Cats kick off home-stand with win over EKU



After spending the weekend in Houston, the UK baseball team returned home to Cliff Hagan Stadium on Tuesday to kick off an 11-game home-stand against the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels. The Cats did not disappoint the home fans, defeating the Colonels 8-1.

UK (6-6) was hot at the plate all afternoon long. Eight of nine UK batters recorded at least one hit against EKU, including Thomas McCarthy, who reached base for the twelfth time in twelve games, and Taylor Black, who was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week last week. Black, hitting out of the leadoff spot, went 4-for-5 on the afternoon, and was only a home run away from hitting for the cycle.

“I’m kind of streaky so far,” Black said, “so it’s good to go out there and get a couple hits when our team needs it, especially coming off of a couple losses.”

The Cats’ offensive explosion was complemented by strong pitching by starter Corey Littrell and reliever Braden Kapteyn. Littrell pitched a career-high seven innings in his second start of the season, recording five strikeouts and allowing just one run on three hits by EKU.

“I’m really happy with the performance today (by Littrell),” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “There’s plenty more that he needs to work on and get better at, but seven innings, three hits, five punch-outs, I thought for the most part he was pretty much in control.”

Kapteyn, who acted as UK’s designated hitter to start the game, took the mound in the eighth inning and pitched two scoreless innings, recording four strikeouts.

“I was really pleased with the progress that Braden showed,” Henderson said. “That’s a good outing, no hits, he hit one guy and struck out four, and even with the base runner he still looked like he was in charge. It was very much of a positive step forward for him. He threw a lot of strikes, I’m really happy to see him do well.”

The Cats will play host to Middle Tennessee State today with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. as they will look to maintain their undefeated record at home this season.