Rebels miss sweep with loss to Kentucky

By Ole Miss Media Relations

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tim Ferguson and Kevin Mort combined to go 5-for-9 with an RBI and two runs scored to help lead the Rebel offense, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an early deficit as No. 19 Ole Miss (15-5, 2-1 SEC) fell to No. 20 Kentucky (15-5, 1-2 SEC) by a score of 12-3 on Sunday.

With the loss, the Rebels missed out on a series sweep in the opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play, but picked up the series with a shutout win on Friday and a win on Saturday.

Matt Tracy (1-2) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he allowed six runs, five earned, on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Alex Meyer (4-2) picked up the win for Kentucky as he held the Rebels to three runs on seven hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work.

“We didn’t do well in any phase of the game today – we didn’t hit, pitch or field well,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “You have to credit Kentucky, though. They came out swinging today. I thought we had a shot after the first inning. Matt Tracy settled in some after the first and really competed.”

Kentucky got off to a fast start, using a three-run home run in the first inning to give the home team a 3-0 lead. With one out on the board, Andy Burns walked on four straight pitches and Chad Wright singled to left to get on base for the round-tripper from Braden Kapteyn.

The Wildcats added to the lead in the third on a wild play off an infield single from Cory Farris that put Kentucky up 4-0. With Chris Bisson on first, Farris singled through the right side on a ball that was stopped in the grass by Yarbrough. The freshman turned and threw to third in an attempt to catch Bisson advancing on the play, but the throw sailed wide allowing Bisson to score on the play. Farris attempted to stretch the hit and continued running to third, but was tagged out by a diving Mort who caught a throw from Miller and tagged Farris as the fielder and runner raced for the bag.

Kentucky continued to build on the lead in the fifth when Keenan Wiley came up with a three-run home run to push the advantage out to 7-0 on the Rebels. With two men on and two out, Ole Miss turned to the bullpen and reliever David Goforth to face Wiley. Wiley then took the second pitch over the fence in left field to extend the Kentucky lead.

Zach Miller got the Rebels on the board in the top of the sixth, coming up with an RBI-single through the left side that scored Tim Ferguson from third. Ferguson doubled off the wall in left center and stole third on a walk of Matt Snyder to get into position to score on the Miller hit.

The Wildcats loaded the bases in the sixth, using back-to-back singles and a walk that brought Bisson up to the plate. Bisson then singled through the right side, driving in two runs to put Kentucky on top 9-1. Kapteyn then hit his second home run of the day, another three-run shot, to put the Wildcats up 12-1 and send the Rebels to the bullpen again for Trent Rothlin.

Alex Yarbrough came up with an RBI single to center field in the seventh that pushed Mort home from second base to cut the lead to 12-2. Mort doubled before Tanner Mathis drew a walk that brought Yarbrough to the plate. Mathis then scored on a single to left from Ferguson that put the score at 12-3. Yarbrough was then picked off at second when Kentucky used the hidden ball trick with the second baseman, Bisson, to record the second out of the inning. Matt Snyder was then hit by a pitch and Kentucky went to the bullpen for reliever Matt Little.

The Wildcats got out of the inning with a groundout of Zach Miller to end the Rebel rally.

Ole Miss would not manage to push another run across the board as the Wildcats avoided a sweep at the hands of the Rebels with the Sunday win.

The Rebels will return to action on Tuesday when Ole Miss will take on Southern Miss at 6:30 p.m. at Trustmark Park in Pearl.