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Record: 6210 (3/13/2012)

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Kentucky baseball takes series at Florida

  • Kentucky beats Florida 6-2 in rubber game of 3-game series; Cats win a series at Florida for first time since 1993 and only fourth time ever there.

  • Release from UK:

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- All-America southpaw Corey Littrell fired eight one-run innings and Micheal Thomas belted a three-run homer in the second inning, leading No. 9 Kentucky to a 6-2 win over Florida, its first series win at UF in 15 years and just the third in program history, on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in front of 3,284 at McKethan Stadium.

    In a series that dates back to 1953, Kentucky (16-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) had only won three, three-game weekend series in Gainesville, in 1973, 1975 and 1999. After UK fell 6-1 in the series opener on Friday, UK rebounded to even the series with an 11-5 win on Saturday, before posting the rubber-match win on Sunday.

    Littrell (3-0) turned in his fourth quality start and the 18th of his career. The Louisville, Ky., native worked eight innings, scattering 10 singles for one run, not allowing a walk and striking out seven, including striking out the top of the order in the seventh. With the decision, Littrell earned his 18th career win, moving into a tie with Doug Sutton (1986-88) for ninth place all-time in UK career history.

    In Littrell’s last two seasons, the southpaw has made nine starts in series-deciding rubber matches, with UK winning all nine games and the junior posting a 7-0 record and a 1.92 ERA.

    Trevor Gott came on to get the final three outs of the game and seal the series win for the Wildcats, allowing a run on three hits.

    The Wildcats were led by two-hit games from Austin Cousino, A.J. Reed, J.T. Riddle and Matt Reida, as UK pounded out 12 hits, drew three walks and was hit by one pitch. Thomas belted his first homer of the year – a three-run job in the second inning that game UK a lead – with UK also getting hits from Zac Zellers, Jeff Boehm and Kyle Barrett.

    Florida (9-11, 1-1 SEC) starter Eric Handhold (0-1) worked 3.2 innings, allowing 10 hits and five runs, walking one and striking out three. Lefty Daniel Gibson replaced him in a two-out jam in the fourth, working a career-high 3.1 innings, not allowing a hit and walking two with three strikeouts. Mike Vinson worked two shutout innings in relief of Gibson.

    UK got on the board in the top of the second, as Boehm drew a four-pitch walk with one out and Barrett smacked a single off the glove of Handhold on the mound. Thomas then smashed a no-doubt three-run homer over the stands in leftfield to give UK a 3-0 lead.

    The Wildcats plated a run in the third inning to stretch their lead to 4-0. Reed led off with a single to rightfield, with Kuhn replacing him at first on a fielder’s choice. UK then executed a hit-and-run with Riddle, who singled to leftfield, with Max Kuhn out at third base trying to motor headfirst into the bag. Boehm then smashed a double off the leftfield wall, allowing Riddle to score from first.

    In the fourth inning, UK added a run, as Reida doubled to leadoff, taking third on a well-placed groundout from Cousino. Zellers then singled through the left side with the infield in to score Reida and give UK a 5-0 lead.

    The Gators got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Connor Mitchell singled to lead off and was erased on a 4-6-3 double play. Harrison Bader followed with an infield single that sent Reida deep into the hole. After a Justin Shafer single pushed Bader to third base, Vickash Ramjit singled to leftfield to score Bader.

    UK added a run in the eighth, as Barrett drew a walk to leadoff, taking second on Thomas’ sacrifice bunt. Reida then smashed a single through the right side to score Barrett and give UK a 6-1 lead.

    Florida got a run in the ninth for the final margin. Cody Dent singled with one out and scored on Justin Shafer’s two-out RBI single up the middle.

    GAME NOTES: J.T. Riddle made his team-leading 85th consecutive start … Micheal Thomas hit his first homer of the year and the second of his career in the second inning … Austin Cousino stole his eighth base in eight attempts in the second inning … Jeff Boehm doubled for the first time in 2013 as an RBI knock in the third … Corey Littrell picked off his third runner of the year and the 14th of his career … Matt Reida doubled for the third time in 2013 in the fourth inning … Thomas was hit by his team-high ninth pitch of the year … UK won its first series in Gainesville since 1999 and just the fourth in program history, also winning in 1973 and 1975 … UK trails the all-time series with Florida, 132-59-1, including a 72-23 mark in games played in Gainesville … UK is now 1-0 in black and grey uniforms this year … In the last two years, Littrell has made nine rubber match starts, with UK winning all nine and posting a 7-0 record and a 1.92 ERA in those outings … Littrell worked his fourth quality start of the year and the 18th of his career … With 18 career wins, Littrell moved into a tie for ninth place in UK career history.

  • Matt in the Friday game it was 4-1 not 6-1. Three of the runs given up by UK were unearned, because of three UK errors.

    This post was edited by 1Dhenry 13 months ago

  • I'll pass that along to Brent Ingram. That's UK's release, not something I wrote. I just cut and pasted it.

  • Good way to start off the conference schedule, bouncing back from an ugly loss Friday night to take the series on the road. Good to see the bats come alive late Saturday and Sunday.

    Cats return home to face a WKU program which would love nothing more than to upset UK, followed by a weekend series against John Cohen's Miss. St. squad. SEC is loaded, as usual, so every series is important.

  • ZIIINNGGG!!!!!

    Twitter: @Br_Boston

  • Great start by the Cats. Didn't see the game today, but did see the last few innings yesterday. Did anyone else see that HR shot by Cousino in the 9th? That was a monster, over the right field scoreboard. For a guy on the smaller side he packs a wallop!