Cats sweep UC

Mountains of plowed snow surrounded Cliff Hagan Stadium on Wednesday, but it was hard to tell that Lexington was just thawing out from a recent winter storm with the way Kentucky played in a doubleheader against Cincinnati.

Mountains of plowed snow surrounded Cliff Hagan Stadium on Wednesday, but it was hard to tell that Lexington was just thawing out from a recent winter storm with the way Kentucky played in a doubleheader against Cincinnati.

The No. 22 Wildcats improved to 11-2 on the season with wins of 7-0 and 11-4 over the Bearcats, highlighted by freshman second baseman Javon Shelby's first career home run and a complete game shutout by sophomore left-hander Dylan Dwyer in Game 1.

Shelby, the son of former Major Leaguer John Shelby and the brother of former Wildcat John Shelby Jr., went 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer in support of Dwyer's gem. The Lexington Tates Creek product had hits in both games of the doubleheader and displayed some nice glovework at second base in both games.

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"He clobbered both of those (pitches)," UK head coach Gary Henderson said of Shelby's extra-base hits. "And he just keeps getting better at second base. You've got to like that."

Fellow newcomer Ka'ai Tom doubled and drove in two runs for Kentucky, which extended its winning streak to nine games.

In only his third career start, Dwyer (1-0) became the first mid-week pitcher to record a complete game shutout in modern UK history. The Murray, Ky., native allowed only three hits and struck out eight.

"Really good mix (of pitches) throughout the day," Henderson said of Dwyer. "It should help his confidence moving forward. He's really talented."

Connor Walsh (1-2) started and took the loss for Cincinnati, allowing five runs on three hits and five walks while striking out four.

Kentucky senior shortstop Matt Reida had his streak of 129 consecutive games snapped after suffering a minor injury during pregame work. It marked the end of the 12th longest starting streak in college baseball and was the first time UK had started someone other than Reida at shortstop since 2011.

In Game 2, UK raced to a 9-0 lead after three innings and coasted to the victory. The Cats started junior right-hander Andrew Nelson, who allowed just one earned run on four hits through four innings on the mound. Five UK relievers combined to close out the game, including 2.1 innings of scoreless work from Spencer Jack (1-0).

The Cats got three hits from junior centerfielder Austin Cousino, who smacked his second triple of the season to highlight UK's 11-hit attack. Seven of the nine spots in the order delivered at least one hit. Junior designated hitter A.J. Reed extended his hitting streak to 15 games and added three RBI to his SEC-leading total.

Grant Walker (0-2) took the loss for the Bearcats, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and two walks through three innings of work.

Cincinnati (2-9) got a 3-for-3 game from catcher Russell Clark. Rightfielder Matt Williams added two hits and an RBI for the Bearcats.

UK will return to action Friday, opening a three-game weekend series at Cliff Hagan Stadium against Ball State. First pitch slated for 4 p.m. ET.


Mounds of plowed snow provided a backdrop as UK's Thomas Bernal took his lead off from third base in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader against Cincinnati. (AllWildcats Photo by Jeff Drummond.)
Jeff Drummond has covered University of Kentucky sports and recruiting for newspapers, magazines and online publications since 1988 and for Scout since 2012. A Richmond, Ky., native, he currently resides in Lexington.

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