Thomas Bernal Tabbed Preseason All-SEC
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky fifth-year senior infielder Thomas Bernal has been named preseason All-Southeastern Conference by Perfect Game, it was announced.
A native of Paso Robles, Calif., Bernal was tabbed the preseason All-SEC third baseman by Perfect Game USA. A six-foot, 210-pound corner infielder, Bernal had a breakout season in 2014 as UK’s everyday first baseman. With the departure of second-team All-SEC third sacker Max Kuhn to the MLB Draft, Bernal will have the ability to slide across the diamond and fill the third-base void.
Bernal played in 54 games with 51 starts as a junior, hitting .305 (62-for-203) with nine doubles, one homer and 32 RBI. For the third consecutive year, Bernal has hit better in SEC play, sporting a .348 (39-for-112) average in league play, with five doubles and a .398 on-base percentage.
In his career, Bernal has a .355 average in SEC play, with a .409 on-base percentage. Overall in his career, Bernal has charted a .314 average, with 12 doubles, one homer and 41 RBI.
Kentucky also returns 2014 first-team All-SEC outfielder Ka’ai Tom, who narrowly missed the league game batting crown in his NCAA debut season. Tom was voted to the first team by the SEC coaches in 2014 after hitting .328 with 13 doubles, three homers and 41 RBI, stealing 14-of-18 bases. In SEC play, Tom ranked second in average, with a .373 average, with a .500 slugging and a .439 on-base percentage.
Kentucky will open its 2015 season on Feb. 13 vs. Ball State in Wilmington, N.C., with first pitch slated for 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the UK Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel voicing the action.