LEXINGTON, Ky. - With two runs in the fourth and four in the sixth, No. 2 Kentucky handed the Western Kentucky University baseball team a 7-4 loss Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
WKU (10-15) took an early lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning before Kentucky (25-1) scored seven runs over the next five innings on the way to its first win in the series since 2008. The Hilltoppers had won four straight in the series.
Starting pitcher Austin Clay (3-3) allowed three runs on six hits with a walk and career-high four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
Kentucky reliever Sam Mahar (1-0) was touched for two runs on two hits in three innings while striking out five and issuing one walk.
Offensively, Hilltoppers senior right fielder Ryan Hutchison went 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Second baseman Ivan Hartle, third baseman Casey Dykes and shortstop Steve Hodgins each finished the night with two hits and first baseman Scott Wilcox recorded an RBI.
WKU took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run home run by Hutchison, his third of the year. Hartle scored on the play after leading off the game with walk.
In the bottom of the second, an RBI single by Kentucky catcher Michael Williams cut the advantage to 2-1.
The Wildcats pulled in front 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run single by Williams.
UK added four runs in the sixth inning on a three-run home run by center fielder Austin Cousino and a throwing error that allowed left fielder Lucas Witt to cross the plate and make the score 7-2.
The Hilltoppers added a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning when Hartle crossed the plate on a throwing error and Wilcox pushed an RBI single through the right side.
WKU junior Colton Satterlee gave up two runs with a walk and a strikeout in 1-1/3 innings. Redshirt freshman Tate Glasscock allowed a pair of runs on four hits in two innings with a walk and a strikeout. Right-hander Ross Hammonds retired the three batters he faced in the eighth.
The Hilltoppers return to Sun Belt Conference play this weekend with a three-game home series against Arkansas-Little Rock at Nick Denes Field. Game times are scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Rankings are based on the Collegiate Baseball poll released Monday.