NCAA Baseball Lexington Regional: Kentucky 6, Illinois 1

Second-seeded Kentucky got big efforts from Trey Pooser, Ryan Nicholson and Ryan Waldschmidt, and the Cats topped Illinois 6-1 in the Lexington Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.

Pooser went seven strong innings for UK, giving up just five hits and one earned run. The right-hander walked two and struck out seven.

Kentucky got on the board in the top of the second inning when Nicholson hit a two-run homer to left center field, driving in Mitchell Daly and giving the Cats a 2-0 advantage early.

Illinois would get its first run in the bottom of the fourth inning. That’s when Brody Harding singled to right field, scoring Jacob Schroeder to cut the UK lead to 2-1.

The Cats would get that run back in the top of the fifth. Waldschmidt laced a double down the left field line, scoring James McCoy to give UK a 3-1 lead. Kentucky added a run in the top of the seventh when Emilien Pitre hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Grant Smith to make it 4-1.

Kentucky added two more runs in the top of the ninth when Waldschmidt hit a two-run homer to center field, giving UK a 6-1 advantage.

With the win, Kentucky remains in the winner’s bracket and will face the winner of Sunday’s Indiana State-Illinois elimination game.

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