Kentucky Captures Sixth SEC Series of Year

LEXINGTON - The 11th-ranked Kentucky baseball team got clutch pitching performances from Craig Snipp and Andrew Albers to make an early lead stand up in a 3-2 victory over No. 17 Ole Miss on Saturday to clinch the series front of 1,735 fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The series win marked Kentucky's sixth Southeastern Conference series victory of the year, which ties the school record, and its 16th conference win, which is tied for third most in school history. The Wildcats are currently in sole possession of first place in the SEC eastern division, one game up on South Carolina who faces off with Georgia Saturday afternoon.

Kentucky (36-11, 15-8 SEC) senior starter Craig Snipp was fantastic, hurling 7 1/3 innings and holding the high-powered Rebels offense to just two runs on six hits while striking out six. The outing was his first quality start since March 15 and his sixth of the year. He earned the win to improve to 5-3 on the year.

Snipp exited with two on in the seventh and Chris Rusin entered. He promptly walked the only batter he would face and gave way to Andrew Albers, who worked Kentucky out of the jam. He struck out two Rebel batters looking to leave the bases juiced loaded and preserve UK's 3-2 lead. He worked a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save of the season, including his third in less than two weeks.

Kentucky, which has won 11 of its last 12 games, goes after the series sweep (31-16, 13-9 SEC) Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. EDT. Kentucky sends sophomore Greg Dombrowski (8-1, 2.55) to the mound in search of his ninth win of the season. Ole Miss counters with freshman right-hander Lance Lynn (4-2, 4.91). A series sweep would be the second SEC series sweep of the season for the red-hot Wildcats.

Kentucky sophomore Antone DeJesus got the scoring started when he lead off in the bottom of the first inning with a solo shot over the right-field fence. The blast marked DeJesus's fourth round-tripper of the season and the first time in his career that he has hit home runs in back-to-back games.

Ole Miss answered Kentucky's first inning run with an RBI double off the bat of designated hitter Jon-Jon Hancock in top of the second, plating right fielder Mark Wright to even the score 1-1.

John Shelby and Michael Bertram led off the bottom of the second with back-to-back singles to start another UK rally. Justin Scutchfield moved the runners on a sacrifice, but reached on pitcher Brett Bukvich's fielding error to load the bases. An out later, Shaun Lehmann drove in Shelby and Bertram with a two-run single through the left side of the infield to stretch the UK lead to 3-1.

Ole Miss cut the Kentucky advantage to the final margin 3-2 with a solo home run from Wright over the left field wall in the sixth inning.

Bukvich settled down after allowing three runs through the second inning. He allowed a single to Sean Coughlin to open the third, but held the Wildcats hitless over the final six innings of the game. He took the loss to fall to 4-4 despite tossing a complete game.

Game Notes
Kentucky won its 15th SEC game, tied for third most in school history ... The Wildcats clinched the series, their sixth SEC series win of the year, which ties a school record ... Kentucky has won 11 of its last 12 and eight of its last nine in SEC play ... Kentucky has won five straight home series against ranked opponents dating back to last year ... Center fielder Antone DeJesus crushed his fourth home run of the season in the first inning ... The blast marked the second consecutive game that DeJesus has hit a home run ... The solo shot marked Kentucky's first lead-off home run of the season ... DeJesus hit home runs in back-to-back games for the first time in his career ... Junior John Shelby extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games with a single in the second ... Kentucky starter Craig Snipp earned his sixth quality start of the season allowing six hits, two runs, while striking out six batters in 7 1/3 innings ... Andrew Albers has won or saved four of Kentucky's last five wins ... Albers earned his fourth save of the year, tying Brock Baber for the team lead ... Ryan Strieby had his hitting streak snapped at nine ... Kentucky ended its streak of scoring six runs or more in 11 consecutive SEC games.


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