Rebels’ offense turns it on to win series

OleMissLogoBy James Pennington

Special to the Journal

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Ole Miss center fielder Auston Bousfield headlined the No. 16 Rebel’s second offensive explosion in as many days, 5 of 6 with a home run and a double in a 18-5 win over No. 17 Kentucky. The win clinched the SEC series and made a statement along the way.

The Rebels scored six times in the sixth. They added seven more in the seventh, crossing home plate on a wild pitch, three run-scoring singles and an Austin Anderson two-run home run.

“It’s a very offensive park, but we didn’t start out well,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “We didn’t get any good swings off, but we showed some character down 1-0 when we put up a four-spot in the fifth. Then we just kept getting on the board.”

Ole Miss scored all 18 runs after the fourth inning.

First baseman Sikes Orvis led off the fifth with his 11th home run of the season. After Kentucky starter Dylan Dwyer retired the next two batters, J.B. Woodman hit an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left field to take a 2-1 lead. The Rebels added two more runs in the frame.

Onslaught begins

In the sixth, the Rebels loaded the bases for Preston Overbey, who walked on a 3-2 count. After Woodman brough home Orvis on a sacrifice fly and Braxton less was called out on strikes, Bousfield cleared the bases with his fifth homer of the year, a three-run shot to left-center for a 9-2 lead.

A.J. Reed hit two solo home runs for the Wildcats, extending his NCAA lead to 19. His first, which gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, took advantage of the 310-foot short porch in right field. His second was a no-doubter just right of the batter’s eye in center.

But those were the only runs Kentucky could muster against the Rebels until the bottom of the ninth. Trent pitched 6 innings, giving up six hits and two runs. He struck out four and walked two.

Bousfield said good hitting can be contagious, and he was happy to lead the way Saturday.

“We had a bunch of guys that had a bunch of hits today,” he said. “Just keep going down the line, and you’re going to find a bunch of guys who had good days offensively. I’m glad to be one of them, but everyone pitched in for the win.”

Ole Miss starter Christian Trent earned the victory.