LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Despite A.J. Reed cranking two homers to up his NCAA-leading total to 19, No. 12 Ole Miss plated 17 runs over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to post an 18-5 series-clinching win at No. 17 Kentucky, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (27-16, 9-11 Southeastern Conference) suffered the series loss with the setback, as the Rebels posted a 12-4 win on Friday night. UK jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Reed’s first homer of the game in the third inning, before Ole Miss plated four in the fifth inning. Reed then cut into the lead with a solo homer in the fifth inning, with Ole Miss responding with six runs – five unearned – in the sixth inning on four hits and a UK error. The Rebels then pounded out seven runs in the seventh inning off UK reliever Ryne Combs, who was able to just get one out in the inning.
The Wildcats were paced at the plate by Reed, who hit his 18th and 19th homers of the year. Reed now has 10 homers in SEC play and has homered in four consecutive league games twice in 2014. He now has five more homers than the next closest player in the nation and all 19 of his homers have come against weekend pitching.
UK also got a three-hit game from Ka’ai Tom and a two-hit game from Storm Wilson. UK also got singles from Matt Reida and Austin Cousino and a two-RBI double from Zach Arnold. Thomas Bernal extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a ninth-inning single.
UK starter Dylan Dwyer (5-2) worked over five innings, allowing six hits and six runs, walking two and striking out four. Dwyer was cruising through four innings before allowing the four go-ahead runs in the top of the fifth inning. After a single and a walk started the sixth inning, UK turned to junior righty Chandler Shepherd in relief, with Shepherd making his first relief appearance of the year in his first outing since March 29 at No. 5 Vanderbilt. Shepherd worked the sixth inning, allowing three hits and four unearned runs, walking one and striking out one. Combs took over to start the seventh inning, allowing six hits and seven runs while getting one out, walking a hitter. Zach Strecker worked the final 2.2 innings, allowing a run on one hit and two walks.
Ole Miss (32-12, 12-8 SEC) starter Christian Trent (6-0) picked up the win in his 11th start of the year. Trent worked six innings, allowing six hits and two runs, walking two and striking out four. Scott Weathersby worked the final three innings, allowing a run to pick up his first save of the year.
The series will conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the games live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Reed got UK on the board with a two-out solo homer, pulled down the rightfield line. It marked his NCAA-leading 18th homer of the year and his fourth straight SEC game with a home run, with this one hit into the teeth of a stiff wind blowing from rightfield to leftfield.
Sikes Orvis answered in the top of the fifth inning, taking the first pitch of the inning over the centerfield fence for his 11th home run of the year. With two outs, J.B. Woodman lofted a line drive into the wind in leftfield, sailing it on top of the fence and getting the bounce over the fence for his second homer of the year. Dwyer then walked Lee on a full-count pitch, with Lee stealing second and scoring on Austin Bousfield’s RBI double into the right-centerfield gap. After Bousfield took third on a wild pitch, Austin Anderson chopped a grounder to the right side, with the UK infield playing back on the grass, allowing Anderson to beat the glove flip at the base for an infield, two-out RBI knock.
Reed hit his second homer of the game and the 19th of the year with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, cutting the Ole Miss lead to 4-2.
Ole Miss answered in the top of the sixth inning, chasing Dwyer from the game. Brantley Bell led off the inning with a single and Orvis drew a walk to end the game for Dwyer. UK turned to Shepherd, who got a sacrifice bunt hit back to him, but slipped to load the bases with no outs on an error. Preston Overbey then drew a full-count walk, his fifth walk compared to 34 strikeouts, to force in a run. Woodman then hung a sacrifice fly to leftfield, scoring Orvis. After getting the second out, Bousfield hit his fifth homer of the year out to left-centerfield, a three-run shot, with Anderson following with a double to rightfield and Will Allen scoring him with a RBI single up the middle.
The Rebels scored again in the top of the seventh inning, as Combs walked Orvis to lead off the inning, with Robinson then singling through the right side. After Overbey grounded out to move the runners up a base, Orvis scored on a wild pitch. Woodman then singled up the middle to score Robinson with the infield in. Lee and Bousfield followed with singles and Anderson scored the duo with a single up the middle. Allen then hit a two-run homer over the left-centerfield fence.
Ole Miss scored in the eighth inning on a pair of two-out walks and an RBI single from Bousfield.
UK got three runs back in the ninth, as Dorian Hairston got to first on a fielder’s choice and Reed was hit by a pitch. Arnold then doubled then home with a liner into the gap. Bernal then scored Arnold with an RBI single to rightfield.