LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Paced by strong pitching performances from A.J. Reed, Jerad Grundy Taylor Martin and Walter Wijas, the Blue team rallied from a series-opening defeat on Friday night to post a blanking of Black to claim the 2011 Kentucky baseball Fall World Series on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Blue team suffered a 12-11 loss to Black on Friday night in a game that saw a two-home run game from J.T. Riddle and homers from Luke Maile, Cole Evans and Max Kuhn. After the Black win on Friday, Blue came out and posted a strong pitching performance behind starters Reed and Grundy, with Wijas picking up a save with a dominating two frames of relief. Martin, a product of Lexington Catholic High School, tossed 2.1 innings shutout innings with only one hit allowed.
Blue was sparked offensively by Riddle, who batted 6-for-10 with two homers and a walk during the series. Blue’s team captain, Maile, belted two homers and finished the series with 5-for-8 with three walks. Austin Cousino finished the series 3-for-10 with a triple and double. Black was paced by interim player-manager Thomas McCarthy, who launched a homer in the opener, and Cameron Flynn, who went 3-for-4 in the opener.
In the opener, A.J. Reed started for Blue and he turned in a solid outing, tossing four shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk, striking out four. Through nine innings this fall, Reed has allowed only four hits in nine shutout frames. Freshman southpaw Sam Mahar started for Black vs. Reed and he went four frames, allowing three hits and two runs, walking two with four strikeouts.
Wijas relieved Reed in the top of the fifth and opened his outing by striking out the side, all looking. Freshman righty Spencer Drake took over for Mahar in the bottom of the fifth and got two outs with two hits and one strikeout, before Alex Phillips came on to get an out in a left-on-left matchup with Reed, getting the strikeout to get out of the jam. Reed recorded the win and Wijas picked up the save for Blue, tossing two perfect innings to close out the game, striking out five without allowing a baserunner.
Blue got on the board in the second inning of the opener Saturday, taking an early 2-0 lead. Paul McConkey reached on a fielding error at second base to lead off the frame, taking second on Steven Hoagland’s sacrifice bunt. Jeff Boehm’s groundout to second moved McConkey to third and Cole Evans ripped a double to centerfield to score McConkey. With Evans at second, J.T. Riddle smacked a single up the middle to score Evans just ahead of the tag and throw from centerfield.
In the finale, Blue opened up with a run in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. Thomas Bernal singled up the middle to lead off the frame and stole second base. Zac Zellars then smacked a single to the opposite field, scoring Bernal from second base.
Blue added to its lead in the top of the third inning, as Luke Maile belted a solo homer with two outs over the leftfield fence.
With one out on the top of the fourth inning, Bernal ripped his second single of the game up the middle, stealing second with Zellars at the plate. McConkey then ripped a double deep into the gap to score Bernal from second and make it 3-0 Blue. Steven Hoagland followed with a double painted down the line to plate McConkey for the final margin.
RIDDLE BELTS TWO HOMERS IN FALL WORLD SERIES OPENER
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Sophomore infielder J.T. Riddle
belted two homers and Cole Evans, Luke Maile
, Thomas McCarthy
and Max Kuhn each cranked a homer, highlighted a 12-11 win for Black over Blue in the opener of the Fall World Series on Friday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Black was led by McCarthy’s homer, part of a 1-for-2, two-walk game for the senior. Outfielder Cameron Flynn
, a native of Lexington, Ky., went 3-for-4 with two doubles, with Kuhn batting 2-for-4 with his solo homer. Black also got hits from Matt Reida
, Lucas Witt
, Michael Williams
and Tyler Raymond
Riddle highlighted the Blue’s offensive output, going 3-for-4 with two homers and a walk. Maile went 1-for-2 with his homer and two walks. Cousino added a 3-for-5 game with a triple and double, while Evans went 2-for-4 with the homer. Blue also got hits from A.J. Reed, Thomas Bernal
, Zac Zellars and Paul McConkey
The Blue team took a lead in the top of the first inning, as Riddle reached on a throwing error by freshman second baseman Max Kuhn. Luke Maile
then belted a two-run homer to give Blue an early 2-0 lead. Cousino, a first-team High School Baseball America All-America selection, then tripled and freshman infielder/catcher Thomas Bernal
doubled into the gap to score Cousino.
In the bottom of the first, sophomore infielder Matt Redia led off the frame with a double into the gap, swiping third base. Sophomore outfielder Lucas Witt
then notched an RBI groundout to force Reida home, reaching second on a throwing error by Steven Hoagland
. With Witt on second, McCarthy – a 2010 first-team All-Southeastern Conference third baseman – belted a two-run homer to even up the game 3-3.
Kuhn then belted a solo homer to give the Black team a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second. The frame also saw a gorgeous defensive play at second base by Riddle.
In the top of the third, Riddle and Maile led off the inning with back-to-back walks. Cousino then pelted a single off the 30-foot wall in rightfield, scoring Riddle and pushing Maile to second base and making it 4-4.
In the bottom of the third, Black loaded the bases with one out with walks from McCarthy and Michael Williams
and a single from Cameron Flynn
. Micheal Thomas
then hung a sacrifice fly to score McCarthy and give Black a 5-4 lead.
The two teams traded blows over the next six innings, with Riddle delivering two homers for the Blue squad and Cole Evans cranking a homer.