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Sophomore starter Corey Littrell took a shutout into the ninth inning and sophomore closer Trevor Gott set a new single-season record with his ninth save to lead No. 3 UK to a 2-1 win over two-time defending conference champion No. 7 Florida.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Wildcats.
Littrell (7-0) took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning in the longest outing of his career. He allowed a leadoff home run to start the ninth inning to Florida center fielder Daniel Pigott. UK then turned to Gott, who recorded the final three outs of the game for his single-season UK record ninth save of the year.
UK struck first in the game with a two-out RBI single up the middle from sophomore shortstop Matt Reida in the bottom of the fifth inning. UK added an insurance run in the eighth on a RBI from junior catcher Luke Maile, a rally sparked by freshman center fielder Austin Cousino’s leadoff single and aggressive base running.
UK (37-11, 15-9) has now won the fifth-most games in a single season in program history. The Wildcats’ 15 conference wins are the third-most in UK history. UK improved to 13-4 in one-run games.
UK totaled seven hits in the game, sparked by Cousino’s 2-for-4 game at the top of the order. Senior catcher Michael Williams added a 2-for-3 game with a double, with UK also getting hits from Reida, junior right fielder Brian Adams and freshman first baseman A.J. Reed.
Florida (35-13, 14-10 SEC) starter Johnson (5-4) – a member of the 2011 USA Collegiate National Team and projected first-round draft pick in 2012 – worked five innings, allowing four hits and one run, walking one and striking out two. He was relieved by Jonathan Crawford, who toiled three innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run, striking out two.
Littrell lowered his ERA to 2.30 on the season and and improved his record to 7-0. He has worked 74 and one-third innings with 61 strikeouts and 18 walks. In his eight conference starts, Littrell is 5-0 record with a 2.50 ERA.
Story from UK Athletics. KyForward file photo of Littrell.