Mississippi beat Kentucky every which way it could Saturday. The 12th-ranked Rebels clinched a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series by thrashing the No. 17 Wildcats 18-5 at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
"A loss is a loss," UK Coach Gary Henderson said. "Obviously (these type of games) are tough. But at the end of the day you're oh-and-two and you've got to win a ball game on Sunday."
Every starter scored at least once for Ole Miss (32-12, 12-8 SEC). The Rebels had four home runs among their 17 hits.
No. 2 batter Auston Bousfield finished 5-for-6 with six RBI and three runs.
Kentucky had slivers of silver in its dark cloud — A.J. Reed belted his NCAA-leading 18th and 19th homers; Ka'ai Tom had three hits; and earlier in the day volunteer coach/catching coordinator Keith Verhoff became a father of a baby boy.
Pretty much everything else went against the Wildcats (27-16, 9-11).
"The last four games, our starting pitching's gone four, three, three and five (innings), and that had been a real strength of what we've done through the first 38 games — starting pitching's been pretty solid," Henderson said. "So we've had four short outings in a row. I think that obviously has a cumulative effect and we've got to get back to getting longer, more productive outings out of our starting pitching. We've also got to score earlier in the game. ... I think three of the games we got two runs through eight. So it's not just one thing or one person. Any time you go through stretches like this, there's multiple things that can tax you a little bit and obviously we've got to get back to taking care of the things we were good at through 38 games. And we will. There's lots of baseball to be played."
UK actually took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, when Reed banged his first homer of the game over the right-field wall.
"He's seeing it well and putting good swings on it," Henderson said of Reed.
Cats left-hander Dylan Dwyer blanked Ole Miss on one hit through four innings, but found trouble in the fifth.
"Dwyer was very good through four and the game got going pretty fast for him in the fifth inning," Henderson said. "He had a good rhythm going through four and they hit the two home run balls, and we were still good. Then he made a really poor pitch after the mound visit that cost us two more. And by that point, the pitch total got up to 25 for the inning and then that was it."
Sikes Orvis led off with his 11th homer of the season, to straightaway center.
Two outs later, J.B. Woodman hit a solo shot that bounced off the top of the left-field wall, his second round-tripper of the year.
Then came a walk, an RBI double by Bousfield and a run-scoring single by Austin Anderson for a 4-1 Ole Miss lead.
Reed cut the deficit by one in the bottom of the inning, banging a homer to the deck in right center.
Reed's homers were the only runs allowed by Christian Trent (6-0) in six innings of work.
For the second day in a row, Ole Miss blew the game open with a six-running inning, this time in the sixth.
A single and walk knocked out Dwyer in favor of Chandler Shepherd.
The new pitcher's error loaded the bases.
One run scored on a walk, another on a sacrifice fly. Then Bousfield crashed a three-run homer. Will Allen later singled in the sixth run of the frame.
The Rebels made it ridiculous with a seven-run seventh inning that included a two-run blast by Allen, then added a run in the eighth.
UK scored three in the ninth, as Zach Arnold doubled in two, then scored on Thomas Bernal's base hit. That extended Bernal's hitting streak to 15 games.
The Cats will try to avoid being swept Sunday, with start time set for 1 p.m.
■ UK football coach Mark Stoops threw the ceremonial first pitch, a strike.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.