Last night, wile most of us were tuned in ESPN to watch the Kentucky Wildcats' starting five declare for the NBA Draft, the Bat Cats were taking care of the Cincinnati Bearcats in style at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Freshman southpaw Sam Mahar took the mound in a starting role for the first time as a Wildcat, and carried a perfect game into the fifth inning. He didn't get the PG, but he did get a shutout as the Wildcats tamed the Bearcats, 7-0
Related: UK-Cincinnati Box Score
The Wildcats didn't exactly hit around on the Bearcats pitching, but settled instead for knocking the cover off the baseball. Austin Cousino (CF), Luke Maile (C), and J.T. Riddle (2B/SS) each hit one out of Cliff Hagan Stadium, all of them solo shots. The Bat Cats got 7 runs off 9 hits, including, remarkably, only one extra base hit -- a lead-off double by Reida (SS) in the third. Kentucky was aided by five Bearcat walks, one of which was eventually batted in for a run.
While it was a good victory, the Wildcats will need more hitting than this when the now #1 LSU Tigers roll into town on Friday for a 3-game visit this weekend. It was a very impressive debut for Sam Mahar, but Cincinnati is a weak team, managing only 12 wins against 24 losses this season. LSU is one of the best teams in the nation and has been playing exceptionally well lately. It will take sustained excellence by the Wildcats to send them back to Baton Rouge with a series loss. We'll have more on that as we get closer to the weekend.