Kentucky earns much-needed win over Dayton in Lexington

Julia Keener

The Kentucky Wildcats (23-18) crushed the Dayton Flyers (28-12) on Tuesday, April 26 with ease, winning 12-1.

After losing a tough series against Vanderbilt the weekend prior, beating the Flyers was just what the Wildcats needed.  

The game started with sophomore Magdiel Cotto on the mound, his seventh start of the season. He started off strong, striking out Marcos Pujols ending, the inning with three up, and three down. 

Oraj Anu came back strong, starting his first game since March 9 due to injury. 

Kentucky Proud Park was electric after the first inning. Chase Estep, Hunter Jump, Ryan Ritter, Jacob Plastiak, and Anu all scored, starting the Cats off with a 5-0 lead. Jose Martinez hit a solo home run for the Flyers, but it was not enough to keep up with the Wildcats. 

The excitement continued as Estep hit his 12th homer of the season to right center field, sending Jase Felker and Devin Burkes home with him. 

Dayton could not catch a break. After two scoreless innings for Flyers, Kentucky continued to extend the lead to 12-1 after four innings of play. 

Wyatt Hudepohl took the mound in place of Cotto in the fifth inning and dominated, striking out all three Flyers who came up to bat.  

There were multiple substitutions to start the sixth; Michael Dallas to second base, Reuben Church to third base, Kirk Liebert to right field, Emilien Pitre to short stop, John Thrasher to center field, Adam Fogel to first base and Jackson Nove to pitch.  

“The entire team contributed tonight, the entire team felt good in the box,” Estep said. “A lot of different people got involved and it was great start to the new week.” 

After six innings of play, the Wildcats took the win by a score of 12-1. 

The challenging matchups continue for the Wildcats as they head into a weekend series against Florida in Gainesville.