Zack Thompson and five relievers combined for a three-hit shutout, and Kole Cottam capped the scoring with a two-run homer as the University of Kentucky baseball team defeated Xavier 6-0 at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Wednesday night.
Thompson (5-2) allowed one hit and walked three in six innings. The freshman struck out seven, raising his team-leading total to 58.
Relief pitchers Chris Machamer, Zach Pop, Colton Cleary, Alex Maley and Logan Salow — in that order — worked the final three innings. Salow’s scoreless ninth lowered his ERA to 0.52.
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The No. 6-ranked Cats entered the bottom of the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead. Xavier first baseman Conor Grammes moved to pitcher in relief of David Williams and allowed five earned runs, recording just one out in the process. Evan White’s double to center field drove in two runs, Zach Reks singled home another and Cottam followed with a two-run shot.
The Cats (29-13) went 4-1 on their homestand and improved to 20-3 at home. They return to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at South Carolina. The opener on Friday starts at 7 p.m. ET.
Kentucky, 12-6 in the SEC, has a 2-game lead over Florida in the East. South Carolina and Vanderbilt are tied for third, 3 games back.