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Kentucky Kernel

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Big innings propel Kentucky baseball to first ever sweep at Ole Miss

Kentucky Wildcats outfielder James McCoy (13) celebrates during the Kentucky vs. Ole Miss baseball game on Sunday, March 31, 2023, at Swayze Field in Oxford, Mississippi. Kentucky won 15-1. Photo provided by Ole Miss Athletics

No. 24 Kentucky baseball (24-4, 8-1 SEC) slugged its way to a series sweep over the Ole Miss Rebels (18-11 3-6 SEC) in mercy rule fashion by a score of 15-1 in seven innings.

The road sweep of the Rebels marked the first in program history.

The offense piggybacked its 17-run, 18-hit game-two effort with a 15-run, 12-hit performance in the series finale.

In game three, the Wildcats’ offense took advantage of eight walks and used timely hitting to create big scoring innings.

Kentucky Wildcats outfielder Lukas Schramm flexes after hitting a triple during the Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky baseball game on Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2024, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 10-0. Photo by Isaiah Pinto | Staff (Isaiah Pinto)

The first big inning came in the first when Ryan Waldschmidt led off the game with a double before Émilien Pitre drew a walk. After the pair successfully executed a double steal, Devin Burkes hit a sacrifice fly to bring home the former.

After Pitre then stole third, Nick Lopez singled to left field to bring him home and Ryan Nicholson drew another walk.

Nolan McCarthy singled to bring Lopez home before James McCoy doubled to bring home the remaining base runners to give the Cats an early 5-0 lead.

With Mason Moore sturdy on the mound Grant Smith, Waldschmidt and Pitre drew consecutive  walks in the fourth before Burkes drew a walk of his own to bring home Smith. With the bases still loaded, Lopez grounded out but not before Waldschmidt came in to score another Wildcat run.

Following a walk by Mitchell Daly to reload the bases, Nicholson promptly unloaded the bases with a double that scored Pitre, Burkes and Daly while extending the Cats’ lead to 10-0. The feat completed UK’s second five-run inning of the game.

With a pair of home runs from each side bringing the score to 11-1, the next big inning for the offense came in the seventh when McCarthy and McCoy hit one-out singles before Smith launched a three-run home run over the left field wall. The Big Blue Bomb was his first of the season.

Following the homer, Waldschmidt singled before coming around to score quickly as Pitre laced a double into the right center field gap, which capped off a four-run inning that gave the Bat Cats a 15-1 lead.

With Kentucky’s arms preventing any further runs, the Rebels were mercy ruled and swept on their home diamond in seven innings.

Kentucky returns to action on Tuesday, April 2, when it will welcome its in-state rival Louisville into Kentucky Proud Park with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

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