OXFORD, Miss. – Brett Huber picked up his second relief win and freshman Bobby Wahl grabbed his first career save as Ole Miss (21-14, 6-7 SEC) rallied late and held on to down Kentucky (17-18, 2-11 SEC) by a score of 3-2 in the series opener.
Huber (2-0) entered the game with the score tied at one in the eighth and a man on second with one out before getting a strikeout and a pop out to get the Rebels out of the inning. Ole Miss then rallied to score two runs in the bottom of the frame before Wahl entered in the ninth and kept the Rebels in front to claim the save.
Huber worked 0.2 innings with a strikeout, while Wahl allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout in the ninth. Matt Crouse worked 6.0 innings in the start and allowed one run on six hits with two walks and a strikeout.
“This was a great college baseball game,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It was hard fought all the way through, and the score shows how much we had to battle to win. Bobby came in and was terrific on the mound for us. We are excited that he’s back in the rotation and had success tonight. Alex Meyer for Kentucky was dominant as well, but we were able to get to him. Blake Newalu’s hit with two strikes showed a lot of heart. We challenged the guys before the game to step up and be a hero and he certainly was tonight.”
Kentucky scored first, using a solo home run from Michael Williams in the third inning to get on the board.
The Rebels answered in the sixth inning when Newalu scored from third on a fielding error at third on a pop fly from Matt Snyder. Newalu singled to open the inning and moved to second on a sac bunt from Alex Yarbrough. He scored on the dropped fly ball from Snyder to get the Rebels on the board and tie the game at one.
Ole Miss moved into the lead in the eighth when Newalu scored for the second time on the night on a single to center field from Matt Tracy. Newalu doubled to open the inning before a Matt Smith walk put two men on base. The Tracy hit gave the Rebels the lead before Ole Miss put in a pair of pinch runners with Jordan King running for Smith and Austin Anderson coming in for Tracy. Pinch hitter Will Allen then laced a single through the left side, driving in King to give the Rebels the 3-1 lead before Kentucky would get out of the inning.
The Wildcats mounted a rally in the ninth, using a two-out chop hit from Brian Adams to put a man on base. He moved to third on a J.T. Riddle single and then scored on a single from Chad Wright to cut the lead to 3-2. Wahl got a fly out to left from Taylor Black for the final out and gave the Rebels the series opening win.
Ole Miss and Kentucky will play the second game of the series at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon following the Grove Bowl.
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