Troy Squires turned in a career day, including a three-run home run that proved critical, as No. 6 Kentucky clinched its weekend series with an 11-6 win over No. 3 Texas Tech at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington. UK will go for a three-game sweep on Sunday.
For the second time in as many days the Cats erased an early deficit with an offense that produced a five-run sixth inning that broke open a tie game. The inning featured three consecutive bunt hits that scored runs, a testament to the Cats’ ability to play long ball or small ball when needed.
Squires, who starred at Central Hardin, led off the game with a line-drive single, singled again in the second, drilled a no-doubt three-run home run in the fourth and bunted for a hit and RBI in the sixth. He matched his career high in both hits (four) and RBI (four), each set earlier this season. He has now reached base in all 16 games this season.
The senior led a charge that saw seven players record a hit and all nine starters reach base safely. The Cats also stole four bases, had two sacrifice flies, a hit batter and drew six walks. They have now scored 21 runs in two games against a pitching staff that entered the weekend with a team earned run average under 2.00.
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Additionally, the Cats’ bullpen was tremendous over the final six innings. Freshman lefty Mason Hazelwood (Mercer County) came on in the fourth and extricated the Cats out of a jam on his way to 2 1/3 impressive innings, while hard-throwing righties Zach Haake and Chris Machamer took care of the final 1 2/3 innings to give senior righty Alec Maley the win.
Texas Tech at Kentucky
1 p.m. Sunday (SEC Network Plus)