LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Evansville third baseman Cody Fick doubled twice and added a grand slam in the fourth inning, as the Purple Aces posted an 11-7 win over the Kentucky baseball team, on Wednesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (21-19) returns to action with a three-game series at Alabama, beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET in Tuscaloosa. Fans can catch the action live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the games live on WLAP 630-AM and in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM.
UK starter Sean Bouthilette took the loss, the first of his career, falling to 2-1 on the season. Bouthilette, a freshman from Elizabethtown, Ky., worked three innings in his fifth career start, allowing six runs – five earned – walking two and striking out two. Fellow freshman Chase Greene relieved Bouthilette and got one out, allowing four hits and five runs, issuing one walk. Senior Jonathan Huff pitched the game of his career, going 3.2 scoreless frames, with one hit allowed, striking out three. Freshman Braden Kapteyn and junior Clint Tilford pitched the final innings, with Kapteyn striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning.
Offensively, freshman outfielder Chad Wright led the Wildcats, reaching base four times, finishing the game 2-for-3 with two hits and two runs scored. The native of Paducah, Ky., now has an eight-game hitting streak behind only fellow freshman Andy Burns whose 1-for-5 night extended his hitting streak to a current team-high nine games. Junior Gunner Glad hit his team-high seventh homer of the season, a two-run shot off the scoreboard in left center that tied the game at four. Glad finished the night 1-for-3 with three RBI. Chris Wade was the only other Wildcat to record a multi-hit night going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Evansville (19-20) started junior right-hander Wade Kapteyn, brother of UK freshman Braden Kapteyn. The elder Kapteyn hurled two innings, allowing one run, while striking out one. Jared Baehl got the win, improving to 2-1 with two innings in relief of Kapteyn.
Evansville set the tone early posting four runs on three hits in the first. After Bouthilette struck out the first batter relatively easy, he gave up a double down the left field line to Fick and then a triple to the left field corner to Greg Wallace to give the Purple Aces a quick one-run lead. Evansville clean-up hitter, Tom Heithoff then hit a sacrifice fly to shallow left center field that was caught by a diving Wright for the second out, giving Evansville a 2-0 lead. After back-to-back walks to Nate Smith and Trentt Copeland, Peter Tountas came to the plate, sending a single to left center field, easily scoring Smith. Wright gathered in the ball, throwing to third to try to get out Copeland who was trying to advance but Burns could not catch the ball, which ended up in the Evansville dugout, scoring Copeland and giving the Aces a 4-0 lead.
Kentucky tried to answer the Purple Aces in the bottom of the inning, getting a leadoff single by Wright. Wright advanced to second on a wild pitch and then to third on a ground out by Burns. Sophomore Chris Bisson then stepped to the plate and hit a sharp ground ball back to the pitcher who made a great play snagging the ball and then turned and get Wright caught in a run down. Bisson would advance to second on the out. With two outs, Glad sent a laser line drive to right field that was about to go over the head of the right fielder Smith, who made a last-second leap to catch the ball, ending the inning and stranding Bisson at second base.
Kentucky plated a run in the second inning when Wade scored on a wild pitch. Wade started the inning with a single through the left side of the infield, moving to second on a stolen base and later to third when Wiley grounded out to first. With freshman catcher Michael Williams at the plate, facing a two-strike count, Wade Kapteyn threw a wild pitch allowing Wade to score and cutting the Aces lead to three.
UK tied the game in the third inning when Bisson picked up his team-leading 41st RBI of the season on a single up the middle, and Glad hit a two-run homer off the scoreboard. With one out, Wright got his second single in the game with a chopper to the shortstop. Burns then grounded out to the left side to move Wright to second. Bisson then ripped a line drive up the middle that dropped in front of the center fielder, easily scoring Wright. The next batter was Glad who sent a bomb that hit half way up the scoreboard in left center field, tying the game at four.
The game did not stay tied for long as Evansville singled and then doubled to lead off the fourth inning. With runners at second and third and no outs and leadoff man Jim Viscomi coming to the plate UK turned to the Kentucky bullpen and Greene. Greene’s first pitch of the game went off the helmet of Viscomi, loading the bases. The next pitch by Greene was sent over the left-center field wall for a grand slam by Fick, giving the Aces back their four run lead. Wallace then singled up the middle advancing to second on a wild pitch and then to third on a wild pitch as well. After Heithoff flied out to left field, Smith walked. Copeland then came to the plate, singling to center field, scoring Wallace easily and putting runners on second and third when the throw went to third base. The sixth run of the inning scored when Greene threw his third wild pitch of the inning and the seventh run scored when Tountas singled through the left side of the infield, chasing Greene from the game as Kentucky brought in Huff. The senior got the second out of the inning on a pop up to left field and the third out on a nicely played ball by Huff after a dribbler was hit to the left side of the infield.
UK closed the lead to five runs in the fifth inning getting two runs on one hit and two Evansville errors. The inning started when Wright got on base for the third time in the game, drawing a leadoff walk. He later scored when Burns singled to right field and the right fielder over ran the ball and then bobbled it allowing Wright to come around and score. After a Bisson fly out to left field, Glad reached on an error by the shortstop, which scored Burns from third.
The Wildcats cut the lead to five in the seventh inning when Wade doubled on a soft line drive down the left-field line, just out of reach of the third baseman. The inning started when Wright was hit by a pitch, later being thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice by Bisson. Bisson then stole a base and after a walk to Glad, Wade would double in Bisson making the score 11-7 Evansville.