Nov. 1, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Home runs from fifth-year senior catcher Micheal Thomas and sophomore outfield transfer Ka’ai Tom highlighted a six-inning Kentucky baseball intrasquad scrimmage, on a gorgeous Friday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Blue posted an 8-5 win over Black in the six-inning scrimmage, with the homers from Thomas and Tom highlighting the game. Blue used a three-run inning in the first, adding a run in the second and two runs in each the fourth and fifth innings. Black got a three-run frame in the third and single runs in the fourth and fifth.

Black was led at the plate by senior shortstop Matt Reida, who went 2-for-3 with a double off the opposite-field wall and a triple in the right-centerfield gap. Freshman Tyler Marshall went 2-for-3, with Marcus Carson, A.J. Reed, Storm Wilson, Dorian Hairston and Zach Arnold each lacing hits. Tom finished 1-for-2 with two runs.

Blue was paced by a Thomas, who scored twice and had the three-run bomb. Kyle Barrett and Connor Heady each scored twice in their three trips to the plate, with Barrett driving in two runs with RBI fielder’s choices and stealing one base. Austin Cousino had an RBI double, with Max Kuhn, Tyler Tipton and Jacob Russell each charting hits.

Junior right-hander Chandler Shepherd tossed three innings, surrendering seven hits and three runs, walking two and striking out two. Sophomore righty Zach Strecker took over in the fourth, working three innings without allowing an earned run.

Sophomore lefty Dylan Dwyer worked four innings for Black, allowing four hits and six runs – five earned – walking two and striking out four. He was relieved in the bottom of the fifth by righty Andrew Nelson, who tossed an inning, allowing two runs and striking out the side.

Blue got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, as Barrett drew a walk to lead off and Kuhn singled with one out. Thomas then drove a breaking ball over the leftfield fence for a three-run homer, giving Blue a 3-0 lead.

Blue added to its lead in the bottom of the second, as Heady and Tipton each reached on fielding errors, moving up a base on Russell’s sacrifice bunt. Barrett then scored Heady with a ball chopped off the plate, with Heady coming to score on the fielder’s choice.

Black narrowed the lead in the top of the third inning, as Andrew Bryant led off with a walk and Tom belted a two-run homer over the right-field fence. Reida then pounded a double off the wall in the right-centerfield gap, scoring on Wilson’s RBI single through the left side.

In the top of the fourth inning, Arnold led off the frame with a single smashed up the middle, taking second on Marshall’s single pulled through the hole on the right side. With Troy Squires laying down a sacrifice bunt, Blue attempted to get Arnold as the lead runner at third, with the throw sailing into leftfield to allow Arnold to score the tying run.

Blue regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Heady drew a full-count walk, moving to scoring position on Tipton’s sacrifice bunt and taking third on a balk from Dwyer. With the infield in, Russell chopped a ball to shortstop with one out. Reida made a diving play to keep it in the infield, holding the runner at third. Barrett then beat out the back end of a double play to score Heady on a fielder’s choice. Cousino followed with a double off the short-porch wall in rightfield, scoring Barrett from first base.

In the top of the fifth inning, Black rallied to narrow the Blue advantage, as Tom led off reaching on an infield error. After a perfect Marcus Carson sacrifice bunt, Reed smashed a single down the rightfield line to score Tom from second base.

Blue got two runs back in the fifth, as Thomas and Thomas Bernal were hit by pitches to lead off the frame and after a pair of strikeouts, Tipton and Russell ripped two-out RBI singles up the middle.

The team will return to scrimmage action at approximately 1 p.m. ET on Saturday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

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