The longest winning streak in the country breezed into Knoxville with the Kentucky Wildcats on Friday but won't make its way out of town unblemished as Tennessee outdid its Southeastern Conference foes 4-1 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Kentucky entered with a team batting average of .335 and an SEC-leading 182 runs scored. However, its bats were no match for the Big Orange starting pitcher.
Zack Godley (4-1) continues to cement himself as the ace arm for the Volunteers (13-8, 2-2 SEC) by tossing eight innings of three-hit baseball with four strikeouts and two base on balls, allowing just one run. Another right-hander, Nick Blount, entered in the ninth and just one Wildcat reached base as the tall redhead picked up his first save in 2012.
After sweeping two-time defending national champion South Carolina last weekend, Kentucky dropped to 22-1 overall and 3-1 in the SEC, leaving the Big Blue one win shy of equaling the league record for the longest winning streak.
UK jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Austin Cousino doubled and later scored on A.J. Reed's single.
The Vols wasted no time countering as Will Maddox was plunked in the back to lead off the bottom of the frame. The freshman sprinted home on Davis Morgan's scorching single to left field.
In the bottom of the fifth, Drew Steckenrider got the Big Orange going with a base hit. Ethan Bennett did his job advancing his teammate with a groundout to second. Steckenrider then stole third and came home with the eventual game-winning run on Zach Osborne's groundout.
Chris Pierce's safety squeeze for a base hit highlighted a two-run eighth that gave UT some insurance.
Taylor Rogers (4-1) was the losing pitcher. The southpaw twirled 6 1/3 innings with five Ks, no walks and three hits allowed.
Kentucky seeks revenge as the rivals square off again on The Hill on Saturday afternoon at 4. The Vols will throw lefty T.J. Thornton against UK junior Jerad Grundy.
To see a photo gallery from the field level, scroll down (click to enlarge):