LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Sophomore Chad Wright and junior Chris Bisson both launched two-run homeruns and Kentucky got 5.2 strong innings for sophomore Alex Meyer on the mound, who allowed only two earned runs, as UK took its seventh consecutive home opener with a 6-4 win against the Bowling Green Falcons at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Friday.
Wright started the scoring for Kentucky by belting his first homer of the year and the fifth of his young career off the left-centerfield scoreboard. The native of Paducah, Ky., went 1-for-5 in the game with two RBI and one run scored. The sophomore is now hitting .313 (5-for-16) on the season with a slugging percentage of .625 and has a five-game hitting streak dating back to last season, the longest on the team.
Bisson followed Wright in the fourth inning by scorching a ball deep over the left-centerfield wall for his first roundtripper of the year. After newcomer Taylor Black reached on an error, Bisson took advantage of a first pitch mistake from BGSU starter Brennan Smith for his third career long ball. The native of Orleans, Ontario has hit leadoff in all four games this season and went 1-for-3 in the game Friday with two RBI, two runs scored and a walk. On the season, Bisson is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with six RBI, two doubles and one stolen base.
The homers by Wright and Bisson gave the Wildcats a 5-1 lead, plenty of runs for starter Meyer (2-0) and reliever Matt Little. Meyer went five innings to record his second victory of the season. The native of Greensburg, Ind., went 5.2 innings of work allowing seven hits, three runs, two earned runs, one walk and six strikeouts. Meyer showed great command in the first two innings working ahead of batters and allowing only one hit and two total base runners. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound righty has allowed 11 hits on the season and only four earned runs while striking out a team-high 14 batters. Opponents are hitting .250 against Meyer.
Meyer was replaced on the bump by Little, who shut the door on the Falcons come-from-behind bid. Little worked 3.1 innings for the Cats, picking up his first save as a Wildcat. The native of Virginia Beach, Va., allowed only two hits, one run and struck out two batters in his second appearance of the season. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound right-handed pitcher has allowed one earned run this season in two appearances posting a 1.93 ERA and allowing opposing batters to hit only .154.
Senior Keenan Wiley and Black each recorded an RBI for the Wildcats, while senior Marcus Nidiffer, junior Neiko Johnson and sophomore Navarro Hall each recorded a hit.
Kentucky (4-0) will return to action on Saturday to play game two of the three game series with the Falcons. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Dick Gabriel calling the action. The game can be heard live in Lexington on WGVN 1580-AM and online at UKatheltics.com. Fans can also watch the games live and tune in to a comprehensive live blog on UKathletics.com.
The Wildcats will turn to reining Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week Taylor Rogers (1-0) on Saturday. Rogers was untouchable in his first collegiate outing last weekend against hard-hitting West Virginia. The native of Littleton, Colo., pitched 7.2 shutout innings, with only six hits and one walk allowed. Rogers will face BGSU freshman Michael Frank (0-0), who pitched four strong innings against Louisville last weekend allowing one run and two hits.
Bowling Green (0-4) got on the board first with the first homerun of the season for T.J. Blanton. Leading off the top of the third inning, Blanton scorched a line drive over the left-center field scoreboard. It was the first allowed homer of the season for Meyer.
Kentucky responded in the bottom of the third, getting a two-run blast by Wright, his first bomb of the season. After Bisson reached on an error by the third baseman with one out, Wright stepped up and knocked the first pitch off the left-centerfield scoreboard. Kentucky would later load the bases in the inning when Andy Burns walked, Nidiffer singled through the left side of the infield. Gunner Glad then drew a walk to bring up Wiley with the bases loaded. Wiley drove in his fifth RBI of the season, hitting a sacrifice fly to left field and scoring Burns. Johnson later grounded out to second to end the inning.
UK increased its lead to four in the bottom of the fourth inning getting the first long ball of the season for Bisson. The native of Orleans, Ontario, hammered a line-drive blast to left-centerfield for the second two-run homer of the game for UK. The inning started with Hall’s fourth career hit. Hall, who made his first career start in the game, later scored on Bisson’s roundtripper. The inning ended when Glad grounded out to the shortstop with runners on first and second.
The Falcons posted a two-out RBI in the fifth inning after Blanton led off with a double off the leftfield wall. Blanton advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on the RBI single by Dennis Vaughn. Meyer limited any further damage, getting Derek Spencer to groundout to short.
The Wildcats started a rally in the fifth inning after getting back-to-back singles from Wiley and Johnson. Both runners advanced on a wild throw by the left fielder into third base. After Hall struck out, Black stepped up with one out and two in scoring position and delivered a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield scoring Wiley and advancing Johnson to third. Bisson grounded a swinging bunt to the pitcher to end the inning.
BGSU cut the Kentucky lead to two in the top of the ninth inning after Little loaded the bases. With the bases loaded and only one out, Little got Vaughn to hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring David Borcherdt. Little ended the BGSU rally when cleanup hitter Derek Spencer grounded out to Bisson to end the game.