FINAL: Kentucky 2, Ole Miss 0
Cats didn't thow a weekend starter, beat the Rebels with their mid-level pitching. More after postgame.
You will occassionally hear a coach say an opposing pitcher was "locked in" after a sub-par offensive performance.
That wasn't what this was. A.J. Reed just threw strikes. The Rebels missed fastballs, couldn't string hits together and couldn't get big hits.
Both teams had only seven hits, but Kentucky managed two runs. One of Kentucky's hits was a home run by Reed. The Wildcats also managed two hits in an inning that included a walk.
The Rebels are hitting singles. The problem is they aren't getting enough power hits. If you're only going to hit singles you're going to have to hit three times in an inning to get one run. They're getting very few opportunities, and today they twice gave up outs in rundowns on the bases. Can't happen.
Take-away the rundowns, and who knows what might have happened in a 2-0 game? Pitching has been strong, and it was again today with a solid outing from Bobby Wahl, who went six innings, scattered six hits, walked two and struck out six.
The difference for the Wildcats is their hits against Wahl included one home run and one with a runner at third base. Ole Miss was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
The Rebel had seven hits today, but four of them were by Matt Snyder. That's good for Snyder, but it means there were only three hits the rest of the day.
The other hits came from Tanner Mathis, Auston Bousfield and Andrew Mistone. Mistone also had a play where he appeared to beat out and infield hit, but the first base umpire disagreed. Whether it was the right call or not I don't know, but calls like that just seem to go against you when you're struggling.
So the Rebels will be back in the 9:30 game tomorrow, which is OK for a guy like me, but bad news for the team, because it means their return trip to the SEC tournament after missing last year could be over before lunch on the second day.
Ole Miss will match up with either Mississippi State or Arkansas, and as I get ready to press enter here, it's looking like Arkansas, as MSU leads 3-0 in the top of the fifth.
The Rebels will start Mike Mayers in the second game.
Checking in from Regions Park. I'm an early morning guy, and I prefer driving early when there's less traffic in most spots. It was an uneventful trip over this morning, the best kind.
Traffic through Birmingham was manageable. Left at 5:30 and arrived the red light to turn into the Regions Park neighborhood at 7:48. From there, cars and busses were pouring into the neighborhood, not to get to the park but to get to Hoover High School.
Things are still being set up here, so I'll have lineups in a bit. Here's what Regions Park looks like for early risers. Those plate glass windows will slide open at game time. Until then, the goal is to let the AC work its magic for a time.
The Rebels' return to the SEC tournament begins in a little more than an hour. First pitch for Ole Miss and Kentucky is scheduled for 9:30.
CF Austin Cousino .330
3B Thomas McCarthy .300
1B Luke Maile .319
P A.J. Reed .295
C Michael Williams .297
RF Cameron Flynn .284
2B JT Riddle .286
LF Zac Zellers .287
SS Matt Reida .245
LHP Reed 4-2, 3.00, 39 IP, 6 BB, 40 SO, .278 Opp BA
LF Tanner Mathis .350
2B Alex Yarbrough .386
1B Matt Snyder .327
C Will Allen .311
CF Auston Bousfield .282
DH John Gatlin .282
RF Preston Overbey .268
3B Andrew Mistone .233
SS Blake Newalu .360
RHP Bobby Wahl 6-2, 2.20, 81.2 IP, 29 BB, 84 SO, .207 Opp BA