Western Kentucky Swipes Wednesday Tilt

Swayze Field was treated to an early evening air show by Western Kentucky, as the Sun Belt Conference opponent outplayed the No. 5 Rebels offensively and on the mound to split the midweek series.

The Hilltoppers (7-5) bombed four home runs in the first two innings off Brett Bukvich, and WKU pitchers stranded a myriad of Ole Miss runners to snatch the Wednesday game 8-5 in front of an announced crowd of 4, 468.

Bukvich (0-1), making his first start since the final regular season game of 2007, allowed back-to-back long balls in the first inning and surrendered six runs on four hits in three complete frames while walking two and striking out three.

"I just didn't make the pitches or get ahead," Bukvich said. "When those aren't working, you are in trouble. Hats off to them. They hit my mistakes. The end is all I can take from it. Build off the last four batters and flush the rest."

The early hole was too much to claw back from with the Rebels (11-4) leaving nine runners on base including three reaching third base with one out but failing to score. Ole Miss only accumulated seven hits and is continuing to struggle offensively for the majority of the past week.

The only offensive bright spot for the Rebels was Cody Overbeck, who reached base four times and picked up three of the team's hits. The junior was a triple short of the cycle with a RBI and two runs scored. Michael Hubbard and Logan Power gathered in the Rebels' other two RBI.

Three of Ole Miss' five runs came unearned off three Hilltopper miscues. After picking one back up in the first on the Overbeck round-tripper, the Rebels scored four runs over the middle three innings, but the lack of quality at-bats shutdown all chances for a big inning.

"We couldn't mount anything," Mike Bianco said. "They made it tough on our right-handed hitters. We had a few opportunities with middle lineup guys, but stranded runners with less than two outs. Definitely had the opportunity to tie it in the sixth."

Rory McKean worked three innings of relief, allowing one run and two hits. The right-hander struckout four and walked one. Broyles followed with 1.2 perfect frames, and Matt Tracy pitch 1.1 innings, surrendering a solo home run in the ninth.

Western Kentucky combined to strikeout eight Rebels with starter Colby Beach picking up the win after 5.1 innings and two earned runs. Oxford native Chad Cregar opened the scoring with a two-run home run in the first inning.

The Rebels are 1-2 on the season against the SBC with losses to Western Kentucky and Arkansas State.

Ole Miss continues action this weekend in Starkville versus Mississippi State in the conference opener for both teams. Game time is 3 p.m. Friday with Lance Lynn taking the hill for the Rebels.

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