CatsIllustrated - Offensive explosion powers Cats to series-opening win
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Offensive explosion powers Cats to series-opening win

Preseason All-American John Rhodes had a three-run homer for the Cats.
Preseason All-American John Rhodes had a three-run homer for the Cats. (Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated)

Kentucky broke out the bats Friday for its best offensive performance to date.

The Wildcats scored in each of the first five innings and collected 15 hits in a 16-1 win over Georgia State in the opening game of a weekend series at Kentucky Proud Park.

T.J. Collett got UK rolling with a two-run homer in the first inning, John Rhodes hit a three-run homer as part of a six-run second frame, and Chase Estep belted a bases-clearing double in the fifth to highlight the blowout win.

It marked the 28th home run of Collett's career with the Cats and the second this season for the senior first baseman. Fellow preseason All-American Rhodes, a sophomore outfielder, extended his hitting streak to 10 games on the season.

Kentucky (9-2) had six players collect two or more hits, led by Estep with three. Collett and Rhodes followed with two apiece, while Reuben Church, Trae Harmon, and Alonzo Rubalcaba also added a pair of hits.

The massive run support made it easy for the UK pitching staff. Starter Cole Stupp (2-0) worked six innings, allowing only one run on six hits. The sophomore right-hander struck out seven and walked none.

Wyatt Hudepohl and Alex Degen worked three scoreless innings out of the UK bullpen. The Cats' pitching staff finished the game with eight strikeouts and no walks, pushing its season ratio to 119 punchouts and only 21 free passes.

Georgia State (4-11) had played ranked opponents in all 14 of its games before coming to Lexington.

The series resumes Saturday at KPP. FIrst pitch is at 1 p.m. ET.