UK Baseball

Bat Cats blast past Hoosiers with four homers

Kentucky's Chad Wright got high fives after his third-inning home run. He also had a double and a single
Kentucky's Chad Wright got high fives after his third-inning home run. He also had a double and a single

Kentucky banged out 17 hits, including a season-high four home runs, to upend Indiana 8-5 Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The Wildcats (22-27) have won 11 of their last 12 non-conference games. They also have won three of their last four tests against Indiana to lead the all-time series 17-15.

Neiko Johnson led off the bottom of the first inning with his first homer of the season.

Also going deep were Michael Williams, to lead off the second inning; Chad Wright, with a solo shot in the third; and Luke Maile, his team-leading eighth dinger, with a man aboard in the eighth.

UK had three three-homer games this season. Wright finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. He and Thomas McCarthy totaled three hits each. Williams, Maile, Braden Kapteyn, J.T. Riddle and Brian Adams had two hits apiece.

"The bats were going good tonight," UK Coach Gary Henderson said.

Sophomore left-hander Taylor Rogers, bumped from the weekend rotation, made his first midweek start a memorable one. He gave up two runs, one earned, on seven hits over 62⁄3 innings. Rogers (3-6) walked two and struck out three in his sixth "quality start" of the season.

"Taylor Rogers was good. Certainly very encouraging to move forward with him in what he was able to do," Henderson said. "I thought his adjustments were much, much quicker tonight than they had been, and (his) pitch total was down. He did a really good job of staying down in the strike zone, making one-pitch adjustments and forcing them to swing the bat."

Indiana (27-21), which rallied from a 16-8 deficit in the eighth inning of last year's game to pull out an 18-17 win in extra innings, came on strong in the eighth again.

The Hoosiers got to Kapteyn and Nick Kennedy to score three times. Alex Phillips came on with 12⁄3 innings of perfect relieve to earn the save.

"Alex Phillips has turned into a 'count-on' guy," Henderson said. "His numbers are pretty impressive. He's got 30 innings and one walk. He's doing a really good job of pounding the strike zone."

Indiana had three players with two hits each, including former Bryan Station standout Wes Wilson.

UK plays its final Southeastern Conference home series of the season this weekend against Georgia.