The Ole Miss Rebels (39-13. 17-10) broke out of an early 5-0 hole to complete a sweep of the Bat Cats (29-23, 13-14). UK’s 7-5 loss was just the latest in a string of blown early innings leads for Gary Henderson’s team, and now their NCAA Tournament chances are dwindling by the day.
However, it was good times when a Tristan Pompey homer gave Kentuck a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning. JaVon Shelby kept the party going the next inning when he launched the ball over the left field fence with two runners on base.
The early barrage of five runs on six hits was enough Ole Miss starter James McArthur to get the early hook. Brady Feigl, Wyatt Short, and Will Stokes then formed a relief trio that vexed the Wildcats’ bats for the rest of the game. Feigl pitched 3.and ⅓, allowed only two hits and fanned five. Short’s 1 and ⅔ yielded a steady rhythm to the tune of two hits, a walk and K. Stokes worked the rest of the game and struck out three and walked one. None of them allowed a single run.
Meanwhile, the wheels fell of Kentucky’ wagon. Starter Kyle Cody gave up a solo homer in the 4th and the 5th a pair of errors by his teammates led to two more Rebel runs, cutting the lead to 5-3.
Cody managed to stave off the bleeding long enough to retire Ole Miss in the 6th and get the first two outs of the 7th. He went to the bench soon after with a seven hit, seven strikeout and one walk day.
Logan Salow finished the inning, but Ole Miss scored another run due to Kentucky’s third fielding error of the day.
Still, despite the rally, Kentucky entered the bottom of the 9th inning with a 5-4 lead. Sean Hjelle came out of the pen hoping to close the Rebels out. He retired the first batter and then proceeded to give up a double and a walk to put the winning run at the plate. The Rebel’s Henri Lartigue worked a 1-1 count and then pulverized the ball over the right field fence for the game-winning dinger.
Riley Mahan and Tristan Pompey were the only Wildcats to finish with two hits.
Kentucky will face Murray State on the road Tuesday with hopes of reversing their four-game skid before closing the week with a home series against Missouri.