Darren Williams Dazzles in Return to Mound
ELON, North Carolina – When Darren Williams exited the mound 321 days ago he was unsure if it was for the final time in his career.
He made a triumphant return on Friday in Kentucky’s 2-0 season-opening loss at Elon.
Williams, a Maysville, Kentucky native, struck out seven batters in 3.0 innings and lowered his earned run average in a UK uniform to 0.84. He entered the game in the seventh inning and struck out the first batter he faced, showing the competitiveness and confidence he has exuded throughout his career. He also capped his evening with a punch out.
Williams’ impressive return wasn’t enough though, as Elon starter Shea Sprague masterfully changed speeds in six shutout innings. A wind-aided solo home run and RBI single through the left side was all the Phoenix needed on opening night.
Logan Martin was effective in his first appearance at the D-I level, striking out six in five innings of work.
- Mingione opened his seventh season at the helm and now owns a 176-130 career record.
- Kentucky is 109-37 in non-conference games under Coach Mingione.
- UK is 95-15 vs. non-Power Five opponents.
- Catcher Devin Burkes currently has reached base safely in 14 consecutive games dating to the 2022 season.
- First baseman Hunter Gilliam has started 114 consecutive games at the collegiate level. He had his first hit as a Wildcat.
- Infielder Grant Smith has started all 117 games of his collegiate career. He had his first hit as a Wildcat.
- Starting pitcher Logan Martin struck out six in his Division I debut. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K
- Pitcher Darren Williams returned less than a year after elbow surgery and struck out seven in three innings.
- Right fielder James McCoy had his first career hit, a line single to center.
- The following players made their debut for Kentucky: Isaiah Byars, Kendall Ewell, Hunter Gilliam, Logan Martin, James McCoy, Grant Smith and Ryan Waldschmidt
Kentucky will face Elon again on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. FloSports will stream the game and the radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.