Strieby's Slam Helps UK Sweep Northwestern

University of Kentucky head baseball coach John Cohen emphasized the need to get his offense going. In response, Cohen scheduled two mid-week games before visiting Northwestern came to Lexington.

After another offensive fire-work display Sunday, it's safe to say Cohen's offense is starting to get its engines going.

In a game that was a stand-still until the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Wildcats benefited from UK junior first baseman Ryan Strieby's first career grand slam, as UK moved its lead out to 5-1 and helped propel Cohen's Cats to a decisive 10-3 victory over visiting Northwestern.

The win not only completed Kentucky's first series sweep of the season, but moved the Wildcats record to 9-2 on the season.

Strieby had arguably his finest performance as a Wildcat to date, going 4-for-5, with 4 RBI's, 1 run scored, 2 doubles and a home run. Defensively the Washington state native also added 11 put-outs at first base.

Kentucky's third and final victory of the weekend started from behind. After three innings of stand-still baseball, Northwestern scored on a Tony Vercelli single that scored left fielder Anthony Wycklendt, who singled at the top of the order. Northwestern would strand two runners and escape with only one run scored.

After a relatively dominant performance through the first four innings, Northwestern pitcher George Kontos self destructed in the fifth, when he walked the first two batters he faced and hit sophomore Collin Cowgill to load the bases. A wild pitch would score Ryan Wilkes to tie the game at 1 and advance the runners, thus leaving Northwestern little option but to walk the red-hot Sean Coughlin to get to Strieby.

The mistake would prove to be deadly as Strieby would take the first pitch he saw from Kontos and send it 400 feet and move UK's lead to 4 and empty the base paths.

UK would tack on 3 addition runs in the bottom of the fifth and would add 3 more down the stretch to leave the game out of reach.

Sophomore Greg Drombrowski got the win, pitching seven innings, giving up 10 hits, but only one earned run. Injured Andrew Albers struggled in his first appearence back from injury, giving up two runs and two hits, but he did strike out 1 in his only inning of work. Zach Dials pitched another perfect 9th, striking out two of three batters in under 10 pitches.

The Wildcats move to 9-2 on the season, Northwestern moved to 3-8. Kentucky continues its 18-game homestand on Tuesday when it takes on Western Kentucky at 4 p.m. at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK is also scheduled to take on Marshall on Wednesday at 4 p.m. as well, before a weekend set with North Dakota State.

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