By: Jeff Roberson
This one was never close. Ole Miss rolled in Friday night’s game from the get-go.
The Rebels took the series from Kentucky with a 14-2 victory, after claiming a 3-1 win Thursday night.
Ole Miss had 32 hits – 21 of them Friday night – in two games.
“From pitch one,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said of his team’s Friday night offense. “I thought Coach (Mike) Clement was right on with the approach and plan. I thought our guys did a tremendous job. Some home runs, some triples, using the whole field. A really good night for us offensively.”
Junior shortstop Errol Robinson had five of those 21 hits.
“It was a lot of fun,” Robinson said. “We’re sparking. We’ve got a bunch of different guys (hitting). Really great to see.”
After David Parkinson sat down the Wildcats in order in the top of the first inning of game two, the Ole Miss hitters set a quick tone and almost blew the game open early. There were five hits, including a two-run home run from Tate Blackman and a solo homer by J.B. Woodman.
The Rebels, 38-13 overall, 16-10 in the Southeastern Conference, actually stranded runners on second and third in that first inning to keep things a bit close.
In the fourth inning it was another three-spot for the Rebels and a 6-0 lead. After Kentucky scored a run in the top of the fifth, Ole Miss got five more in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead 11-1.
Parkinson moved to 4-2 on the year, and Andy Pagnozzi got his first save of the season. UK’s Dustin Beggs, the starter, was saddled with the loss.
Kentucky, 29-22 and 13-13, was limited to eight hits in the contest.
The Rebels set up well from a pitching standpoint in game three, using two pitchers Friday night and four Thursday night. Likely all but the starters – Parkinson and Brady Bramlett – and Pagnozzi are available Saturday. Freshman RHP James McArthur is set to start.
“We felt like with (Pagnozzi) there was a good chance he was going to finish,” Bianco said of putting him in to start the seventh. “Once we got him hot in the sixth, there was no reason to not pitch him. Let him ride out the last three innings.”
In addition to Robinson’s five hits, Woodman, Colby Bortles, and Will Golsan had three each.
“We came out swinging,” said Blackman, with a triple, in addition to his homer, and with four RBI. “It’s a good feeling to put up three (runs) in the first inning.”
From then on, it was more of the same the rest of the way. And because of that, the series belongs to Ole Miss.