J.T. Riddle set a new Kentucky record by going 6-for-6 at the plate Sunday to lead the No. 8 Wildcats to a 20-3 rout of Niagra in snowy Spartansburg, S.C.
Riddle singled four times, doubled and tripled in narrowly missing a cycle. The junior second baseman from Frankfort is off to a 9-for-11 start with five runs scored and four RBI for Kentucky (2-0).
"It felt great up there," Riddle said. "It looks like a beach ball right now."
"J.T. is just a better player," UK head coach Gary Henderson said. "He is more composed. He has always had good composure, but it is even better. He is strong. His skill level is improved. He is more disciplined at the plate. Obviously, he has better bat speed and the strength issue is really obvious. He is a really, really good player and he has gotten off to a good start."
The Wildcats collected 20 runs on 17 hits, drew nine walks and stole three bases. Sophomore All-American Austin Cousino connected for his first career grand slam and set a new career high with four RBI.
Kentucky also got a career-best nine strikeouts from starter Jerad Grundy, who worked six innings and allowed only two unearned runs on four hits.
Sophomore Jeff Boehm took over for Grundy to start the seventh, working one inning with one run surrendered. Freshman righty Tyler Cox tossing a shutout eighth inning, and freshman Zach Strecker made his UK debut with a shutout ninth inning.
The Cats will return to action on Monday, facing USC Upstate at Harley Park at 1 p.m. ET. UK will send junior southpaw Corey Littrell to the mound to face the Spartans. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Sports Network, with Dick Gabriel on the call. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WWTF 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
* Riddle made his team-leading 68th consecutive start and now has a five-game hitting streak.
* Zac Zellers reached base safely for the team-high 10th consecutive game.
* Cousino hit UK's first grand slam since Cameron Flynn's blast vs. Ole Miss on April 8, 2012. Cousino has a six-game hitting streak.
* Freshman catcher Greg Fettes made his collegiate debut as a pinch hitter, doubling in his first at bat.
Riddle's record 6-for-6 day leads UK
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