Collett Crushes Grand Slam for First Career Hit

Collett Crushes Grand Slam for First Career Hit

LEXINGTON, Ky. – T.J. Collett crushed a pinch hit grand slam for his first career hit and Luke Becker stroked a pair of doubles as part of a three-hit night but it wasn’t enough as Ole Miss used a big sixth inning to knock off Kentucky 9-6 in the series opener, ending the Wildcats’ season-opening home win streak at 10. The teams will meet on Friday night in the middle game of a three-game set at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Collett, a freshman from Terre Haute, Ind., missed the Cats’ first 19 games as he rehabilitated an injury but wasted no time taking a 3-2 pitch from Houston Roth the opposite way in the eighth inning. It was UK’s first grand slam since Riley Mahan walked-off Alabama on April 9, 2106.
The Rebels put two on the board in the third inning on a Grae Kessinger two-run home run just to the left of the high right field wall. The homer came one at bat after Hjelle caught a popped up bunt attempt and had the runner at first dead to rights but stumbled as he threw errantly to first.
The Cats (16-7, 3-1 SEC) got a run back in the fourth when Becker led off the inning with a double into the right field corner, moved to third on Riley Mahan’s single through the right side and scored on Kole Cottam’s sacrifice fly to left. 
Hjelle was sharp for much of the night coming off his complete game shutout at Texas A&M and retired the first two batters in the sixth before a pair of singles ended his night. Thomas Dillard then pulled a two-run double just inside the third base bag off lefty Colton Cleary, the third of seven consecutive hits for the Rebels (15-7, 3-1).
Freshman T.J. Collett, from the same hometown as Golden Spikes Award winning and UK alum AJ Reed, showed his plus power with a pinch hit grand slam in the eighth inning. Junior infielder Luke Becker continued his hot hitting with by tying his career-high with three hits, including a pair of doubles. 

Sean Hjelle pitched better than his final line of four runs in 5.2 innings indicates, getting victimized by an unfortunately times third-inning home run and a pair of singles after getting the first two outs in the sixth. A trio of relievers couldn’t close out the inning, as Ole Miss piled up seven consecutive two-out hits to extend its lead. 
Top 3rd – Thomas Dillard led off the inning with a single off the wall and was plated on a two-run home run from Grae Kessinger two at bats later. Ole Miss 2, UK 0.
Bottom 4th – Luke Becker started the inning with his second double of the game, advanced to third on a hard-hit single past the second baseman from Riley Mahan, and scored on sacrifice fly from Kole Cottam.  Ole Miss 2, UK 1.
Top 6th – With two outs, Rowe singled to right field and advanced to second base after another single through the left side of the infield from Cockrell. Dillard added two more runs with a double down the leftfield line. During the next at bat, Johnson singled to left field and scored Dillard from second base. Kessinger stepped up to the plate and singled up the middle, advancing Johnson to third base. Golsan then doubled down the left field line, which scored both runners. Olenek picked up the Rebels final RBI of the inning on a double to right field, but he was ultimately called out at third base on a throw from UK’s Carson in centerfield. Ole Miss 8, UK 1.
Top 8th – Johnson doubled to left field this time, advanced to third base on a single from Kessinger, and scored on a wild pitch from Maley. Ole Miss 9, UK 1. 
Bot 8th – Tristan Pompey got the inning started with a single up the middle. A pitch in the next at bat hit Storm Wilson, and that led to a Becker single through the right side. Mahan was walked, which scored Pompey from third base. With the bases still loaded, T.J. Collett crushed a ball over the LCF wall for a grand slam. Ole Miss 9, UK 6.
• The loss ends Kentucky’s eight-game winning streak.
• It also snaps the Cats’ perfect 10-0 start at home, the longest such streak since the 2012 team won its first 21 games at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
• Freshman C T.J. Collett crushed a grand slam for his first career hit.
    o It was Collett’s third career plate appearance, with a strikeout and walk in his first two of the season.
    o The grand slam was UK’s first since Riley Mahan hit a walk-off slam against Alabama on April 9, 2016.
• Junior IF Luke Becker hit a pair of doubles, giving him seven on the season.
    o Becker tied his career high with three hits.
    o Becker is hitting a team-leading .393 on the year.
    o Becker now has a career-long nine game hitting streak.
    o Becker has six multi-hit games in 2017.
    o Becker has reached base safely in a team-high 13 consecutive games.
• Junior RHP Alec Maley pitched a career-high 2.0 innings.
Kentucky will try to even the series on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Fans can listen on the UK Sports Network via and iHeart Radio, as well as on 98.5 FM. The game will be aired on SECN+.  

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