LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Justin Lewis and the Kentucky defense stayed steady behind a relentless offense as the No. 13 Wildcats took their fifth Southeastern Conference series of the season, defeating No. 8 LSU 10-2 on a cloudy, windy day at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Cats (28-13, 12-6 SEC), winners in six of the last eight games, retain their two-game lead over Florida in the SEC East with 12 conference games remaining. They will travel to South Carolina, which sits three games back, next weekend.
UK's offense wasted no time attacking the Tigers (27-14, 10-8) as they got the game started with three straight hits. Zach Reks, who tied his career-high for hits in a game with four, broke the scoring open with an RBI double down the left-field line in the bottom of the first inning. Three other Wildcats came around to score in the inning as the Cats jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
In the first complete game of his career, Lewis collected six strikeouts and limited the Tigers to six hits and a walk. As a commanding presence on the mound, the sophomore right-hander didn't allow any base runners in the first, fourth, fifth, and final two innings on the way to his sixth win of the season.
UK's top five hitters went a combined 15-for-23 at the plate with six RBI. Kole Cottam and Riley Mahan extended UK's lead in the bottom of the third inning with back-to-back home runs, which hasn't happened since Evan White and Reks did it against Murray State last season. Cottam, who has now homered in back-to-back games, racked up three RBI - just one shy from his career-high of four he set at Mississippi State two weeks ago. Mahan went 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs. The junior infielder picked up nine hits in his 12 at bats during the series.
With his three hits today and 197 for his career, White passed former Wildcat star A.J. Reed for 16th place on UK's all-time career hit list. White jumpstarted three more Wildcat runs in the bottom of the fourth inning with a double. Cottam added his double to right-center field, which drove in Reks, and Becker hit into a fielder's choice to bring in Cottam.
• The Cats are now 19-3 at home this season.
• The Cats went 3-1 this week against Top 10 teams: No. 2 Louisville (1-0), No. 8 LSU (2-1).
• UK is 14-9 vs. ranked foes this season.
• UK has taken the last two regular-season series over LSU.
• Kentucky is 18-17 against LSU in Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky will host Xavier in a mid-week affair at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26 at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via UKathletics.com and iHeart Radio, as well as on 630 AM WLAP, and watch on the SEC Network.