6:21:21 UKBB vs. Norfolk

Kentucky senior T.J. Collett tosses the ball to a teammate during the game against Norfolk State University on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 11-1. Photo by | Staff

Kentucky baseball (11-6) took care of its last test before conference play in a 10-4 thrashing of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The Wildcats finished their 14-game homestand with a record of 11-3 before setting off for Nashville to face the defending national champions in Vanderbilt.

Dillon Marsh had a career night for the Cats. The sophomore came into the game with an 8.03 ERA on the season and only allowed two runs on the day in nearly seven innings of work. Striking out five, Marsh found today’s team performance incredibly important ahead the daunting SEC schedule coming up

“I think we’re trending upwards,” Marsh said. “I think the team is getting a lot closer as well. I think we keep getting better every day… I’m really excited”

While TJ Collett just received SEC Co-Player of the Week, senior Zeke Lewis may be the hottest batter on the team. The second baseman is now batting .571 in his last 21 at bats after going 2-for-3 today. After he was told that impressive statistic, Lewis gave out a, “Is that what it is?” in disbelief. He also extended his career-long game hit streak to seven.

“Sticking to my routine," Lewis said. "Not trying to get too much into the numbers but just trusting my plan, staying consistent. That’s my biggest plan.” 

Kentucky struck first in the third inning by way of a John Rhodes single that bounced over the third baseman, allowing Chase Estep to score. The freshman is now tied with Collett for the second-most RBI on the team.

Marsh threw what may have been his only bad pitch of the game in the fourth when Ray Zuberer III clobbered a two-run homer to left field for two of the Hilltopper runs.

Kentucky countered in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run inning of its own. An Estep sac fly and Breydon Daniel two-run single gave the Cats a 4-2 lead at the time.

Rhodes then launched a two-run double that bounced off the right-center wall to cap off another three-run inning in the sixth.

Daniel recorded his sixth RBI of the game with a seventh inning double that brought home three runs.

“[Coach Guilliams] has been working with me a lot," Daniel said. "We made a few adjustments before the game because we knew I was playing and it just clicked. I had a lot of people in front of me get on base, gave me the opportunity to drive in a lot of runs, so shoutout to them.” 

Kentucky now shifts its sights onto Vandy this weekend in Nashville. The three-game series begins Friday night with a 7:30 p.m. first pitch.