Taylor Black, Cory Farris and Marcus Nidiffer each hit home runs, and reliever Nick Kennedy struck out five in his first career victory, as Kentucky (16-5) overcame five errors to defeat Xavier 11-6 on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The teams were almost even in hits, with Kentucky getting 13 had Xavier 12. And Xavier (4-15) was right with the Wildcats until the sixth inning when Kentucky scored three runs, then added two more in the seventh.
Farris, a sophomore from Boone County, hit his team-leading sixth home run of the year, a two-run shot in the third inning.
Kennedy, who missed all but two games last season due to injury, pitched 22⁄3 innings. The junior allowed one run on two hits.
Matt Little struck out two batters in a perfect ninth inning. Little, who was named to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List earlier Tuesday, improved his ERA to 0.48. He has 27 strikeouts in 182⁄3 innings and has allowed six hits.
Kentucky got two doubles, two runs and two RBI from Heath graduate Chad Wright and a club-best three-hit outing from pre-season All-America second baseman Chris Bisson. Bisson stole two bases, improving to 4-for-7 this season on the base paths.
UK starter Sam Kidd went two innings, allowing one run and three hits, with two of his hits allowed coming on infield singles that bounced off his glove on the mound.
The Wildcats also used freshman right-hander Jordan Cooper, who went two innings and allowed three runs, two earned.
Xavier starter Brian Muransky (0-5) took the loss, allowing eight hits and six runs in his 32⁄3 innings.
Kentucky returns to action Friday in its second Southeastern Conference series of the year, traveling to Nashville to face Vanderbilt.