Game Story By: Jeff Roberson
Brady Bramlett said it was good to back to his old self Thursday night. Not that he’d actually ventured too far from that this season.
Bramlett was but one piece of the victory puzzle as Ole Miss got past Kentucky 3-1 to open the final regular season home series of 2016.
The Rebels improved to 37-13 overall and 15-10 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Wildcats fell to 29-21 and 13-12.
“It’s no secret my last two starts have been a struggle for me,” Bramlett said of his performances against LSU and Georgia, although both were wins for the Rebels. “It just felt good tonight to feel like myself again and pitch like myself again, and just get out there and compete.”
Bramlett went five and a third innings, allowing just one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
“The mentality for myself tonight was to obviously give our team the best chance to win and to get back to being me, which is locating the fastball and trying to dominate teams with the fastball,” Bramlett said.
“We act like he hasn’t been good, but we’ve won his last two outings,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said of Bramlett. “He was fantastic tonight.”
The Rebels, with 11 hits, got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning. Holt Perdzock singled to center field to score Henri Lartigue after the Rebel catcher had reached on a base hit.
Kentucky, which had nine hits, tied things up 1-1 in the top of the third with a leadoff home run by Tristan Pompey.
The Rebels regained the lead in the fourth after Will Golsan tripled. Cameron Dishon got a base hit to get Golsan home.
“It was a curve ball up, and I was just trying to keep my swing short,” said Golsan of the triple, who thought it might have been his senior year at New Hope High School the last time he got one of those. “When (the UK outfielder) dove for it, I figured I could get to three. So I tried my best.”
After Tate Blackman doubled in the bottom of the seventh and moved to third on a groundout by Lartigue, Colby Bortles’ RBI single scored Blackman for a 3-1 UM lead.
Brady Feigl finished the sixth inning with no damage, and Will Stokes pitched two scoreless innings.
Feigl got the game shirt for his brief performance, which was key in a tight ballgame.
“One of the things that will get lost here is Feigl’s two outs in the sixth to get us to that so important seventh inning,” Bianco said. “To come in with (Wildcats on) first and second and a one-run lead – a freshman – and get two outs and get off the field.....”
Bianco called on closer Wyatt Short in the top of the ninth to finish things up.
“They can swing. They’re a good offensive club,” Bianco said of UK. “The (UM) pitchers were able to make some big pitches in certain innings to get off the field.”
Friday’s game two of the series is set for 6:30 p.m., while Saturday’s finale is at 4 p.m.