GEORGE: 'Cats move to 5-0 with win over Tech

The Cats rode a six-run fifth inning to beat Tennessee Tech 10-2 in the first game of a three-game series on Friday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

UK had to overcome a slow start in their second straight game. The Cats and the Golden Eagles were locked in a 2-2 tie entering the bottom of the fifth inning.

"We still aren't having the quality at bats I want us to have with consistency," UK head coach John Cohen said. "Some of that could be due to the weather and of course some of that is due to us just getting into the season."

But UK scored six runs in the fifth inning to open the game up.

Junior Sawyer Carroll was once again the catalyst for the UK offense. He finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs as the team's designated hitter. His bat started the fifth inning rally that propelled the Cats to victory.

"I've been swinging it pretty well," Carroll said. "Hopefully I can continue. I'm seeing the ball pretty well at the plate."

With the bases loaded, Carroll hit his second double of the game to score DeJesus and Brown to put UK out front 4-2. Coughlin singled to right field, plating Matt McKinney.

Tennessee Tech called on Matt Kearney to try and stop the bleeding from the mound. But he was unable to counter the Cats' momentum.

His first delivery was a wild pitch that allowed Carroll to scamper home and score his second run of the afternoon. Kearney gave up three more hits to UK hitters as the Cats built an 8-2 lead before the Golden Eagles' next at bat.

Mike Brown's 2-run double in the seventh inning extended UK's lead 10-2. The Cats have scored 10 or more runs in three of their four games this season.

UK starter Andrew Albers threw a season-high 92 pitches and exited with an 8-2 lead after seven innings to earn his second win of the season. The 92 pitches seemed like a large amount considered the temperature hovered around 40 degrees for much of the game. But Albers claimed the cold didn't bother him.

"Being from Canada might help me out a little bit," Albers said with a chuckle. "So this really wasn't that cold for me. I've seen a lot worse."

Albers improved to 2-0 on the season. UK is 5-0, and has won ther first two games of its current 20-game home stand.

"It's a good start and it is what we expect to do here," Albers said. "Every time we go out, we expect to win."

Sophomore Scott Green relieved Albers in the eighth inning. Green, who missed the entire 2006 season after undergoing Tommy Johns surgery, was pitching at home for the first time in over a year.

"It felt good," Green said about his return to action in Cliff Hagan Stadium. "I had kind of a rusty outing down in Furman, so I kind of took some things from that and brought them into this game. I am just trying to get ahead of guys and trying to stay loose."

Green retired all six batters he faced in the final two innings to anchor the UK win. After the game, Cohen said that Green is still not back to 100 percent.

"We would love to have Scott Green as a rotation guy," Cohen said. "But the development of his health is going to determine that. Right now, maybe his just two to three innings and 25 to 30 pitches a week. The issue isn't with Scott Green right now, it's how he will feel when he wakes up tomorrow."

Cohen plans to be patient as Green works to recover fully from last season's surgery.

"We want him at his best for conference play."

The Cats will continue their weekend series against Tennessee Tech on Saturday. Sophomore Chris Rusin (1-0, 1.80 ERA) is expected to start for UK. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 4 p.m.


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