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Grand slam lifts No. 8 UK past No. 10 Rebels

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky outfielder Cameron Flynn launched a grand slam in the sixth inning to erase a one-run deficit and lift No. 8 Kentucky to a series-clinching 8-3 win over No. 10 Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium. It was the fourth straight series win for the Wildcats, who improved to 30-3 overall and 9-3 in the Southeastern Conference. The Rebels, who were coming of a series win over No. 1 Florida last week, fell to 21-10 and 6-6 after losing their first SEC road series of the year.

Kentucky continued its season of firsts with the series win, as the Wildcats won their first series over Ole Miss since the 2008 season, extended their school-record start to a season, achieved 30 wins quicker than any team in UK school history and have opened up its conference schedule with the best start in UK’s 79-year history in the league.

With the Rebels owning a 2-1 lead after plating a run in the top of the sixth inning, the Wildcats began a furious rally to take the lead and secure the series. UK plated five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning — highlighted by the grand slam from Flynn.

UK starter Corey Littrell (5-0) worked his fifth quality start of the year and the ninth of his two-year career. The Louisville, Ky., native worked six innings, allowing nine hits and two runs, walking two and striking out four in his third consecutive Sunday rubber-match start. Senior Alex Phillips turned in a winning effort in his second save of the year, tossing three innings to close out the game, allowing two hits and one run, striking out three. In his two games this weekend — winning Friday night and saving Sunday’s clincher — Phillips worked 6.1 innings, allowing five hits and one run, walking one and striking out six.

The Wildcats scored eight runs on eight hits, drawing four walks and getting hit by two pitches. UK was led by Austin Cousino at the top of the order, who went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Flynn delivered the big blow, adding a double and a walk with his four RBI, hitting his eighth homer of the year. Luke Maile also homered for the team-leading ninth time in 2012, batting 2-for-4 with two RBI. UK also got a hit from A.J. Reed, an RBI single late in the game. Michael Williams drew two walks, with Reed adding a walk and Thomas McCarthy and Brian Adams scoring runs.

Tanner Mathis led Ole Miss with three hits, while Matt Snyder led Ole Miss with two RBIs in the loss. R.J. Hively took the loss to fall to 3-2 after facing five batters in the sixth. Hively finished with eight strikeouts in his five innings of work, but he also gave up five hits and issued two walks.

Snyder’s five RBIs helped lift the Rebels to a 9-3 win over the Wildcats. Ole Miss scored eight of its nine runs in the fifth inning and seven of its 10 hits overall.

Mike Mayers (3-2) earned the win on the mound for the Rebels after logging 7.1 innings of work.

Kentucky broke a 2-2 tie with the Rebels with a single run in the bottom of the eighth inning with a single from Flynn. Ole Miss’ Dylan Chavez took the loss for the Rebels in relief of Aaron Greenwood.

Phillips picked up the win in relief for the Wildcats to improve to 5-1 on the year.

Ole Miss returns to action Tuesday with a doubleheader against Central Arkansas at Oxford-University Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. (April 9, 2012, Page 8)

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