Reed homers for third straight game in 9-8 win over Florida

April 6, 2014 

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Max Kuhn hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth inning, and A.J. Reed homered for the third consecutive game to lead No. 19 Kentucky to a series-clinching 9-8 victory over No. 12 Florida at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Sunday.

The Wildcats scored 36 runs in the three-game series, their most ever against Florida and their most in a Southeastern Conference series in eight years.

"It was an unusual weekend there's no doubt about that," UK Coach Gary Henderson said.

Trailing by a run entering the sixth inning, Kentucky (22-10, 6-6 SEC) rallied for seven runs on eight hits to take a 9-3 lead.

UK didn't coast to victory, however. Florida (20-12, 7-5) responded with a five-run eighth inning against the Cats' normally reliable bullpen. Peter Alonso's three-run homer cut the deficit to one. After allowing the home run, UK reliever Spencer Jack combined with Kyle Cody to retire five of the last six Florida batters.

Kentucky improved to 7-4 against top-15 teams this season.

A big reason why is the hitting (and pitching) of Reed, who launched his SEC-leading 12th home run of the season in the third inning. Reed, the midseason national player of the year by Perfect Game USA, went 3-for-4 with a hit by pitch Sunday.

In the three-game series, Reed was 8-for-12 with three doubles and three home runs. He also pitched seven shutout innings in Friday's 17-1 win.

"The last couple of weeks I have kind of been pressing a bit and trying to do a little bit too much," Reed said. "I kind of went back to the approach of see the ball and hit it. Try not to make early decisions and take what they are giving me."

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior is batting .377 with 12 homers and eight doubles this season. He is slugging .781 with a .507 on-base percentage.

On the mound, Reed is 6-1 with a 1.93 ERA.

"It's unreal," Kuhn said of Reed. "Whether he's pitching, hitting, at first base, he does it all exceptionally well. Hitting, he is real fun to watch. He barrels everything up and doesn't get fooled."

Kyle Barrett and Thomas Bernal also had three hits for UK. Freshman JaVon Shelby and Micheal Thomas each had two hits.

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