Pitching falters as Cats fail to take series from Ole Miss in 10-1 loss


Kentucky Wildcats infielder Ryan Ritter (47) throws to first during the UK vs. Morehead State baseball game on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 7-5. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Samantha Money

Kentucky fell to No. 9 Ole Miss 10-1 to conclude the series 2-1 in favor of the Rebels on Sunday at Kentucky Proud Park.

Tyler Bosma started out pitching for the Cats, while Jack Washburn took the mound for the  Rebels. 

Both teams had a strong inning in the outfield to begin the game, not allowing the other to score. After Hunter Jump’s double and Ryan Ritter’s single, Jump came close to scoring a run for the Cats but got thrown out trying for home.

The top of the second saw Kentucky continue to look strong on defense with impressive outs  by Daniel Harris and Jump, and Bosma striking out Hayden Leatherwood for the Rebels. 

However, Ole Miss showed it could be just as dominant, with Washburn hurling two strikeouts at the bottom of the inning. Jase Felker and Harris both made it on base, but were  unable to make it home after John Thrasher picked up the third out. 

The Cats made a swift double play off of Jacob Gonzalez’s hit to second base but were still  unable to score at the bottom of the third. 

After three scoreless innings, the Rebels showed up. A single to left field by Tim Elko and a  double by Reagan Burfurd gave Ole Miss the energy it had been looking for. 

A hit by TJ McCants allowed Elko to run home and score the Rebels’ first run of the day.  However, the Cats followed this up with a terrific throw by Jump to Alonzo Rubalcaba to get out Burford just before he touched home plate. 

After another run for Ole Miss, Mason Moore took over pitching for Bosma. 

Down by two at the bottom of the fourth, the Cats looked for some runs, but could not overcome the Rebels. 

Adam Fogel grounded out to shortstop, while Rubalcaba hit a pop fly that didn’t make it out of the infield. A throwing error allowed Harris to take first base, but he was unable to advance as the next hit by Thrasher was caught. 

The top of the fifth inning saw the Rebels dominate and score six runs off of the Cats, bringing  the score to 8-0. 

A home run by Chase Estep in the bottom of the fifth finally put the Cats on the board, but that  would go on to be the only run for Kentucky for the day. 

Washburn went on to strike out both Ritter and Jacob Plastiak to move on to the sixth inning.

Kentucky did not give up on defense with Tyler Guilfoil striking out Elko, and Thrasher catching  a pop fly. 

At the bottom of the sixth, the Rebels put Jack Dougherty on the mound for Washburn.  

Felker hit a strong double in the inning, but it was not enough to score before Rubalcaba and Harris both picked up an out. 

The Cats then brought in Jackson Nove to pitch, who successfully struck out Dunhurst, but the Rebels still managed to belt a home run via McCants. 

With Kentucky up at bat, Thrasher laced a double and advanced to third shortly after an Estep grounder. Unfortunately for the Cats, Ritter would strikeout, ending the inning. The Rebels would gain another run at the top of the eighth, dragging out the score to 10-1. 

Dougherty would pitch another successful inning for Ole Miss and strike out both Fogel and Rubalcaba. 

With one more inning left, Magdiel Cotto took the mound for the Cats, and struck out two Rebels, a welcomed sight for Nick Mingione.

One more Ritter strikeout would end the game, handing the rubber match to the Rebels.

“They just kept us off balance,” Estep said after the game, “They are the SEC’s highest level, and we’ll learn from this for Tuesday.” 

Kentucky will look to get back on track as they take on rival Louisville on Tuesday, April 5. First pitch inside Kentucky Proud Park is set for 6:30 p.m. EST.