Fevered Pitch: Kentucky Dominates on Mound to Win Series
ELON, North Carolina – Kentucky took an early lead, Devin Burkes hit the first Big Blue Bomb of the season and the Wildcats were nearly untouchable on the mound as UK won a hard-fought series on the road with a 4-0 victory at Elon on Sunday afternoon.
UK pitchers allowed one run over the final 23 innings of the weekend and just three total in 26.0 innings, striking out 32 along the way.
The Cats (2-1) now return to Kentucky Proud Park for Tuesday’s home opener.
Emilien Pitre had four hits, Ryan Waldschmidt continued to set the table out of the leadoff spot and Jackson Gray had two hits, including a RBI single to lead the offense. Burkes gave the Cats breathing room in a 1-0 game with a towering shot to right that made it 3-0 in the fifth.
Starter Zack Lee struck out seven in five innings and a quartet of relievers each tossed a scoreless inning to slam the door. UK’s starting pitchers allowed two runs in 16 innings on the weekend.
- UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his seventh season at the helm and now owns a 178-130 career record.
- Kentucky is 111-37 in non-conference games under Coach Mingione.
- UK is 97-15 vs. non-Power Five opponents.
- UK pitchers have struck out 32 and walked just five through three games.
- UK pitchers allowed one run over the final 23 innings.
- UK’s starting pitchers in the three-game series: 16 IP, 2 R, 17 K
- UK’s bullpen allowed just one run in 10 IP.
- Catcher Devin Burkes currently has reached base safely in 16 consecutive games dating to the 2022 season.
- He had UK’s first home run of the season, a two-run shot to right field.
- First baseman Hunter Gilliam has started 116 consecutive games at the collegiate level.
- He reached base three times on Sunday.
- Infielder Grant Smith has started all 119 games of his collegiate career.
- He reached base three times on Sunday, including a pair of HBPs.
- Starting pitcher Zack Lee was excellent, yielding only two hits in five shutout innings.
- He struck out seven.
- Pitchers Ryder Giles, Magdiel Cotto, Ryan Hagenow and Seth Chavez each made their season debuts, all four posting a scoreless frame.
- Infielder Emilien Pitre had a career-high four hits.
- Outfielder Jackson Gray had his first multi-hit game at UK.
- The following players made their debut for Kentucky: Seth Chavez and Ryder Giles.
Kentucky will open the home portion of its schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. ET at Kentucky Proud Park. The game will be streamed on SECN+. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.