March 7, 2007
LEXINGTON, Ky.---No. 17 Kentucky exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, overcoming a two-run deficit and rolling to a 21-7 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Bearcats took the defeat despite a pair of three run home runs by senior Neall French.
The Bearcats' undoing came as a result of 12 Wildcats coming to the plate in the fifth. A costly one out error opened the flood gates to seven unearned runs in the frame. Brian Spear provided the big hit when he ripped a three-run homer to left center off of Robb Thompson. Matt McKinney then greeted reliever A.J. Upton with another blast putting Kentucky (13-0) in the driver's seat for good.
Cincinnati (5-7) actually struck first as French's first long ball gave the visitors a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. Kentucky quickly tied it on a three-run blast by Brock Wright and went up 4-3 on an RBI double by Mike Brown.
The Bearcats would reclaim a 7-4 advantage in the third inning, tying the score on a Brian Szarmach RBI single. Two batters later, it was French doing damage again as he smashed a three-run shot to the pavilion in right center.
Kentucky scored once in the third on a long home run by Sean Coughlin, setting the stage for the nine-run explosion in the fifth.
The Wildcats added four runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to round out their scoring.
French did the bulk of the offense work for the Bearcats, going 2-for-4 with the two longballs and a career-best six RBI. Szarmach added a pair of hits and runs, along with an RBI.
Coughlin, Spear and Wright each drove in four runs for the Wildcats, while Spear and McKinney had three hits apiece.
Dewayne Oxford turned in a sparkling pitching performance in relief, hurling the final seven innings and allowing four runs.
The Bearcats are back on the diamond this weekend, hosting Cleveland State in a three-game set. The series, which marks the opening of a six-game homestand, begins on Friday at 4 p.m.