News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

May 2, 2014

Reed connects for 20th homer

LEXINGTON, KY. — A.J. Reed worked eight, one-run innings on the mound and hit his NCAA-leading 20th home run of the year, with No. 25 Kentucky also getting homers from Storm Wilson, Matt Reida and Ka’ai Tom in a 15-1 rout of Tennessee, on Thursday night in front of 1,894 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Kentucky (28-17, 10-12 Southeastern Conference) posted a series-opening rout over the Volunteers on ESPNU’s Thursday Night SEC Game of the Week. The Wildcats busted open a 1-1 game with a six-run third inning, before plating two in the seventh and three runs in each the eighth and ninth innings.

UK was led by Reed, who worked eight innings on the mound while also belting his nation-leading 20th homer of the year. Reed, a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, was walked on four pitches twice in his first three at-bats, before cranking a monster, three-run homer over the 40-foot batter’s eye in dead centerfield in the eighth inning.

A native of Terre Haute, Reed (8-2) allowed just three hits and one run, walking four and striking out nine. He finished his outing retiring nine straight hitters. Reed worked his ninth quality start in 12 outings in 2014 and the 18th of his career. Reed has worked at least seven innings in nine of his starts in 2014.

Reed has now hit .373 in 2014, with 12 doubles, one triple, 20 homers and 62 RBI, owning a .819 slugging and a .498 on-base percentage. On the mound, Reed made his 26th consecutive weekend opening start, lowering his ERA to 2.20 in 82 innings, striking out 58.

Reed became the eighth player in UK history to hit 20 or more homers and the first since 2006 SEC Player of the Year Ryan Strieby hit 20 during UK’s league championship run. The midseason national player of the year by Perfect Game, Reed now has 37 homers and 157 RBI in his three-year career to rank tied for third in UK career history in both categories. In his pitching career, Reed has a 15-13 record and a 2.97 ERA — the fourth-best ERA in school history — in 218 innings, striking out 161.

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