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April 19, 2014

Metro roundup: Reed connects for 15th home run on four-hit day

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed and Kentucky baseball teammate Max Kuhn each had four hits and a home run to lead the No. 19-ranked Wildcats to a series-clinching 11-4 win at Southeastern Conference foe Texas A&M on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in front of 5,311 fans at Blue Bell Park.

Kentucky (26-13, 9-8 SEC) clinched the series victory at Texas A&M with the win, a day after posting a 6-3 victory in the opener Friday night.

Reed’s roundtripper was his nation-leading 15th of the season. He finished 4 for 6 with a double off the right-field wall and four runs batted in. Kuhn went 4 for 6 with a two-run homer in the ninth and doubles down the left-and right-field lines.

For the season, Reed is hitting .375 (54 for 144) with 11 doubles, one triple, 15 homers and 52 RBI while owning a .778 slugging percentage and a .494 on-base mark.

Texas A&M is now 23-17 and 7-10 respectively.

The series will conclude at 1:05 p.m. EDT today at Blue Bell Park.

In other college baseball Saturday:

Rose swept — At Art Nehf Field, Earlham relied on two strong complete-game pitching performances to top Rose-Hulman 2-1 and 3-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action.

Matt Brankle tossed a four-hitter with nine strikeouts in the opener for the Quakers and Zach Lee scattered seven hits with three strikeouts in the nightcap.

Rose also had strong pitching performances in the doubleheader. Karson Nixon allowed just two runs in eight innings in the opener and Andrew Stull tossed six innings and held Earlham to three runs in the nightcap.

Two senior relief pitchers also made their presence felt during the final home contests of the season. Michael Bush tossed a scoreless ninth in Game 1 and senior Kevin Farley threw three scoreless frames in the second game.

Earlham scored twice in the first inning in Game 1, then held on for the 2-1 win. Ryan McCray had an RBI single and Ted Williams brought home the second run on an RBI groundout later in the inning.

Rose-Hulman scored once on a double by sophomore Kody Alayon and an RBI groundout by senior Andrew Benitez. Alayon led the Game 1 offense with two hits, while Benitez and senior Hank Akard had one hit each.

In the nightcap, Earlham scored three times in the fifth inning to turn a 1-0 deficit into an eventual 3-1 win. Ted Williams had two hits and one RBI to lead a balanced Quaker offensive attack.

Nevin Fansher had two hits and scored once, while Alayon had a double and an RBI to lead the Rose offense.

The Engineers also celebrated Senior Day for five members of the squad at Saturday’s games. Honorees included Akard, Benitez, Bush, Farley and pitcher Chris Erickson.

Rose-Hulman (17-12 overall, 11-7 HCAC) will return to action Tuesday at Anderson. Earlham improved to 18-13 and 10-8 respectively.

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Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Run saver: Rex right fielder Zach Welz grabs a long fly ball, saving two Slider runds from scoring in first inning action Friday evening at Bob Warn Field.

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Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterLeader: Tom Jones is leading going into Sunday's final round of the Men's City Championship at Hulman Links on Sunday.

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Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Full speed: Indiana State quarterback Mike Perish finds an open receiver to throw to during the Sycamores' first practice of the season on Friday at Memorial Stadium.

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SPT080114 rex welz.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Run saver: Rex right fielder Zach Welz grabs a long fly ball, saving two Slider runds from scoring in first inning action Friday evening at Bob Warn Field.

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Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Waiting: Bryan Clauson sits in his sprint car, waiting his turn to qualify at the Terre Haute Action Track for the Don Smith Classic.

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