Kentucky Completes Season Sweep of Western Kentucky

Kentucky Completes Season Sweep of Western Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Marcus Carson’s early home run off the scoreboard in right field and gutsy efforts from a trio of relievers pushed No. 19 Kentucky to a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Western Kentucky, its first against the Hilltoppers at Bowling Green Ballpark, home of the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Cats (16-6, 3-0 SEC) have now won eight straight games, 14 of the past 15 and 16 of 18 overall. UK has now won four consecutive games on the road, the longest winning streak in true road games since the 2008 team won six in a row.
This one didn’t come easy, as timely hits eluded the Cats for much of the night. They left 13 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings as Western Kentucky clawed its way back into the game.
Carson’s two-run homer in the third inning helped UK jump to a 4-0 lead early, much like the Cats did in a 17-2 victory over the Hilltoppers at Cliff Hagan Stadium on March 1. But WKU got two runs back off starter Zack Thompson in the fourth and another off an otherwise lights out reliever Chris Machamer in the eighth, aided by the freshman’s throwing error on a swinging bunt by Thomas Peter. 
Junior right-hander Zach Pop entered and got the Cats out of the eighth then handed the ball to senior lefty Logan Salow, who punched out a pair of hitters to earn his fourth save of the season and second in the past three games. Salow has struck out seven of the 10 batters he’s faced in his last three outings.
The Cats return to action Thursday night against Ole Miss in game one of a three-game series with the No. 11 Rebels at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Cats were searching for the big hit much of the night but still found a way to push across four runs. Carson continued his assault on opposing pitching with a 2-of-3 night, slamming a two-run homer and adding a walk to his line. Junior catcher Troy Squires and sophomore designated hitter Kole Cottam drove in the Cats’ other two runs.
Freshman lefty Zack Thompson earned his second win of the season on an evening he didn’t have his sharpest stuff, gutting out five innings and working his way out of a few jams. Freshman righty Chris Machamer was tremendous, striking out four in 2.0 innings of work before giving way to Pop, who shut down an eighth inning rally. Salow continued his hot streak with a perfect ninth to earn the save.
Top 2nd – Riley Mahan walked at the end of a 10-pitch at bat, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Kole Cottam’s line drive single to LF. UK 1, WKU 0.
Top 3rd – Connor Heady singled to CF. Marcus Carson homered off the scoreboard in RCF. UK 3, WKU 0.
Top 4th – Mahan singled through the right side. Troy Squires lined a single over the first baseman’s head to score Mahan. UK 4, WKU 0.
Bottom 4th – Thomas Peter singled to LF. Steven Kraft walked. Peter and Kraft each moved up a base on Nathan Methvin’s groundout and came home on Hunter Wood’s single up the middle. UK 4, WKU 2.
Bottom 8th – Peter reached on a swinging bunt to leadoff the inning and advanced to second on a throwing error on the play. Kraft singled up the middle to score Peter. UK 4, WKU 3.
• UK has now won four consecutive games on the road, the longest winning streak in true road games since the 2008 team won six in a row.
• The Cats have now won eight straight games, 14 of the past 15 and 16 of 18 overall. 
• Senior LHP Logan Salow now has 75 career appearances, which ranks 8th on UK’s career list.
    o Salow earned his fourth save of the season.
    o Salow has not allowed an earned run in his 11 appearances (16.0 innings).
• Senior OF Marcus Carson hit his second home run of the season.
    o He recorded his team-leading seventh multi-hit game of the season.
Kentucky hosts its first SEC opponent of the season when No. 11 Ole Miss arrives for a Thursday-Saturday series. Thursday and Saturday’s games will be on the SEC Network, with Friday’s on SECN+. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via and iHeart Radio, as well as on 630 AM WLAP. 

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