NASHVILLE — Freshman center fielder Austin Cousino launched his eighth homer of the year and collected three hits to lead Kentucky to a series-opening win over Vanderbilt on Friday.
Kentucky (36-7, 14-5 Southeastern Conference) was paced offensively by three hits from Cousino, including his home run. UK also got two hits from freshman A.J. Reed while Luke Maile, Cameron Flynn, J.T. Riddle and Matt Reida each recorded one.
UK starter Taylor Rogers (5-2) allowed seven hits and two runs, no walks and struck out four in 52⁄3 innings.
Alex Phillips replaced him with the bases loaded and two down in the sixth, getting a fly-out to get out of the jam. Phillips worked the final 31⁄3 innings without allowing a hit, walking one and striking out three for his fifth save of the year.
Starter TJ Pecoraro (0-2) worked 12⁄3 innings for Vandy (19-23, 7-12 SEC), allowing five hits and four runs, walking four and striking out two.
UK got on the board with two runs on three hits in the first, as Cousino led off with a single to center field, stole second base and took third on a Reed one-out groundout. Maile then knocked in Cousino with a two-out single, with Flynn then singling and Zac Zellers drawing a walk to load the bases. Maile scored on a balk.
The Wildcats added a pair of runs to their lead in the second inning, as Reida drew a one-out walk, scoring on Cousino's homer.
In the third inning, Vanderbilt got two runs back on two hits, cutting the UK lead to 4-2. The Wildcats got a run back in the top of the fifth.