Cats pound out 19 hits in 24-1 romp

Kentucky bounced back from its disappointing extra-inning loss to Ball State on Friday night with a resounding 24-1 win over the Cardinals on Saturday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky bounced back from its disappointing extra-inning loss to Ball State on Friday night with a resounding 24-1 win over the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The No. 22 Wildcats (12-3) pounded out 19 hits, including four doubles and two home runs. Senior catcher Micheal Thomas, who had a career-best 4-for-6, three-RBI night in the first game of the weekend series, followed that up with a 3-for-4, six-RBI performance on Saturday.

Kentucky also got an SEC-leading eighth home run and 27th RBI from junior All-American A.J. Reed.

Austin Cousino, Max Kuhn, Ka'ai Tom, Dorian Hairston and Matthew Carson each had two-hit games for the Cats. Cousino raised his season average to .439, while Kuhn was also big in run-producing situations, driving in three.

"We did a great job at the plate," UK head coach Gary Henderson said. "We scored a bunch of runs without an error. We had good concentration and didn't try to do too much. We also did a great job of swinging at strikes and looking at balls. We took advantage when we were in advantage counts."

The offensive explosion somewhat overshadowed a great start by junior right-hander Chandler Shepherd (3-0) who allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out eight over seven innings of work.

Kentucky bounced back strong after blowing an 8-5 lead in the ninth inning of the series opener, losing 10-8 in extra innings.

Ball State (10-4) used four pitchers on the day, including starter Scott Baker (1-2), who was chased after giving up six runs in the second inning. The Cats had another six-run frame in the fifth inning.

The series concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

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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