single-season by a UK pitcher.
Top 1st – Matt Lloyd homered to left-center field. IU 1, UK 0.
Bot 1st – Tristan Pompey singled to right field, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate after a single up the middle from Luke Becker. Riley Mahan walked before Squires singled to left field, scoring Becker from second. UK 2, IU 1.
Bot 2nd – Pompey doubled to right-center field and scored when Evan White doubled to the same spot. White then scored off another double – this time from Zach Reks. UK 4, IU 1.
Top 4th – Luke Miller homered to right-center field. UK 4, IU 2.
Bot 7th – Pompey single through the right side of the infield and advanced to third base after White doubled to right-center field. Reks stepped up with a sacrifice fly into left field, which scored Pompey from third. UK 5, IU 2.
· Kentucky has gone 68 games without being shutout, the eighth-longest such streak in school history.
· Freshman LHP Zack Thompson pitched 6.0 IP, giving up three hits, two runs, walking two and striking out 10.
o The 10 strikeouts were a career-high, besting the eight he had on three prior occasions.
· Junior 1B Evan White went 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run and RBI.
o White now has 210 career hits, good for 15th on UK’s all-time career hit list.
o White has a hit in 24 of his last 26 games.
o White has 20 multi-hit games this season and 64 for his career.
o He has reached base safely in 16 straight games.
· Sophomore OF Tristan Pompey went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.
o Pompey now has hit safely in 35 of his past 38 games.
o He has reached base safely in 20 straight games.
o Pompey has 20 multi-hit games this season and 27 for his career.
o Pompey has 10 games of three of more hits this season.
· Senior OF Zach Reks went 2-for-3 with a double, SAC fly and two RBI.
o Reks now has 18 multi-hit games this season and 29 for his career.
o Reks’ two RBI gives him eight multi-RBI games this season and 11 in his career.
· Junior C Troy Squires had a SAC bunt and an RBI on the night.
o Squires executed his 10th sacrifice bunt of the season, tying him for eighth on UK’s single-season list.
o It was the 18th sacrifice of his career, tying him with teammate Connor Heady for 11th on UK’s career list.
Kentucky resumes the SEC title chase on Friday at 6:30 p.m. when Tennessee arrives in town. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via UKathletics.com and iHeart Radio, as well as on 630 AM WLAP, and watch on SECN+.
Follow along with the Cats on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com.
‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact: