LEXINGTON, Ky. -- With the game tied 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the No. 29 Kentucky Wildcats got a go-ahead, three-run home run from preseason All-American Chris Bisson and finished plating seven unanswered runs to claim a 10-4 win for its first series sweep of the season, Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Bisson led the charge for the Wildcats offensively, who fell in a 4-0 hole after the top of the second inning. UK rebounded with three runs in the bottom of the second to stay within striking distance, then utilized a four-run frame – highlighted by Bisson’s three-run jack – to put the Falcons away. A third-team preseason All-American second baseman by Baseball America, Bisson finished 2-for-5 with four RBI, a season high.
A native of Orleans, Ontario, Bisson, broke the game open in the sixth inning when he gave the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game of four runs on a three-run jack over the observation deck in right-centerfield. The roundtripper was the second of the season for Bisson and the fifth of his career. He grabbed his fourth RBI in the eighth inning on a RBI triple to centerfield that would have gone for a homerun if not for BGSU centerfielder T.J. Blanton’s leaping effort to bring the ball back in play.
Kentucky (6-0) got its second homer of the game when freshman Luke Maile hammered a solo blast over the leftfield wall. The native of Crestview Hills, Ky., launched the sixth pitch of his first career at bat beyond the flag pole in left centerfield giving Kentucky an 8-4 lead. Maile follows UK senior Gunner Glad who was the last UK player to hit a homerun on his first at bat as a Wildcat, as Glad ripped a first-pitch homer at Coastal Carolina.
The sweep for UK is its first series sweep since taking all three games from Indiana State March 6-8, 2009 at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The three wins come against a BGSU team that has won the Mid-American Conference the last two seasons. The Falcons entered the season with high expectations, as Baseball America picked BGSU to win the MAC in 2010 and as a sleeper team with the ability to win a NCAA Regional in 2010.
Bowling Green (0-6) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead heading to the bottom of the second inning before Kentucky would get the bats going. UK starter Logan Darnell (1-0) settled in for the Wildcats after the first two innings picking up his first collegiate win as a starter. It was his sixth win overall. Darnell completed six innings for the second time this season, allowing seven hits, four runs – all earned – with a career-high seven strikeouts and just two walks. Darnell threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of the 28 batters he faced.
After Darnell, UK turned to junior Kyle Jackson, who tossed 1.2 innings with one hit and two strikeouts. With two runners on and two out in the top of the eighth, UK brought Matt Little out of the bullpen for his second save of the year, tossing the final 1.1 innings with no hit, no walks and one strikeout.
BGSU starter Kevin Leady (0-1) took the loss, allowing six runs – three earned – in 5.2 innings of action, fanning two.
Kentucky returns to action Tuesday, traveling to face Morehead State in Morehead, Ky., at 2 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action.
BGSU got on the board first in the top of the first inning. After Darnell struck out Jon Berti to lead off the game, he induced a comebacker right back to the mound, but the hard-hit ball from Logan Meisler bounced off the tip of Darnell’s glove and into no-man’s land on the left side of the infield. After a groundout moved Meisler into scoring position, Tyler Elkins lined a single into centerfield, scoring Meisler.
In the top of the second, BGSU plated three runs to take a 4-0 lead. Clay Duncan singled with one out, Matthew Pitzulo doubled down the left-field line and Blanton walked to load the bags. Berti lined a single into right field to score two and Meisler followed with a bloop single into right field to score Blanton.
Kentucky got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the second, cutting the lead to 4-3. Andy Burns drew a one-out walk and advanced to second after Keenan Wiley reached via a fielding error. Catcher Michael Williams made good on his first at bat of the season, turning on a double, painting the line in leftfield for an RBI. Shortstop Taylor Black popped up a fly ball to right field, but the ball was dropped, allowing Wiley and Williams to touch home.
UK broke through to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Burns led off with a triple, painted down the right-field line, his first triple of the season and the second of his career. Wiley scored Burns with a 3-2 sacrifice fly to leftfield and after Cory Farris flied out, Williams got hit by a pitch. Black followed and singled through the left side, bringing Bisson to the plate. Bisson got a 2-0 offering and turned on it, belting a three-run homer over the right-center field fence, his second homer of the season and the fifth of his career. The homer gave the Wildcats a 7-4 lead.
Kentucky added three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Maile blasted his first collegiate home run deep over the left-centerfield wall. Maile turned on a pitch sending a no-doubt shot beyond the flag pole in left field. The Wildcats added another run on a Bisson triple, scoring Black who was hit by a pitch. UK’s 10th run came when Black hit a sacrifice fly with one out in the eighth, plating Bisson.