The University of Kentucky baseball team routed the Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday, winning 12-3 to avoid a series sweep.
Kentucky jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, scoring three runs off UM starter Matt Tracy. After adding another run in the third, the Cats exploded for three more runs in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead. After Ole Miss (15-5, 2-1 SEC) scraped across a run in the top of the sixth, UK answered with five more of its own to stretch its lead to 12-1.
Bat Cats starter Alex Meyer was chased in the seventh after two more Ole Miss runs, but had a solid day overall. The sophomore went 6 2/3 innings Sunday, yielding seven hits and three runs. Meyer walked four and struck out ten.
Junior Matt Little came on in relief for Meyer, going the final 2 1/3 innings to slam the door for the Cats. Little lowered his ERA to a miniscule 0.45, and through 21 innings, has yielded just seven hits and five walks, striking out 29.
In front of a nice crowd and mild weather at Cliff Hagan Stadium, the Wildcats (15-5, 1-2 SEC) scored early and often, using impressive outputs from Chris Bisson and Braden Kapteyn. Hitting third and fourth in the batting order, Bisson and Kapteyn combined for six runs, six hits, and eight RBI. Kapteyn (3-for-5, six RBI) homered twice for UK. Bisson was 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBI.
While you’d certainly like to win your home SEC series, there were plenty of things UK did very well in its opening weekend of conference play:
- The Cats got Ole Miss All-American Drew Pomeranz out of the way, and will only have to face him again should the two teams face off in postseason play. Pomeranz put on a clinic Friday night, going six innings of shutout baseball and allowing only one hit while striking out nine. The 6-5, 230-pound LHP demonstrated why he will be a top pick in the upcoming June draft.
- UK LHP Taylor Rogers turned a potentially bad outing into a positive one on Saturday. The true freshman allowed three runs in the first inning, but went the next six scoreless before the Rebels got to him in the eighth. While he took the loss, Rogers did a great job keeping the Cats in the game for as long as he could.
- Sophomore Alex Meyer was outstanding on Sunday, striking out 10 UM hitters in the UK victory. It will be interesting to see if he keeps his Sunday role in the pitching rotation, but if he does, the Cats should have a good chance to win on ‘getaway’ day all year long.
Kentucky has Monday off, and will host Xavier on Tuesday in Lexington at 6:30 p.m. The game will cap an 11-game homestand for UK before it travels to Vanderbilt for its second SEC series.