No. 21 Kentucky Takes Series Opener From Evansville, 7-1
No. 21 KENTUCKY 7, EVANSVILLE 1
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 21 Kentucky Wildcats were able to break open a two-run contest with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against the University of Evansville bullpen on Tuesday, as the Wildcats posted a 7-1 victory over UE in game one of a two-game series at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Wildcats, ranked as high as 19th nationally in the various collegiate baseball polls, struck first on Tuesday for two unearned runs in the second inning to grab a 2-0 lead. Evansville would rally back with a run of its own in the third inning on a two-out RBI double off of the top of the left-field wall by junior outfielder Greg Wallace to trim the deficit to 2-1, but UE's defense would break down again in the third inning with an error which led to UK's third unearned run of the contest.
The score would remain 3-1 in favor of Kentucky until the eighth inning, when the Wildcats exploded for four runs off of the UE bullpen to provide the final margin of victory. Back-to-back doubles by UK's Braden Kapteyn and Mike Williams opened the eighth inning for the Wildcats, before junior shortstop Taylor Black followed two batters later with an RBI?single to push the lead to 5-1. Sophomore third baseman Andy Burns then capped the eighth-inning rally with a two-run home run to left-center field, his fourth of the year.
Wallace and senior outfielder Alex Acheson both had two-hit performances for UE, which out-hit Kentucky for most of the afternoon until the four-run eighth inning rally. In fact, UE produced base-runners in eight of the nine innings against the Wildcats. However, UE also stranded 10 men on base in those eight frames, including leaving six men stranded in scoring position on the afternoon.
Burns, Kapteyn, first baseman Gunner Glad, and outfielder Keenan Wiley all had two-hit afternoons for the Wildcats. Freshman RHP Jordan Cooper (1-0) earned the victory on the mound for the Wildcats by scattering a run on six hits in 4.0 innings of work. UE rookie RHP Scott Scheumann (0-2), meanwhile, suffered the tough-luck loss, as Scheumann was charged with three unearned runs on three hits in 2.1 innings of work in his first career start.
With the victory, Kentucky improves to 10-1 on the season. Evansville, meanwhile, falls to 3-9 with the loss. The two teams will conclude the brief two-game series on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. central time at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.
Other Scores from Around the Valley:
Indiana State 8, Eastern Illinois 2
No. 21 Wichita State 14, Central Arkansas 2