Birthday Boy White, Freshman Thompson Lead No. 6 Cats to Win

Birthday Boy White, Freshman Thompson Lead No. 6 Cats to Win

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Evan White celebrated his birthday in style with a three-RBI night and freshman starter Zack Thompson tossed six shutout innings of one-hit baseball to lead No. 6 Kentucky past Xavier, 6-0, at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (29-13) recorded their 20th win at home and moved to 17-3 in their past 20 non-conference games, a bugaboo in recent seasons. A trip to No. 21 South Carolina looms this weekend as the Cats resume the chase for just their second Southeastern Conference championship. 

White drove in the first run of the game with an RBI groundout in the fifth inning and broke a tight game open with his two-run double over the centerfielder’s head in the seventh as part of a five-run inning for the Cats. The junior first baseman has logged a hit in 18 of his past 19 games and two or more hits in six of his past seven.
Thompson, the rookie left-hander from Indiana, had his best outing as a collegian, allowing just one hit and not letting a Xavier (24-18) runner advance past first base in his six innings of work. Senior lefty Colton Cleary escaped a bases loaded jam in the seventh to snuff out the Musketeers’ only threat of the game.
The Cats also benefitted from sophomore catcher Kole Cottam’s two-run homer, the third consecutive game Cottam has left the yard. He is the first UK player to accomplish that since National Player of the Year AJ Reed did so against Florida in April 2014.
Bottom 5th – Connor Heady began the inning with a single to RF. Tristan Pompey walked, with Heady moving to third on a wild pitch on ball four. Evan White grounded out to second, scoring Heady. UK 1, Xavier 0.
Bottom 7th – Marcus Carson was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Tristan Pompey singled on a line drive that hit the second umpire, making it a dead ball single. White doubled over the CF’s head, scoring Carson and Pompey. White advanced to third on the throw home. Zach Reks singled to RF, scoring White. Kole Cottam homered to LF, scoring Reks. UK 6, Xavier 0.
• The Cats are now 20-3 at home this season.
     o It is the 12th time in 39 seasons at Cliff Hagan Stadium the Cats have won 20 or more games.
• UK is now 17-7 in non-conference games.
     o The Cats have 17 of their last 20 after an 0-4 start by a total of five runs.
     o The Cats have lost just one non-conference game since March 8 at Cincinnati (at No. 2 Louisville on April 4).
• The Cats’ five-run seventh inning was the 15th time this season they’ve scored at least five runs in an inning.
• Freshman LHP Zack Thompson pitched six sterling innings.
     o Thompson gave up just one hit, his lowest total in a start this season.
     o The Indiana native struck out five.
     o Xavier did not have a runner reach second base in Thompson’s six innings.
• Junior 1B Evan White went 2-for-4 with a run, a two-run double and three RBI. 
     o White now has 199 career hits, good for 16th on UK’s all-time career hit list.
     o White has a hit in 18 of his last 19 games.
     o White has multiple hits in six of his last seven games.
     o White now has 16 multi-hit games this season and 60 for his career.
     o He currently has a nine-game hitting streak.
• Sophomore C Kole Cottam went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run.
     o It was Cottam’s fourth home run of the season and fifth of his career.
     o Cottam has homered in three straight games, making him the first UK player to do that since AJ Reed against Florida, April 4-6, 2014.
• Sophomore OF Tristan Pompey went 1-for-4 with a single and a run.
     o Pompey now has hit safely in 29 of his past 31 games.
     o Pompey is currently riding a career-long 13-game hitting streak.
Kentucky travels to No. 21 South Carolina for a weekend series that opens Friday, April 28 at Founders Park. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via and iHeart Radio, as well as on 630 AM WLAP, and watch on SECN+. First pitch on Friday is 7 p.m..

Related Stories

View all