T.J. Collett homered for the third straight game and Kole Cottam added a three-run shot as the Kentucky baseball team’s offense racked up 17 hits in a 17-6 victory over Oakland on Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington.
The Cats (6-1) have scored 27 runs in the first two games of the weekend series against the Golden Grizzlies (1-6). UK’s offense Saturday put runs on the board in six consecutive innings, including five in the fourth and six in the seventh.
Collett’s first hit of the day, a two-run home run, pushed Kentucky’s early lead to 4-1 in the third inning. He added a two-run single in the fourth and knocked in a run on a groundout in the seventh.
Collett said a change in his batting stance has paid off.
“I kind of had a lot wider stance because that’s what I had done my whole life,” he said. “They said I should try to shorten up and be more upright. They said that would allow me to swing at better pitches and get some more behind the ball. It’s amazing what happens when you listen to your coaches.”
Collett’s five RBI were a career high. He is batting .333 and has knocked in 14 runs through seven games.
“When T.J. is right mentally, he’s as good as any player we have,” UK Coach Nick Mingione said. “Our guys feel like every time the bat leaves his shoulder, he’s got a chance to hit a home run.”
Cottam finished the day 3-for-5. His three-run homer came in the seventh and pushed the Cats’ lead to 17-4.
Luke Heyer’s two hits included a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Troy Squires knocked in three runs for the second straight game. He had a two-run double in the the seventh inning.
Zack Thompson pitched six innings and earned his first win this season. He gave up four earned runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six batters.
Tristan Pompey, UK’s All-American outfielder, missed a second straight game because of an ankle injury.