TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - No. 22 Kentucky won its fourth straight series and 17th consecutive game on Saturday afternoon, racing past No. 25 Alabama 9-5 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. At 5-0 in Southeastern Conference play, the Wildcats are off to their best start in league play in 31 years.
Kentucky will go for a series sweep on Saturday morning. Game time has been moved up to 11 a.m. CT due to weather concerns.
Sophomore Nolan McCarthy had three RBI on a pair of run-scoring singles and the Cats' mantra of creating havoc for the opponent worked to perfection, as they drew five walks, four hit by pitch, stole four bases, had two sacrifice bunts and a RBI groundout.
UK (21-2, 5-0) jumped out to a 4-0 lead, saw it slashed to 4-3 in the fourth and responded by getting each of those three runs back in the next half-inning. The Cats are now 7-1 in true road contests and 21-1 since an opening day defeat.
- Kentucky has won 17 consecutive games, currently the longest active win streak in DI.
- It is the Cats' longest win streak since starting the 2012 season 22-0.
- UK's 20-1 start to the season also is its best since 2012.
- At 5-0, UK is off to best start in SEC play in 31 years. The Cats started 7-0 in 1992.
- Kentucky is 28-5 over its last 33 games dating to last season.
- UK is 14-6 in its last 20 games vs. SEC opponents.
- UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his seventh season at the helm and now owns a 197-131 career record.
- UK is 83-33 in the month of March under Coach Mingione.
- UK is undefeated this March (15-0).
- Mingione now is 5-3 vs. Alabama.
- UK pitchers had eight strikeouts and have struck out 223 through 23 games.
- UK has scored in 322 of 328 games under Coach Mingione.
- The Cats stole four bases and now are 43-of-55 on the season.
- The Cats drew five walks, four HBP, stole four bases and had two SAC bunts.
- First Baseman Hunter Gilliam had an RBI single that ran his hit streak to 16 games and he now has reached safely in all 22 games in which he's played.
- Infielder Grant Smith has started all 139 games of his collegiate career.
- Infielder Emilien Pitre has reached base safely in 21 consecutive games.
- Outfielder Jackson Gray went 2-for-5 with a run and two stolen bases.
- Outfielder Nolan McCarthy went 2-for-4 with three RBI, including a pair of run-scoring singles.
- Pitcher Ryan Hagenow closed out the game for the second straight day.
- On the season, he has allowed no runs on just four hits in 14.1 innings with 22 strikeouts.
Kentucky go for its fourth straight series sweep on Sunday at Noon ET at Alabama. The game will be aired on the SEC Network.