Scout/Jeff Drummond

Kentucky Wildcats roll past NKU Norse, 10-1, in home finale

Brad Schaenzer's strong start caps season of mid-week excellence for UK.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Non-conference games were a major nemesis for Kentucky last season as the Wildcats narrowly missed a bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

What was a weakness a year ago became a strength for the 2017 Cats, who capped the regular season with a 19-7 record in non-conference games after defeating Northern Kentucky 10-1 on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Last May, the Norse dealt UK a big blow with their first-ever win over the Cats.

No. 6 Kentucky (37-16, 18-9 SEC) is 26-5 at home this season and undefeated in mid-week games. 

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On Tuesday, Brad Schaenzer's impressive starting performance highlighted the UK victory. The junior left-hander from Michigan improved to 5-0 on the season after holding NKU to only one run on three hits over 5.2 innings. He struck out five and walked only one. 

From there, the UK bullpen trio of Zack Thompson, Colton Cleary and Alec Maley closed it out with 3.1 innings of shutout relief, combining for six strikeouts.

The Cats' offense was led by Tristan Pompey, Zach Reks and Troy Squires with two hits apiece. Marcus Carson and Connor Heady added a two-run triple and a two-run double, respectively. T.J. Collett also drove in a pair of runs for UK with a single. 

Trey Ganns (3-7) took the loss for NKU (21-31, 14-13 Horizon) in a starting effort that lasted only three innings. He allowed three runs on three hits and a pair of walks.

Kentucky returns to action on Thursday in the opener of a three-game series at No. 5 Florida with the SEC East and potentially the overall league championship hanging in the balance. Game 1 will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. 

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