Seven home runs leads UK past Xavier


Junior First Baseman Kole Cottam waits for the pitch on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky was defeated 8 – 6. Photo by Edward Justice | Staff

Charlee Schaefer

On Tuesday, the No. 6 UK baseball team got revenge for an earlier loss this season by defeating the Xavier Musketeers 20-4.

UK traveled to the Queen City vengeful after the Musketeers came into its house in February and took the home-opener in front of a record crowd. With the win on Tuesday, they split the games 1-1 on the season.

Upperclassmen Kole Cottam and Ben Aklinski each hit a home run in the third inning, making it Cottam’s third in the last four games and Aklinksi’s second in as many games. 

T.J. Collett hit his own homer in the fourth and has now hit nine on the season. Collett’s home run was the first of many hit onto the top of the O’Connor Sports Center past the right field wall.

The Cats hit a total of seven home runs in the game with Cottam and Luke Heyer hitting two a piece. In the seventh inning, Luke Becker was the fifth and final Cat to hit a home run. 

Cottam and Collett have now both hit nine home runs this season while Heyer has hit ten. Kentucky is now tied with Tennessee Tech for the most home runs in college baseball.

The Cats scored in every inning but the second and eighth. The third, fifth and seventh innings were all multi-run and impressive frames for UK.

The Cats also scored the most runs they have scored all season. The previous high was versus Oakland on Feb. 24 when the Cats scored 17 runs.

The game ended in the eighth due to the setting sun and Hayden Field having no lights. The field was very small, which is likely one of the reasons the Cats excelled offensively. 

From now on, the midweek games will begin at 6:30 p.m. as spring is officially here and the cold weather will not hinder play. 

The Cats will next face the No. 10 Auburn Tigers this weekend in one of their biggest matchups of the season. Led by right-handed pitcher Casey Mize, the Tigers will be a tough opponent.

Mize has an average 10.2 strikeouts per game and is a candidate to get SEC Pitcher of the Year honors this season. The Tigers are 19-2 and are ranked third in the SEC West.