Four-Run Sixth Leads Black Team to Opening Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A four-run sixth inning, highlighted by run-scoring hits from Zach Reks, Marcus Carson and Riley Mahan, lifted the Black team to an 8-4 win over Blue in the first game of a three-game Kentucky baseball Fall World Series, on Friday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The two teams traded four-run innings to open the game in the first and second, before Black broke open the 4-4 game with a four spot in the sixth. Consecutive hits from Reks, Carson and Mahan scored the four runs in the sixth for the final margin, with Carson’s two-out, two-RBI triple serving as the big blow.
Offensively, Evan White went 3-for-3 to highlight the scrimmage, with Mahan and Josh Smith each charting two hits. Carson, Reks and Trey Miller each had hits for Black, with Miller’s single to lead off the sixth starting the big inning. Blue got a RBI triple from Connor Heady, with Luke Becker, Gunnar McNeill and Marshall Gei each adding hits.
Black starter Brad Schaenzer worked three frames, allowing five hits and four runs, walking two on 61 pitches. Freshman southpaw Jared Proctor (0-1) started the fourth on the mound, tossing a pair of shutout innings before allowing four runs on four hits in the sixth inning to suffer the loss. Robert Zeigler was called on to escape the sixth inning, getting a grounder end the frame.
Blue starter Dylan Dwyer worked three innings, allowing two hits and four unearned runs, walking five and striking out three. Freshman righty Austin Keen (1-0) took over for Blue to open the fourth inning, earning the win with four-shutout, one-hit innings, striking out two in a strong performance.
The series will resume on Saturday with the second of the three-game series at 12 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Black jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, as Mahan reached on a 1-2 single up the middle. After a throw pulled Blue’s first baseman off the base, it allowed McNeill to reach base safely on an appeal. Miller then toughed out a walk to load the bases, bringing up Troy Squires, who drew a bases-loaded, full-count walk to force in the first run. McNeill then scored on a wild pitch for the second run. Smith followed with a single up the middle, scoring a pair and giving Black a 4-0 lead.
Blue evened the game in the bottom of the second inning, starting when Tyler Marshall was plunked by a pitch. Becker followed with a single to leftfield to put runners on the corners. After a foul-out, Gei doubled down the leftfield line to score a pair and make it 4-2. Heady then scored Gei with a triple off the wall in rightfield and White evened up the game with a first-pitch rocket single to rightfield.
In the sixth inning, Black rallied to take a lead. Miller led off the inning with a single up the middle, taking second on a sacrifice bunt from Squires. After pitching around Smith, Reks smashed a single up the middle to score Miller, just under the tag at the plate, and give Black a 5-4 lead. Carson then ripped a triple into the left-centerfield gap, scoring Reks and Smith and giving UK a 7-4 lead. Mahan then laced a single to leftfield, scoring Carson for a four-run lead.