Ole Miss beats Kentucky 12-4 in series opener

mmaloney@herald-leader.comApril 25, 2014 

  • Mississippi at Kentucky

    When: 1 p.m. Saturday, April 26

    Radio: WLAP-AM 630

This isn't how Kentucky wanted to open a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

No. 12 Ole Miss thumped the 17th-ranked Wildcats 12-4 Friday.

In a meeting of the top two offensive teams in the SEC, Ole Miss (31-12, 11-8 SEC) bolted to a 10-0 lead and cruised the rest of the way.

Kentucky (27-15, 9-10) got an NCAA-leading 17th home run from A.J. Reed and a ninth-inning homer by Storm Wilson. Thomas Bernal had a double and a pair of singles while extending his hitting streak to 14 games.

Ole Miss right-hander Chris Ellis (6-0), a junior from Birmingham, Ala., held UK to two runs on five hits over seven innings. He struck out five and walked three before turning things over to Matt Denny.

"We didn't play very well, obviously," UK Coach Gary Henderson said. "And we didn't do anything well enough to win the game."

Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead when Sikes Orvis led off the second inning with a home run off the center-field scoreboard. The homer was his 10th, which ranks second in the SEC to UK pitcher Reed (7-2).

An inning later, the Rebels' Braxton Lee reached on a fielding error by shortstop Matt Reida.

Auston Bousfield then brought Lee home with a double to left-center.

A groundout moved Bousfield to third, and he scored on Will Allen's single to center to make it 3-0 for Ole Miss.

Alen finished with three of the Rebels' 15 hits.

Another single and a strikeout left it for Errol Robinson to single in the third run of the inning.

Two more scored on Preston Overbey's double to the center-field wall, and Overbey scored on Will Jamison's single to make it 7-0.

"Tonight was (Reed's) 11th start," Henderson said. "The first 10, probably had seven really good ones and three outstanding; something like that. Then tonight wasn't. Left some balls up. Obviously we gave them an extra out, but we should have been able to get out of the inning much quicker than we did. Late in the inning, we left some balls up, they hit it in the gap, they did a nice job early in the inning fighting off some two-strike pitches, pitch total got up, made some mistakes and paid for it."

Sam Mahar came on in relief of Reed to open the fourth inning.

"I left some balls up. They had a couple bloopers and I just didn't have my stuff today," Reed said. "Sometimes that happens and you've got to be able to respond well, and I just didn't do it tonight."

The Rebels got to Mahar in the sixth.

Bousfield laced a one-out single, moved up via a walk and wild pitch and scored on Allen's bloop single to center.

Orvis later singled in a pair of runs to make it 10-0. Taylor Martin took over from Mahar and got out of the inning with no further damage.

UK finally got on the board in the sixth.

Reed, who stayed in the game as the DH, stroked a two-run home run to right field to make it 10-2.

The Rebels weren't done, though, getting an RBI single by Robinson in the ninth. Another scored when Matt Snyder uncorked a wild pitch to make it 12-2.

In the bottom of the ninth, Bernal got his third hit of the game, then scored on Wilson's second homer of the season.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com

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