By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
HOOVER, Ala. – Kentucky, batting a collective .256 at the close of the regular season, got a single to lead off the game from Kyle Barrett.
Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers made sure there were few offensive highlights for the Wildcats after that.
Mayers scattered six hits, only one of them for extra bases, then told media that too much is made of a lengthy rest between starts.
Mayers had five days between starts – instead of the regular seven – before shutting down the Wildcats in an SEC tournament elimination game.
“I felt fine. I think people make a big deal about short rest. You grew up and nobody ever cared about rest, and the big-leaguers do it for 200-plus innings,” said Mayers, a junior from Grove City, Ohio, who will likely have a career decision to make after the coming June draft.
Pitching on five days’ rest last week at LSU, Mayers gave up seven hits – three doubles and three home runs – over six innings in a 7-1 Tigers win.
Pleased with hitting
Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco was pleased with his team’s hitting.
The Rebels had 11 hits, nine of them against Kentucky starter Jerad Grundy, who hung in the game for 5.2 innings because he walked no batters.
“It was good to watch guys continue to swing coming off the last two games at LSU where we swung pretty well,” Bianco said.
Four of the Rebels’ hits were doubles.
Ole Miss had 11 hits in the LSU series opener but managed just one run. The Rebels had seven hits in a 5-4 loss and 14 hits in an 11-9 win.
Arkansas led the SEC in pitching this regular season with a 1.90 team ERA.
The Razorbacks will keep their regular rotation for the SEC tournament. That means Ole Miss will face Razorbacks right-hander Barrett Astin (4-4, 2.02) at 9:30 this morning.
Astin pitched in relief against Ole Miss in Fayetteville, giving up a run and four hits over 2.2 innings. The Rebels on the series 2-1 on the opening weekend.
Bianco has not named a starter.