Kentucky's hoped-for run in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament came to an abrupt end Tuesday — and likely, so did the Wildcats' season.
No. 21 Ole Miss whipped UK 4-1 in the tourney opener at the Hoover (Ala.) Met.
Kentucky (30-25) knew coming in that it needed to make a deep run in, if not win, the tourney in order to get an NCAA post-season bid.
Once ranked as high as No. 7 in the country, Kentucky is now 30-25.
The Cats scored their only run in the fourth inning, thanks to a throwing error on a delayed-steal play, to cut the Rebels' lead to 2-1.
UK's best chance after that came when it loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, only to come away empty.
Ole Miss (37-20) advances to face Arkansas as play moves to a double-elimination format Wednesday.
The Rebels scored single runs in the first and third innings.
In the first, Austin Anderson singled to right and advanced to third on Stuart Turner's base hit.
Andrew Mistone's sacrifice fly to right scored Anderson.
Third-inning doubles by Christian Helsel and Anderson made it 2-0.
Zac Zellers ripped a one-out double to right-center to get UK started in the fourth.
He advanced to third on A.J. Reed's groundout to second.
Austin Cousino walked and stole second. The throw by catcher Turner was off the mark, allowing Zellers to come in with an unearned run.
Ole Miss added two runs in the sixth.
Mistone doubled down the left-field line and scored on Auston Bousfield's base hit to right.
Bousfield moved to third on another base hit and scored on Will Allen's single up the middle.
Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers (5-5) went 61⁄3 innings, allowing six hits and an unearned run, striking out four and walking one. Jeremy Massie worked 12⁄3 shutout innings, and Tanner Bailey notched a save with three outs in the ninth.
Wildcats senior Jerad Grundy (6-6) worked 52⁄3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits, striking out one and walking none. Sophomore Chandler Shepherd finished.
Matt Reida and Zack Storm each had two of UK's eight hits. Reida extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games.