"Very frustrating. Very frustrating," said UM team captain Justin Henry. "We came out tonight and just didn't do anything. It's extremely frustrating."
The Wildcats had a little help to get on the scoreboard first in the sixth when an inning-ending double play wasn't ruled that way by the umpire viewing the game from his spot near short and third. As UM third baseman Cody Overbeck reached to tag UK baserunner Keenan Wiley, moving from second to third, Wiley appeared to run out of the basepath so much so that Overbeck, catching in the basepath a ball hit toward him by Sawyer Carroll, was not able to tag Wiley. Overbeck threw to first to get Carroll for the second out. The next batter, cleanup man Sean Coughlin, then singled to right center to get Wiley home from third and also Antone DeJesus from second. It was 2-0 visitors.
Those who watch, coach, and play the game will tell you one play does not a contest make or break. And even though the Rebels scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 2-1, the damage was done by the double play that wasn't.
Kentucky put up four more runs in the top of the seventh to lead 6-1. Two more UK runs were added in the top of the ninth for an 8-1 lead, and the Rebels, who hadn't responded offensively to that point, didn't have seven runs in them to keep the game alive.
"I was disappointed in our effort offensively," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco, whose team fell to 32-19 overall and 13-12 in Southeastern Conference play, the same SEC record as the Rebels had at this point last season. "But it's hard to point the finger at one phase. We gave up eight runs. We've got to do something to win the game. That was the challenge. We had to score runs, or we had to keep them from scoring. Tonight we didn't do either."
Ole Miss didn't have many chances offensively in this one as Wildcat lefty Chris Rusin pitched a six-hit, no earned run complete game for the visitors. He got the win to move to 5-3 on the year, striking out four and walking three.
Kline, relieved in the seventh by Craig Rodriguez, got the loss to fall to 5-2. The junior righty went 6.1 innings allowing six earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
"I felt great," Kline said. "They were just putting the bat on the ball and it was getting through. They were hitting balls hard, and (when that happens) it is a matter of time. I just didn't make a pitch when it mattered the most."
Rodriguez finished the final 2.2 innings with two unearned runs on four hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
Henry said the play that led to UK's first two runs shouldn't have had that much of an affect on the Rebels.
"You can't get too deflated by a 2-0 deficit," he said. "We just didn't do anything all night. We couldn't get a hit when we had runners on and they did. We've got to do a better job, that's for sure."
Henry said the Rebels have to bounce back now. It's getting late in this season.
"We have to remember that we have two more games to play this weekend, and we have to make a 180 (degree turnaround)," he said. "We win two and we're right where we need to be. It hurts right now but we have to forget about it and come out ready to play tomorrow."
Ole Miss and Kentucky meet at 4 p.m. Saturday. UK is now 32-16-1 and 11-13-1.
Rebels fall hard to Wildcats 8-1
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