LEXINGTON, Ky. — Junior Trevor Gott recorded his 16th career save to break the all-time Kentucky record and senior Zac Zellers belted a two-run homer, leading the ninth-ranked Wildcats to a 6-3 win against Ohio, on Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Gott, who tied the record held by Lorhn Frazier (1990-93) with his 15th career save on Sunday against Michigan State, came on to get the final two outs of the game to move into sole possession of first place in the 117-year history of the UK program.
|NOTE: Statistics as of March 13, 2013|
“It is an honor, all the good arms that have thrown here, even to be mentioned in that category is an honor,” Gott said.
In his three-year career, Gott has a 7-4 record, a 2.49 ERA and has saved 16 of 17 games, striking out 83 in 61.1 innings. In his 16 career saves, Gott has worked 17.1 innings, allowed only four hits and three walks, striking out 25.
“There is some comfort in there from a coaching perspective,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said about Gott. “There is some real confidence from a player perspective. It has been really fun to watch him and he keeps getting better.”
The 2010 Gatorade Kentucky High School Player of the Year out of Lexington’s Tates Creek High School, Gott has a 2-0 record in his eight relief appearances in 2013, tossing nine shutout innings, allowing four singles and two walks, striking out 11. Gott, a six-foot, 190-pound right-hander notched his fifth save in five chances in 2013.
“Any time you are coaching kids and they continue to get better it is a fun thing to be a part of and he certainly has,” Henderson said about Gott’s development. “Better pitches, better command, much more efficient, his poise is really good. He has learned the game the way you are supposed to when you hang around for three years. He has done a really nice job and he is going to keep getting better. It is nice to have him back there.”
Kentucky (14-2) picked up the win behind the strength of a four-run second inning and a two-run third — which included Zellers’ first homer of the year and the sixth of his two-year career.
UK collected nine hits in the game, as seven of UK’s nine position starters collected base knocks. Zellers and freshman Kyle Barrett notched UK’s two-hit games. Austin Cousino, J.T. Riddle, Max Kuhn, A.J. Reed and Zach Arnold each had hits, with Arnold’s RBI knock coming as his first career hit. Kuhn stretched his streak of reaching base safely to 16 games with his team-high fifth double of the year and Reed and Riddle each added two-walk games.
The Wildcats staffed 8.1 innings of the game behind its freshmen pitchers, before Gott came on to record the historic save.
“Any time you go 8.1 [innings] of freshmen pitching and get a win, it is good in that respect,” Henderson said. “Nice to see Trevor come in and set the record but really happy with the three freshmen pitchers, who overall did a nice job [Tuesday].”
Kentucky freshman lefty starter Ryne Combs worked a career-high four innings in his second career start, allowing five hits and one run, walking one and striking out three. After a leadoff walk in the fifth, Combs was relieved by freshman Tyler Cox, who got out of the middle-inning jam and worked a career-high two innings, allowing three hits and two runs, striking out three. Freshman Zach Strecker (1-0) worked a career-long 2.1 innings, allowing a single and striking out one in his first career win.
Ohio (3-11) starter Sean Kennedy (2-1) worked 2.2 innings, allowing seven hits and six runs, walking four and striking out two. Brad Prezeieda came on in relief and ate up three shutout innings in the middle frames, allowing only one walk and striking out three. Brett Barber and Logan Cozart each worked scoreless relief outings, with Barber getting four outs.