LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Rebels used four home runs and three big innings to power past the Wildcats on Saturday as No. 12 Ole Miss (32-12, 12-8 SEC) defeated No. 17 Kentucky (27-16, 9-11 SEC) by a score of 18-5 and clinched the weekend series.
Auston Bousfield paced the Rebel offense, going 5-for-6 with six RBI, three runs scored and finished a triple shy of the cycle. Bousfield, Will Allen, Sikes Orvis and J.B. Woodman all homered on the afternoon as the Rebels pounded out the 18 runs on 17 hits.
Christian Trent (6-0) picked up the win, holding Kentucky to two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts through 6.0 innings of work. Scott Weathersby then picked up his first save of the season, allowing three runs on six hits with two strikeouts over the final 3.0 innings.
Dylan Dwyer (5-2) took the loss for the Wildcats, allowing six runs – five earned – on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
“We swung the bat well today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We struggled a bit early, but broke the ice there in the fifth inning and really got things going. I’m proud of our offense the last two outings. I’m also proud of our pitchers. So much will be made of our offense, but I thought Chris Ellis and Christian (Trent) have pitched really well against a very good offense.”
Kentucky struck first, using a solo home run from A.J. Reed in the third inning to get on the board. Reed took the second pitch from Trent and sent it over the wall in right field to put the Wildcats on top 1-0.
Ole Miss then used a pair of home runs in the fifth inning to move in front of the Wildcats. Orvis tied the game with a lead-off shot to straightaway center field before Woodman hit a two-out shot to left field to propel the Rebels to a 2-1 lead.
Braxton Lee then drew a walk and stole second before Auston Bousfield delivered an RBI double to right center to take the lead out to 3-1 for the Rebels as the inning continued. A wild pitch moved Bousfield to third before an infield single from Austin Anderson took the lead out to 4-1 for Ole Miss.
Reed then answered with his second home run of the game, sending a two-out shot to center in the home half of the fifth to cut the lead to 4-2.
Ole Miss extended the lead in the sixth inning after loading the bases with a single from Brantley Bell, a walk of Orvis and a fielding error on a sac bunt from Errol Robinson. Preston Overbey then drew a full-count walk to score Bell and keep the bases loaded. Woodman then delivered a sac fly to left to score Orvis and the Rebels moved on top of Kentucky 6-2.
Bousfield then put an exclamation point on the inning with a three-run shot to left center. Will Allen then capped the six-run inning with a single up the middle, following a double from Anderson, and the Rebels held a 10-2 lead after the top of the sixth.
The Rebels put another crooked number on the board in the seventh inning as Ole Miss continued to build on the lead with a seven-run frame.
A walk of Orvis and a single from Robinson led things off before Overbey moved them both into scoring position with a ground ball to second. A wild pitch brought Orvis home and moved Robinson to third before Woodman singled up the middle for the second run.
Back-to-back singles from Lee and Bousfield brought a third run home and left two on before Anderson hit a two-RBI single back up the middle to take the lead out to 15-2 for the Rebels. Will Allen then hit a two-run shot over the wall in left center to cap the inning as Ole Miss held a 17-2 lead at the stretch.
Bousfield added another RBI single with two outs in the eighth to push the Rebels on top 18-2.
Kentucky put together a two-out rally in the ninth with a two-RBI double to the wall in left center from Zach Arnold to cut the lead to 18-4. The Wildcats then got a single to right from Thomas Bernal that scored Arnold and continued the rally. A throwing error on the play in right allowed Bernal to take second and kept a runner in scoring position for Kentucky.
Weathersby answered with a strikeout of the next batter to end the game and give the Rebels the series.
Ole Miss and Kentucky will take the field for the finale at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday.
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