LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kole Cottam reached base all four times he came to the plate and Luke Heyer and Ben Aklinski homered as No. 13 Kentucky shut down the high-powered Morehead State offense to score a 7-1 win in front of 2,835 fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium on beautiful Wednesday evening.
Cottam, who now has reached base in 11 straight games and registered hits in 15 of the past 17, went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, an RBI and two walks to pace the Cats’ offense. Heyer blasted his 14th home run to tie Cottam for the team lead and Aklinski drove in Cottam with a two-run shot in the eighth inning as UK methodically dispatched of the Eagles.
Freshman right-hander Daniel Harper started and threw four scoreless innings before the first two batters reached base in the fifth, bringing redshirt freshman righty Carson Coleman into the game. Coleman pumped fastballs by Morehead State’s best two hitters, including elite home run threat Nike Hulsizer, to end the threat on his way to getting a win that moved him to 3-0 on the season.
Only an eighth inning run kept the Cats from shutting out the No. 6 scoring offense in the country, as the Eagles came into the game averaging nearly eight runs a game. Top home run threats Hulsizer and Trevor Snyder combined to go 0-for-7 with three strikeouts as the UK pitching neutralized the Morehead offense.
The Cats picked up their 27th win on the season ahead of a critical home series with Missouri that begins Friday night. Both teams enter the weekend 8-10 in Southeastern Conference play as the middle 12 teams in the league all sit within two games of each other in the standings. First pitch on Friday is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.
Bottom 3rd – Ryan Johnson singled to CF, Trey Dawson walked and Tristan Pompey was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Troy Squires hit a SAC fly to LF, scoring Johnson and moving Dawson to third. Luke Becker hit a SAC fly to CF, scoring Dawson and moving Pompey to third. Kole Cottam lined a single to RF, scoring Pompey. UK 3, Morehead 0.
Bottom 4th – Luke Heyer homered to LF. UK 4, Morehead 0.
Bottom 6th – Cottam walked and advanced to third on Heyer’s single to RF. Cottam scored on a wild pitch. UK 5, Morehead 0.
Top 8th – Braxton Morris walked and advanced to third on Reid Leonard’s single to RF. Morris scored on SAC fly by Eli Boggess. UK 5, Morehead 1.
Bottom 8th – Cottam singled up the middle. Ben Aklinski homered to RCF. UK 7, Morehead 1.
- Kentucky has scored in 49 consecutive games and 125 of the past 126 dating to the 2016 season.
- Several Cats extended impressive reached base safely streaks …
o Senior INF Luke Becker has reached in 40 of 41 games (and 84 of 85 including 2017 summer ball).
o Junior C/1B Kole Cottam has reached safely in 11 straight games and has hits in 15 of the past 17 games.
o Junior INF Trey Dawson has now reached base safely in 11 of his last 12 games.
o Junior OF Ben Aklinski has reached in 34 of the last 36 games.
- Senior C/1B Troy Squires drove in a run, drew a walk and was hit by a pitch.
o Has now been hit by 13 pitches this season, giving him 27 for his career, which ranks 10th on UK’s all-time list.
- Senior INF/OF Luke Heyer went 2-for-4 with a solo home run.
o Smoked his 14th home run of the season in the fourth inning, a line shot to LF.
o Heyer now has 16 multi-hit games this season and 20 for his career.
- Senior C/1B Kole Cottam went 2-for-2 with two runs, an RBI and two walks.
o Cottam reached base all four times he came to the plate on the night.
o Now has a team-high 17 multi-hit games this season and 43 for his career.
- Junior OF Ben Aklinski went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer and two walks.
o Aklinski now has five home runs on the season.
- Freshman RHP Daniel Harper started and pitched 4.0 scoreless innings, allowing five hits, walking three and striking out three.
- Redshirt freshman RHP Carson Coleman pitched 2.0 scoreless innings, striking out three while no allowing a hit.
o Coleman is averaging 15.2 strikeouts per nine innings this season.
o Coleman is now 3-0 on the season.