LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Kentucky baseball team completed a clean sweep of its opening week, punctuating the start with two impressive victories over Milwaukee in Saturday’s doubleheader at Kentucky Proud Park. The wins give UK a 10-game winning streak dating back to last season.
Led by the heavy hitting of freshman infielder Reuben Church, the continued brilliance of sophomore outfielder John Rhodes and a stingy pitching staff, the Wildcats (4-0) took the opening game of the doubleheader, 9-3, and capped the day with a 4-2 victory. Both games were seven-inning affairs.
Church, an imposing presence from Maryville, Tenn., made his case for Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, going 6-for-10 with four doubles and his first career home run in the three-game sweep of Milwaukee. He leads the Cats in runs (five) and RBI (five) despite not playing in the season opener. He put an exclamation point on his debut with a no-doubt blast to left-centerfield to give the Cats a two-run cushion heading into the final inning of game two.
The freshman was hardly alone in doing damage. Rhodes, a preseason All-American, doubled in his first at-bat of both games and crushed a three-run home run to left field in the second inning of the opener, giving UK a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. In fact, the Cats did not trail at all during their first four games.
On the mound, veterans Zack Lee (5.2 innings, two runs, seven strikeouts) and Mason Mazelwood (4.0 innings, two runs, six strikeouts) each gave solid starts before giving way to the bullpen. Senior transfer Sean Harney was dominant in closing out game two, earning the save with five strikeouts in two innings of work.