A perfect game Wednesday would have been a dream come true.
Corey Littrell was happy to settle for 61⁄3 no-hit innings, though, pitching Kentucky to a 5-2 home-opening victory over Eastern Michigan.
"I actually had a dream (Tuesday) night I threw a perfect game," the freshman left-hander out of Louisville Trinity said. "I knew after I walked that guy (in the third inning) that wasn't gonna happen, but then I started to think towards the fifth I might throw a no-hitter."
Tucker Rubino's sharp single to left with one out in the seventh inning broke up Littrell's no-hit bid.
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Next pitch, with Littrell admittedly "a little mad" about losing his gem, Ben Magsig broke up the shutout with a two-run homer to right field.
Trevor Gott took over to fire 12⁄3 innings of no-hit ball, and Jordan Cooper worked a perfect ninth.
So, after starting the season 0-3 at the College of Charleston, UK has posted back-to-back wins, starting Tuesday at Morehead State.
"Huge," shortstop Taylor Black said of the modest winning streak. "Especially coming from the standpoint of us not really scoring any runs this weekend to, now, we're scoring runs, we're putting the ball in play, we're hitting the ball hard. It's a really big step for us with how young we are."
While Eastern Michigan (1-3) was held to three hits, UK collected 10.
Black, Braden Kapteyn and Luke Maile had two hits each.
The Wildcats struck first on Paul McConkey's two-out single up the middle in the second inning. McConkey's hit, in his first collegiate at-bat, scored Thomas McCarthy.
"I've been waiting for this moment a long time," said McConkey, a freshman from Knoxville, "and it was just good to get it out of the way and really to get in the flow of things, and start winning a lot more ball games."
The Cats added a pair of runs in the fourth on Black's run-scoring double to right-center and Mike Kaczmarek's single up the middle.
Meanwhile, Littrell faced the minimum number of Eagles through five innings. Littrell picked off Wally Gerbus, who drew the third-inning walk.
Littrell's second and final walk came with one out in the sixth.
"Very impressive," Coach Gary Henderson said of Littrell's outing. "It's the power of somebody that can concentrate, one. He's a good competitor and he's got three pitches for a strike.
"The second time around, we switched the pattern with the fastball a little bit, which was really effective, I thought. When you can get ahead in the count and you've got a breaking ball and a change-up, it's effective stuff. We'd like them all to be that skilled, and we're working on it, but he's obviously ahead of most freshmen."
Littrell was efficient with his pitches — 51 of 77 going for strikes. He retired the side in the first inning on six pitches and had another inning of nine pitches, with a high inning count of 15.
Littrell said he relied mostly on the fastball and curveball.
"I haven't had my curveball and (teammate) Alex Meyer's been helping me out a lot with that," Littrell said. "He helped me change my grip a little bit, and then I found it today, so I was really happy with that."
After Eastern Michigan did its damage in the seventh, UK answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Black, who led off with a double, took third on Kaczmarek's sacrifice bunt and scored on Chad Wright's sacrifice fly. Kapteyn singled, then scored on Maile's double.
■ Henderson announced that speedy infielder/outfielder Nieko Johnson is expected to be out three to six weeks. The fifth-year senior broke a finger while diving into a base during Tuesday's victory at Morehead.