OXFORD, Miss. – For the second time in as many games, freshman right-hander Bobby Wahl came in and saved the game for the Rebels as Ole Miss (22-14, 7-7 SEC) defeated Kentucky (17-19, 2-12 SEC) by a score of 12-10 in a wild game that featured 28 hits and seven errors.
The Rebels scored in each of the first six innings, highlighted by three runs in the first inning and four runs in the fourth inning to take a 12-3 lead on the Wildcats. But Kentucky chipped away at the lead, pushing four runs across in the seventh and three in the eighth for the final 12-10 margin of victory.
With the win, the Rebels claimed the series with the Wildcats.
David Goforth (2-5) picked up the win as he worked 6.2 innings and allowed seven runs – six of them earned – on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Wahl picked up his second save of the season, working the ninth with two hits and a walk, but kept the Wildcats off the board as he got a bases loaded fly out from Chad Wright.
Corey Littrell (4-3) suffered the loss for Kentucky as he allowed nine runs – five of them earned – on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Littrell worked 3.1 innings for the Wildcats before leaving the game with the Rebels on top 9-1.
“This was a crazy, crazy game,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “You don’t expect to have a game that ends 12-10 and be talking about your closer, but Bobby Wahl has been phenomenal for us in that position. We knew it would happen eventually where he would pitch back-to-back days, and we were anxious to see how he would do. He had great command and came in and took care of business.
“The fact that we were up 12-3 and they were able to come so close to matching us wasn’t because of errors or mistakes, it was simply because they got good at-bats against our guys and were able to string together hits.”
Ole Miss pushed three runs across in the first inning starting with a fielder’s choice from Matt Tracy with the bases loaded that scored Blake Newalu. Two more runs scored on a fielding error at second on a grounder from Will Allen before Kentucky would get out of the inning.
The Rebels added single runs in the second and third innings around a single Wildcat run in the top of the third that came on a pair of errors that allowed Mike Kaczmarek to reach base before eventually scoring on an error.
Ole Miss pushed four runs across in the fourth inning, capped by a two-run shot from Matt Tracy in an inning that saw the Rebels send 10 men to the plate before a double play ended the rally with Ole Miss on top 9-1.
Kentucky pushed two more runs home in the fifth inning with a solo home run from Brian Adams and a groundout from Taylor Black that scored Wright from third. Wright had doubled before moving to third on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 9-3.
The Rebels answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth before adding a sixth run in the sixth inning that gave the home team the 12-3 lead.
Kentucky put together a rally in the seventh, using five hits and an error to score four runs before adding three more runs in the eighth to trim the lead to 12-10.
Wahl entered the game in the ninth to save the game for the Rebels notching two outs before Kentucky used back-to-back hits and a walk to load the bases. Wahl got the Rebels out of the jam and preserved the win for Ole Miss as he coaxed Wright into a flyout to left to end the game.
Ole Miss and Kentucky will play the final game of the series on Sunday with a first pitch at 1:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
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