LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In the opener of the fall baseball practice season, Kentucky saw home runs from Austin Cousino and Micheal Thomas and the return to the mound of sophomore southpaw Sam Mahar for two dominant innings, on a picture-perfect Friday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Blue posted a 3-1 win over the Black team in a six-inning scrimmage, with Blue getting single runs in the first, fifth and sixth innings. Black got a run in the fourth on Cousino’s monster homer.
The Black team started junior right-hander Andrew Nelson, a native of Omaha, Neb., and a product of Cuesta College. Nelson worked two innings, allowing three hits – all in the first inning – and one run, striking out three. Freshman lefty Logan Salow took over in the third, working two scoreless innings with a hit and two walks allowed, striking out one. Freshman right-hander Trace Vorbeck worked two frames, allowing four hits and two runs, walking one.
The Blue team started junior righty Chandler Shepherd, who worked two shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two. Sophomore lefty Dylan Dwyer worked the third and fourth innings, allowing one hit – a Cousino homer – walking one and striking out two. A native of Kenosha, Wis., Mahar returned after sitting out due to injury in 2013 with a perfect fifth inning, needing under 10 pitches and striking out his final hitter of the fifth. Mahar worked two combined, hitless innings, striking out four.
Offensively, Blue got a 2-for-3 game from Thomas, with Matt Reida, Zach Arnold, Marcus Carson and Connor Heady each notching hits, with Carson and Heady adding RBI. Blue also got a 2-for-2 game from freshman outfielder Storm Wilson, who also stole a base.
Black was led at the plate by the homer from Cousino, who stole a base and was hit by a pitch. Max Kuhn also added a single in the second inning. A.J. Reed drew a pair of walks.
Blue got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, as Reida led off the inning with a single, taking third on Thomas’ single. After strikeouts to Reed and Arnold, Carson smacked a single into the hole on the right side, with second baseman Kyle Barrett making a sliding play to keep it shallow in the outfield, getting Thomas at third base for the final out of the frame.
Black evened up the game with the first pitch in the top of the fourth inning, as Cousino smacked a homer over the 30-foot wall in rightfield.
In the bottom of the fifth, Blue took a 2-1 lead with a two-out, solo homer from Thomas, who drilled the seventh pitch of his at bat over the leftfield fence.
Blue got a run in the bottom of the sixth, as Wilson reached on an infield single with one out, taking second on a wild pitch and scoring on Heady’s RBI single up the middle.