GAINESVILLE, Fla. — All-America southpaw Corey Littrell fired eight strong innings and Micheal Thomas belted a three-run homer in the second inning, leading Kentucky to a 6-2 win over host Florida — its first series win there in 15 years and just the third in program history — on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in front of 3,284 at McKethan Stadium.
In a series that dates back to 1953, Kentucky (16-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) had only won three, three-game weekend series in Gainesville, in 1973, 1975 and 1999. After UK fell 6-1 in the series opener on Friday, UK rebounded to even the series with an 11-5 win on Saturday, before posting the rubber-match win on Sunday.
Littrell (3-0) turned in his fourth quality start and the 18th of his career. The Louisville native worked eight innings, scattering 10 singles for one run, not allowing a walk and striking out seven, including striking out the top of the order in the seventh. Littrell moved into a tie with Doug Sutton (1986-88) for ninth place all-time career wins in UK history.
In Littrell's last two seasons, the southpaw has made nine starts in series-deciding rubber matches, with UK winning all nine games and the junior posting a 7-0 record and a 1.92 ERA.
Trevor Gott got the final three outs of the game and sealed the series win for the Wildcats, allowing one run on three hits.
The Wildcats were led by two-hit games from Austin Cousino, A.J. Reed, J.T. Riddle and Matt Reida, as UK pounded out 12 hits, drew three walks and was hit by one pitch.
Thomas belted his first homer of the year — a three-run job in the second inning that gave UK a lead — with UK also getting hits from Zac Zellers, Jeff Boehm and Kyle Barrett.
Florida (9-12, 1-2 SEC) starter Eric Handhold (0-1) worked 32⁄3 innings, allowing 10 hits and five runs, walking one and striking out three.