Staff report | @KyKernelSports
Ole Miss took the lead in the first inning and never relinquished the lead in a 4-1 victory over UK in the first round of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala.
With the loss, the Cats were eliminated from the SEC Tournament and finish the season at 30-25 overall with an 11-20 conference record.
No. 5 seed Ole Miss took the lead early in the game with a run in the first and third innings.
Senior outfielder Zac Zellers laced a double into the right-centerfield gap with one out in the fourth inning, and moved to third base with two outs.
Sophomore centerfielder Austin Cousino walked, and UK head coach Gary Henderson called for a delayed steal by Cousino, in hopes of scoring Zellers from third before Cousino was tagged out.
But Ole Miss junior catcher Stuart Turner threw to an uncovered second base on the attempt. The ball sailed into centerfield and scored Zellers. Ole Miss’s lead was cut to 2-1, but the Cats would not get any closer.
Ole Miss (37-20, 16-15 SEC) would push two more runs across in the sixth inning and hold on for the win.
UK got two hits apiece from junior sophomore Matt Reida and freshman pinch hitter Zack Storm.
Zellers’ double was the only extra-base hit from the Cats’ lineup. On the other hand, the Rebels produced four doubles from four separate players.
Senior left-handed pitcher Jerad Grundy pitched 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Chandler Shepherd finished the remainder of the game, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings.