LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky opened its final home conference series with a dominating 15-5 win over Tennessee on Friday night, May 12, for its 16th Southeastern Conference win of the season – the most for the program most since the 2012 club won 18 games.
The No. 8 Cats (34-16, 16-9 SEC) wasted no time breaking the game open as they scored 10 runs over the first four innings. Eight UK starters finished with at least one RBI, four of which also had a home run. In his 20th multi-hit game of the season, Riley Mahan went 3-for-4 at the plate and only needed a triple to hit for the cycle. Mahan’s double in the third inning gave him his team-leading 20th double and moved him into second place in the SEC while his home run was his third in the last four games.
Junior first baseman Evan White got the offense going when he crushed a ball over the left field wall in the bottom of the first inning. He went on to pick up two more RBI the next inning after he tucked a ball inside the right field line. Troy Squires (pictured) went 3-for-3, including nabbing his first career home run as part of back-to-back solo shots with Mahan in the bottom of the sixth inning. Zach Reks, White, Mahan, and Squires all finished with two or more RBI.
Sean Hjelle provided another quality outing for the Wildcats in his eighth win of the season. The sophomore right-hander struck out six and gave up just two hits, one run, and two walks in seven innings of work. He is now 6-1 with an earned run average under 2.00 in league play and has yielded five or fewer hits in six straight and nine of last 10 outings.
Kentucky celebrates Senior Day on Saturday, May 13, with a 2 p.m. start against Tennessee. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via UKathletics.com and iHeart Radio, as well as on 630 AM WLAP, and watch on SEC Network Plus (online).
Photo by Britney Howard, UK Athletics