LEXINGTON, Ky. -- No. 12 Ole Miss scored in seven of the first eight innings of the game to post a 9-6 win over No. 17 Kentucky to sweep the series, on a perfect Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (27-17, 9-12 Southeastern Conference) and Ole Miss battled in a back-and-forth game on Sunday that saw the game tied or the lead change hands six times in the first six innings. After UK took a 4-1 lead after two innings, the Rebels outscored UK, 8-2, over the third through eight innings, scoring in each inning of the first eight innings of the game but the first.
UK will return to action on Thursday, traveling to face Tennessee at 7:30 p.m. ET at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Wildcats totaled 12 hits in the game, led by three-hit days from Ka’ai Tom and JaVon Shelby. UK also got a two-hit game from Storm Wilson, with Austin Cousino, Max Kuhn, A.J. Reed and Matt Reida each recording hits. Wilson hit his third homer of the year and his second of the weekend. Reed finished with two walks in the game, with his single coming as an opposite-field line drive to beat the right-side shift.
Kentucky starter Andrew Nelson worked four innings, allowing six hits and four runs – three earned – walking one and striking out one. Sophomore Kyle Cody took over to start the fifth inning, working 1.2 innings, allowing three hits and three runs, walking two and striking out one. With two runners on and two outs in the sixth inning, UK turned to lefty Logan Salow, who got out of the inning. Salow (2-2) suffered the loss, working 1.1 innings, allowing six hits and three runs – two earned. Spencer Jack and Zack Brown combined to work the final two innings, with Jack working 1.2 innings.
Ole Miss (33-12, 13-8 SEC) starter Sam Smith worked 2.2 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs, walking two and striking out two. It marked the first time in nine starts that Smith did not work a quality start (six innings with three earned runs or less). Senior Aaron Greenwood took over with two outs in the third inning, working 2.1 innings, allowing three hits and two runs – one earned – walking one. Lefty Jeremy Massie (3-2) started the sixth inning, picking up his third win of the year. Massie worked four shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out three.
The Wildcats took the lead with two, two-out runs in the bottom of the first inning. Cousino led off with a single up the middle on the first pitch, with Kuhn replacing him at first on a fielder’s choice. Reed then drew a walk, with Thomas pushing the runners up a base with a grounder to the right side. Tom followed and worked the count full, before smashing a towering double off the base of the 30-foot wall in rightfield, scoring Kuhn and Reed.
Ole Miss immediately answered as Sikes Orvis led off with a double off the wall in rightfield, his 10th double of the year. After a pair of outs, Preston Overbey singled into left-centerfield to score Orvis and cut the UK lead to 2-1.
UK got the run back in the bottom of the second inning, as Wilson led off the frame with a solo homer over the rightfield fence, his third homer of the year and second of the weekend. Shelby then singled to left-centerfield with one out, taking second on a wild pitch and scoring on Kuhn’s two-out RBI single through the left side.
The Rebels answered again in the top of the third inning, as Bousfield doubled into the gap with one out, scoring on Will Allen’s two-run homer over the rightfield fence, his seventh of the year.
Ole Miss tied up the game in the top of the fourth inning, as J.B. Woodman led off the inning with a single to centerfield. After a failed pickoff allowed him to take second and a grounder pushed him to third base, Overbey grounded out up the middle to tie the game at 4-4.
Kentucky answered in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead. Kuhn led off with a well-worked, full-count walk. Reed then lined a single over the head of the third baseman into leftfield, with Ole Miss playing a shift that allowed Kuhn to motor to third with no outs, with no defenders there to cover the bag. Thomas followed with a hard-hit sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Kuhn.
Ole Miss evened up the game in the top of the fifth inning, as Bousfield was hit by a one-out pitch to start a rally. After the second out, Allen singled up the middle with Bousfield running on the pitch. UK’s outfield then elected to throw the ball to first base, with Bousfield taking advantage of the mental error to score from first base on a two-out single that bounced on the infield grass and into the outfield.
UK regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Wilson led off the inning with a hard-hit grounder to the right side, with the ball skidding off the glove of Overbey as he ranged to his left. Wilson then motored to third base on Shelby’s single into the right-centerfield gap, bringing up Cousino with runners on the corners and one out. Cousino then chopped a grounder to the right side to score Wilson and give UK a 6-5 lead.
Ole Miss tied the game in the top of the sixth inning, as Errol Robinson singled up the middle on a full count with two outs. Braxton Lee then doubled into the right-centerfield gap, scoring Robinson from first base.
The Rebels scored again in the seventh to take the lead. Allen led off the inning with a double down the line, taking third on a wild pitch and scoring on a sac fly from Orvis. J.B. Woodman then singled through the left side and Brantley Bell followed with a single. After Reida got the second out at the plate, Salow induced a slow roller in in the infield, with the throw sailing high to pull Bernal off the bag for an error, allowing the Rebels to take an 8-6 lead.
Ole Miss added two its lead in the top of the eighth inning, as Bousfield doubled off the monster in rightfield, scoring on Austin Anderson’s RBI single up the middle.