OXFORD, Miss. - Junior right-hander Bobby Wahl turned in a solid performance on the mound Thursday night, allowing one run through seven innings, but a late rally proved to be the Rebels' undoing as No. 16 Ole Miss (30-13, 10-9 SEC) fell to No. 24 Kentucky (25-16, 8-11 SEC) 3-2 in the series opener.
Wahl took no decision, allowing the one run on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts in his 7.0 innings on the mound. The lone run came on a solo shot from Austin Cousino in the first inning, but the Rebels rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the seventh before Ole Miss would turn to the bullpen for Aaron Greenwood.
Greenwood (3-2) took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits with a walk to start the eighth inning. He did not record an out before leaving the game with the bases loaded. The Wildcats would go on to push two runs home to take the 3-2 lead on the Rebels and pick up the win.
Kentucky reliever Chandler Shepherd (3-0) picked up the win in relief for the Wildcats, working 2.1 innings scoreless innings in relief of Reed. He allowed three hits and a walk, while striking out two batters in his time on the mound.
"It was not a good night for us; I didn't think we played very well," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "You have to credit (A.J.) Reed, we just couldn't get to his fastball. We looked different than we have looked the last couple weeks where we had gotten good swings, but we were able to scratch a couple runs across in the bottom of the seventh. When you don't play well and you're in a position to win, obviously it is disappointing when you don't and you're not able to close it out. That's uncharacteristic of us, normally we can finish it in the bullpen but we couldn't tonight."
Kentucky drew first blood with the Cousino home run in the opening frame, sending the one-out shot into the bullpen in left field to put the Wildcats on the board.
Both pitchers settled in from there and the defense for both teams worked out of jams when necessary before the Rebels would put together a rally in the seventh to take the lead.
Andrew Mistone started things off with a ground ball to third, but a throwing error allowed him to reach safely and move to second to start the inning. A sac bunt from Preston Overbey took him to third before he would come home on a sac fly to center field from Christian Helsel to tie the game at one.
Will Allen then came up with a two-out single through the left side and was replaced on the base path by freshman Cameron Dishon, who promptly stole second. A walk of pinch hitter Austin Knight kept the inning alive before Tanner Mathis would deliver an infield single deep to short, allowing Dishon to score from second as he went hard on contact and slid in ahead of the tag at the plate off a slow throw from short and the relay home.
Ole Miss held the 2-1 lead after the seventh, but it was short lived with Kentucky answering in the eighth.
The first three batters reached on a double, walk and a single before a groundout to first brought the tying run home. The Rebels intentionally walked Reed to load the bases and set up a double play ball, but another groundout to first brought the go-ahead run home before the Rebels could get out of the inning.
Ole Miss couldn't rally for a second time in the ninth as the Rebels fell in the series-opener for only the second time this season.
Ole Miss and Kentucky will return to action in game two of the weekend series at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night at Swayze Field.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Dec. 15-21, 2014 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss overcame a 17-point deficit to knock off Coastal Carolina 71-68 Thursday night. - Senior LaDarius White scored a career-high 26 points including a career-best 6 3-pointers... read more
The students were off for the first week of winter break, but Observations from the Best Seat in the House presses on, as the football team moves closer to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the men's and women's basketball teams... read more
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games. Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more