No. 1 UK Baseball takes series win over No. 10 Ole Miss

Junior catcher Luke Maile tags home base at UK baseball vs. Ole Miss at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Sunday, April 8, 2012. Photo by Tessa Lighty | Staff

The UK baseball team took two of three from No. 10 Ole Miss last weekend in Lexington. A loss on Saturday snapped the Cats’ school-record 21-game home win streak.

Friday’s game began with a few great defensive plays. Junior right fielder Cameron Flynn made a leaping catch in the corner to preserve a run in the first inning, and freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino threw out a runner at home to end the second.

After four innings, the Rebels had out-hit the Cats eleven to two, but only held a 2-1 lead. A leadoff double by junior Luke Maile in the sixth set up a sacrifice fly to tie the game at two.

Ole Miss had runners on second and third with two outs in the seventh, and Cousino came up big again. On a fly ball to center, the freshman caught it in stride and threw another strike to home plate. Maile placed the tag down and, on a very close play, the runner was called out. The Cats were still tied despite being out-hit by ten.

Another double by Maile in the eighth put UK in great position with one out. And Flynn didn’t waste any time, singling up the middle to give the Cats the lead.

Although the Rebels put runners on first and second in the ninth, sophomore closer Trevor Gott entered with one out and retired the final two batters to close out a 3-2 win.

“We were a little tight early,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “We made some errors early that we characteristically don’t make, but we obviously got some timely hitting.”

Two hits from Maile and Flynn and the outfield assists from Cousino were key as the Cats squeezed out a game one victory.

A slow offensive start to Saturday’s game quickly got out of hand in Ole Miss’ favor. The Rebels strung together several quality at-bats in the fifth en route to an eight run, seven hit inning.

UK starter Jerad Grundy was chased after 4.2 innings, having given up six runs. The Cats put together ten hits on the game but couldn’t muster up more than three runs, losing 9-3 to tie the series.

But on Sunday, the Cats’ bats woke up. Maile went 2-4 with a home run and two RBI. Flynn was 2-3 with a grand slam in the sixth that broke up a 2-2 tie.

Sophomore Corey Littrell went six innings, giving up two runs with four strikeouts.

UK took the weekend series from the Ole Miss, a week after the Rebels took two of three from the, at the time, consensus No. 1 team, Florida.

“We took some punches and got right back at it,” Cousino said. “If you’re a good SEC team those are the games you have to win. We just proved that tonight.”

The Cats host in-state rival Louisville Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.