LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Paced by a career-high three-hit game from shortstop Matt Reida and a clutch two-RBI double from senior third baseman Thomas McCarthy, No. 23 Kentucky posted a 7-3 win over Marshall, on Wednesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (13-0) improved upon the nation’s best overall record and the longest winning streak in the NCAA with the win. UK is off to the fourth-best start in program history, behind only the school-record 19-0 start the 2007 and 2008 team’s had and the 15-0 start from Keith Madison’s 2000 club. UK is one of only two teams in college baseball still undefeated, joining 10-0 Gonzaga.
UK was paced by a nine-hit attack that scored seven runs, drew six walks and got hit by two pitches, stealing one base. UK was led by Reida, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and his third double of the season, stealing one base. Freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 2-for-5 game with one RBI. McCarthy went 2-for-4 with a clutch two-RBI double, while J.T. Riddle recorded an RBI and a walk. Redshirt freshman catcher Micheal Thomas made his first career start with UK spelling catcher Luke Maile, who had caught six consecutive games. Thomas delivered a career-high three runs scored with two walks and a RBI double. Maile finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and his ninth walk of the year, striking out only once in 2012.
UK starter A.J. Reed (2-0) turned in five innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking three and striking out a career-high seven. He was relieved by freshman Sam Mahar, who worked a career-long 2.2 innings, allowing two hits and one run, walking one with two strikeouts. Junior Walter Wijas relieved Mahar in a jam in the eighth inning, getting an out to end the frame. Sophomore right-hander Trevor Gott came on in the ninth inning with UK holding a four-run lead, tossing a shutout frame with one strikeout.
Marshall (4-8) starter John McGillicuddy did not make it through the first inning, getting one out and exiting with the bases loaded. McGillicuddy allowed one hit and one run, walking two with one strikeout. Lance Elder took over in the first and worked 1.2 scoreless. The Herd also used Kolin Stanley (0-1), Kyle Kessler, Matt Margaritonda, Matt Hummel, Terrence Moore, Brett Mays, Ryan Hopkins and Jesse Fernandez in relief.
UK returns to action with a three-game weekend series, starting Friday at 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium, as the Wildcats host Canisius. The games will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network.
UK got on the board in the top of the first inning, as Cousino extending his hitting streak to a team-high 12 games with a single to leftfield. After a 3-2 strikeout on Zac Zellers, Maile and Michael Williams drew walks to load the bases with one out for Riddle. Riddle chopped a grounder over the first baseman’s head, with the second baseman charging and shoveling to the pitcher at first base for the out, with Cousino scoring UK’s run on the play.
Marshall took the lead in the top of the second inning, mounting a two-out rally. Adrian Farris got hit by a pitch with two outs and Tripp Faulk singled through the right side to put Farris in scoring position. Sergio Leon followed and singled up the middle, with Farris scoring and Faulk taking third on the throw. After Louie Helmburg drew a walk to load the bases, Issac Ballou forced home the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded walk.
The Wildcats answered to take the team in the bottom of the third inning, mounting a two-out rally. Williams was hit by a two-out pitch and Riddle drew a walk. McCarthy then followed with a double drilled off the base of the wall in leftfield, scoring the duo for a 3-2 UK lead.
Kentucky added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Thomas led off the frame with a walk, taking second on a perfect bunt single from Reida down the third-base line. After a pair of hard-hit line outs, Maile delivered the two-out RBI with a single to leftfield to score Thomas.
UK added two runs on three hits to its lead for a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. McCarthy led off with a single up the middle, scoring after Thomas drilled a double into the left-centerfield gap. After a groundout, Cousino singled through the left side, scoring Thomas from second base.
The Wildcats plated a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, as UK mounted a two-out rally, sparked by Thomas’ walk. Reida then scored Thomas with a double off the base of the wall in right-centerfield, his eighth two-out RBI of the season.
Marshall plated a run on one hit in the eighth inning, as Gray Stafford drew a one-out walk, advancing to third on a single from Farris. With pinch-hitter Alfredo Brito at the plate, Stafford scored on a wild pitch, making its 7-3 UK.