Cats continue red-hot start, beat Xavier 13-3

LEXINGTON – The 26th-ranked Kentucky baseball team matched the best start in the school's 102-year history of baseball on Wednesday with a 13-3 win over Xavier on a brisk afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The win, UK's ninth in its last 10 games, improved the team to 18-4, which ties the 2000 team for the best start in school annals. That team wound up with a 38-20-1 record and is the last Wildcat team to advance to the SEC Tournament.

Wednesday's victory was an all-around effort. Kentucky's explosive offense jumped all over the Musketeers early to spot starter Chris Rusin a 13-0 lead after four innings. Rusin did his part by allowing just four hits over five innings and striking out five. He earned the win to improve to 2-0 this year.

Rusin was taken out after five innings to allow four other pitchers to get work. Dewayne Oxford, Adam Revelette, Matt Robinson and Andrew Albers each worked one inning to close out the game.

Revelette gave up one unearned run in the seventh before Albers was tagged for two runs in the ninth.

Kentucky batted around three times in the first four innings to build its lead. Antone DeJesus set the tone by scoring four times in four plate appearances. He led off each of the first three innings, singling twice and walking once before crossing the plate each time.

Five Wildcats drove in at least two runs, led by John Shelby's three-RBI performance. He hit a sacrifice fly in the first and a two-run double in the second.

Reigning SEC Player of the Week Ryan Strieby drove in two on a mammoth home run to left field to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He was also hit by three pitches in the contest and has reached safely in all 22 games this year. The home run was his fifth of the year, all coming in the past 15 games.

With the game well in hand, head coach John Cohen went to his bench and UK went scoreless in the final five innings.

The game wrapped up a school-record 16-game homestand in which Kentucky posted a 13-3 record.

The Wildcats return to action Friday night in Knoxville, Tenn. when they face No. 15 Tennessee in the first game of a three-game series. Kentucky is currently tied for first in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division.

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