Kentuckian Williams slams door on No. 4 Florida
Darren Williams came back for his seventh season of college baseball for storybook nights like these.
The Kentucky native struck out the side in the ninth inning to preserve No. 19 Kentucky's 6-4 victory over No. 3 Florida on Senior Night at Kentucky Proud Park. The win vaulted the Wildcats to 36-16 overall and secured their 16th Southeastern Conference win, guaranteeing a winning mark in league play.
Reuben Church annihilated a 451-foot home run off the batter's eye and added a two-out, two-strike, two-run single, while Grant Smith became the first UK player to homer in four straight SEC games since 2017 as the Cats jumped on Florida ace Brandon Sproat for six runs. Devin Burkes, a Florida native, added a pair of RBI and right fielder James McCoy reached over the fence to rob a home run.
- UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his seventh season at the helm and now owns a 212-145 career record. UK is 40-39 in the month of May under Coach Mingione. Mingione now is 6-12 vs. Florida.
- UK has scored in 350 of 357 games in Mingione's tenure.
- UK is 11-10 this season vs. ranked opponents. The Cats are 5-6 vs. Top Five opponents.
- UK is 25-5 at home this season. UK is 97-47 all-time at Kentucky Proud Park.
- Outfielder Jackson Gray He has reached safely in 21 consecutive games. He has hits in 20 of his last 21 games. He had his 20th multi-hit game of the season.
- Infielder Grant Smith went 1-for-4 with a solo home run. He has homered in four straight games. He is the first Wildcat to homer in four straight SEC games since Riley Mahan in 2017.
- Catcher Devin Burkes went 2-for-3 with a run, two RBI, a double and a SAC. He has an eight-game hit streak. He had his 16th multi-hit game and 10th multi-RBI game of the season.
- Infielder Reuben Church went 2-for-4 with a run, three RBI and a home run. He hit a solo HR in the fourth inning and two-run single in the fifth.
- Pitcher Zack Lee pitched up the win with 5.0 innings of two-hit ball, allowing three runs.
- Pitcher Mason Moore pitched 3.0 innings of one-run relief.
- Pitcher Darren Williams struck out the side in the ninth for his second save of the season.
Kentucky will host Florida on in the final regular season game of the year on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network (630 AM WLAP, locally) and it will be streamed on SEC Network+.