Cat Scratches: Nidiffer’s unexpected rise, return to Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky senior shortstop Taylor Black hit two home runs and had four RBI and junior third baseman Thomas McCarthy hit two homers and added a double, leading the black team to an 8-1 win over the blue squad, in game one of the UK baseball Fall World Series, held Thursday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The black team exploded for eight runs in the five-inning scrimmage, with Black getting it started with a two-run homer belted deep over the left centerfield fence in the top of the first inning, scoring freshman outfielder Lucas Witt, who pelted a two-strike double into the right-centerfield gap. McCarthy, hitting No. 4 in the order, followed Black and belted his own roundtripper, sneaking his bomb inside the foul pole down the leftfield line.

In the third inning, Black and McCarthy struck again. Witt, a native of Lexington, Ky., and graduate of Lexington Christian Academy, led off the inning with a single, blooped over blue team shortstop J.T. Riddle’s head into leftfield. Black, a native of Easley, S.C., followed and hit his second bomb of the game, a no-doubt blast over the leftfield fence. McCarthy, a native of Corvallis, Ore., and transfer from Feather River College, hit his second back-to-back homer of the game, belting his blast over the left-centerfield fence.

UK standout junior right-hander, Alex Meyer, a 6-foot-9 product of Greensburg, Ind., started on the mound for the black team and pitched a perfect first inning, striking out one, throwing a three-pitch arsenal for strikes. Walter Wijas, Sean Kelly, Mike Kaczmarek, Tyler Raymond and Nick Kennedy were used on the mound, with Wijas working three innings for the blue team.

Hits were also recorded for freshman Thomas Bernal, an infielder out of Paso Robles, Calif., and sophomore catcher Luke Maile, with Witt, Black and McCarthy’s offensive performances highlighting the scrimmage.

The series will resume on Friday, with first pitch of game two set for 3:15 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

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