OXFORD, Miss. – Just like the previous two nights it came down to holding the Wildcats off late, but this time the Rebels had to put together a rally of their own to go back in front in the seventh as Ole Miss (23-14, 8-7 SEC) swept Kentucky (17-20, 2-13 SEC) with a 6-5 win on Sunday.
The Rebels downed the Wildcats 3-2 on Friday night and 12-10 on Saturday to post the first SEC sweep of the season. It also marked the first SEC home sweep for the Rebels since taking all three games from fifth-ranked LSU the final weekend of April in 2010.
Eric Callender (1-0) picked up his first win of the season in relief as he allowed three runs on three hits with a strikeout in 2.0 innings of work. The senior gave up the go-ahead runs in the sixth inning, but shut Kentucky down after that to allow his team the chance to rally for the win.
Brett Huber picked up his fourth save of the season, allowing only one hit with a walk and a strikeout in the final 2.0 innings of work.
Braden Kapteyn (0-2) suffered the loss in relief for Kentucky as he allowed three runs on two hits with two walks and a strikeout in 0.2 innings of work. He entered the game with Kentucky holding a 5-3 lead in the sixth before giving up the three runs in the seventh that put Ole Miss back on top for good.
“This was just like the previous two games - hard fought,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I was really proud of how all weekend our guys handled adversity when it presented itself and were able to come back from behind today and get the win.
“Huber was terrific on the mound and commanded the end of the game. Though we gave up five runs to them in the sixth, Eric Callender gave us a boost by getting one-two-three in the next inning. That was a good momentum shift that allowed our hitters to get going in the bottom of the seventh to put them away. This sweep gives us a lift going into the week ahead to play Mississippi State in what will be an extremely tough game. Overall, I’m just proud of our guys.”
Ole Miss plated single runs in each of the first three innings, using a solo home run from Alex Yarbrough in the first and a solo shot from Will Allen in the second to go up 2-0. The Rebels then got a third run in the third inning when Matt Tracy singled to right field to score Blake Newalu from second.
Kentucky struck back in the sixth, moving on top with a five run inning that was capped by a two run shot to left field from Kapteyn. Back-to-back singles opened the inning with a fielding error on a single to left allowing the first run to score with one out and leave two men in scoring position. A goundout to second drove a second run home before a fourth single in the inning tied the game at three. Kapteyn then hit his two-run shot to put Kentucky on top.
Ole Miss rallied in the seventh after Kapteyn moved to the mound after starting the game as the designated hitter. Back-to-back doubles from Yarbrough and Matt Smith got the first run home before a pair of walks loaded the bases.
Kentucky turned to the bullpen for Alex Phillips who got Miles Hamblin to hit a ground ball to second, but Hamblin beat out the throw to first on the double play attempt as Smith scored to tie the game at five. Taylor Hightower then ripped a single to the gap in left center to drive in Preston Overbey, and the Rebels were in the lead once again.
Ole Miss turned to Huber out of the bullpen to start the eighth inning and the closer, who earned Freshman All-America honors a year ago, kept the Wildcats off the board in the final two frames to give the Rebels the sweep.
Ole Miss will return to action on Tuesday night with the annual Governor’s Cup game against Mississippi State at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. The game is set for a 6:30 p.m. start and will be televised by CSS. It does not count in the conference standings, but rather counts as a non-conference game against a conference opponent.
The Rebels are the home team for this year’s contest.
WHAT HAPPENED VS. ALABAMA: For the third time in the SEC Tournament, Ole Miss scored first with three runs in the second, then battled back to tie the 5-5 in the seventh, but fell to Alabama 7-5 in 10 innings.... read more
Summer is approaching which means the magazine stands are starting to fill up with preseason football publications. I swung by the convenient store Wednesday, and it looks like Sporting News and Athlon won the war of getting their season previews... read more
Track & Field News published today a comprehensive listing of the best marks in the world and U.S. this year, combining indoors and outdoors (full lists here). Several current and former Ole Miss athletes found themselves on the lists, as... read more
Behind Bobby Wahl and Mike Mayers, sophomore right-hander Sam Smith has quietly put together a stellar season in his own right. The regular third starter in the weekend rotation, the Lake Charles, La., native is 3-0 with a 3.11 ERA... read more
No. 6 Ole Miss (37-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. No. 3 Arkansas (35-19, 18-11 SEC)May 22 | 9:30 a.m. | Hoover, Ala. | Comcast Sports Southeast/ESPN3UM So. RHP Sam Smith (3-0, 3.28 ERA) vs. UA Jr. RHP Barrett Astin (4-4, 2.02... read more
WHAT HAPPENED VS. KENTUCKY: On four days' rest, junior right-hander Mike Mayers pitched a gem, giving up one run (unearned) on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work, as No. 6 seed Ole Miss... read more
Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. UK SR LHP Jerad Grundy (6-5, 4.75 ERA)1. LF Tanner Mathis (0-for-7, 3 BB)2, SS Austin Anderson (2-for-6)3. C Stuart Turner (2-for-3, HR, 2 BB)4. 3B Andrew Mistone (5-for-9, 3 2B, 3B)5. CF Auston... read more
No. 6 Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. No. 11 Kentucky (30-24, 11-19 SEC) May 21 | 9:30 a.m. | Hoover, Ala. | Fox Sports Net/ESPN3 UM Jr. RHP Mike Mayers (4-5, 3.21 ERA) vs. UK Sr. LHP Jerad Grundy... read more
My name is Austin Miller, and I am the new writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. I graduated with a bachelor's in journalism from Ole Miss less than two weeks ago, and I will be attending graduate school there in the... read more
It was exciting news this week as Rebel favorite Tom Luke returned to the Ole Miss football program as Assistant A.D. for Player Development. A second-generation Rebel and the brother of fellow Ole Miss standout and staffer Matt Luke, Tom... read more
A little more than a year into his first term as Ole Miss Athletics Director, Ross Bjork made his first trip to Starkville this week but did so for a good cause. Bjork and Bulldog AD Scott Stricklin joined forces... read more
Despite losing the All-American twin duo of Marcel and Chris Thiemann and playing in the toughest conference in America, Ole Miss finished the 2013 regular season with a ranking of No. 7 in the nation.The regular season was highlighted by... read more
Injuries have riddled the Ole Miss football team this spring, and after evaluating the situation this week, the coaching staff determined a full scale scrimmage would not be an option for this year's BancorpSouth Grove Bowl. As a result, the... read more