OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel offense carried things in the first game before the pitching staff held things down in the second as No. 22 Ole Miss (27-12, 9-8 SEC) took a pair of games from No. 15 Arkansas (27-12, 8-9 SEC) on Saturday to clinch the weekend series.
After having game one suspended in the fourth inning on Friday night due to inclement weather, the two teams came out and finished off game one before playing the regularly scheduled Saturday game at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Ole Miss took the first game 8-2 behind the solid hitting of Alex Yarbrough (4-for-5, three RBI) and Matt Snyder (2-for-4, three RBI, two home runs) as the Rebels pounded out 14 hits. Ole Miss then had Mike Mayers and R.J. Hively combine for a two-hit shutout of Arkansas in game two to clinch the series.
The 1-0 victory in game two was the first for Ole Miss since a 1-0 shutout of Mississippi State on April 11, 2006 in the Mayor’s Trophy game in Jackson. It also marked the first 1-0 loss for Arkansas since May 7, 2004 when Ole Miss accomplished the feat in the series opener in Oxford. “In general it was just a great day,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It was a great job by us coming out to finish the first game. Ryne Stanek was so good, but I thought Mayers matched him pitch-for-pitch. It could not have worked out any better putting RJ Hively in the bullpen and him performing the way he did. He came in that tough situation and pitched well. He used the fans to his advantage. We have what has to be one of the best atmospheres in the country and that was to his advantage in the last couple innings.”
The Rebels and Razorbacks will take the field at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday to close out the series. Ole Miss will send freshman right-hander Sam Smith to the mound, while Arkansas will send junior right-hander D.J. Baxendale to the mound.
The game will be televised by Cox Sports.
GAME 1: Ole Miss 8, Arkansas 2
Ole Miss got off to a quick start in Friday night’s game, using a two-run home run from Matt Snyder in the first inning to get on the board. Alex Yarbrough scored on the play after reaching on a sharply hit single to third before scoring on the Snyder hit.
Arkansas cut into the lead with a lead-off home run from Sam Bates in the second inning, but Rebel starter Bobby Wahl struck out the next three batters to end the inning.
Ole Miss added three more runs in the bottom half of the second. A walk of Auston Bousfield and a single from Andrew Mistone put men at the corners before Tanner Mathis singled up the middle to bring the first run home. Yarbrough then came up with a two-out double to drive in both Mistone and Mathis and the Rebels held a 5-1 lead after two innings.
An RBI single from Zach Kirksey in the third inning put Ole Miss on top 6-1 before the rain would come in the fourth inning and force the suspension of the game.
The Rebels sent Aaron Greenwod to the mound at the start of the day on Saturday to resume the first game of the series. The right-hander took the mound with two outs and a man on first and a 3-1 count on Arkansas’ Jake Wise. He struck out the batter to end the inning and kept momentum on the side of the home team.
Greenwood (1-0) picked up the win, working 2.2 innings and allowing one run on three hits with four strikeouts. He was one of four pitchers the Rebels would use to close out the first game of the day.
Brandon Moore (3-1) suffered the loss for Arkansas, allowing six runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.1 innings of work. Randall Fant closed out the game for the Razorbacks after entering the game in the third inning on Friday night and taking the mound again on Saturday.
Ole Miss continued to build on the lead in the resumed game, using a solo home run from Snyder to extend the lead to 7-1 in the fifth inning.
Arkansas cut back into the lead with a solo shot from Jimmy Bosco in the sixth to cut it back to 7-2.
The Rebels would tack on one more run in the bottom of the sixth when Austin Anderson scored from first on a double down the left field line from Yarbrough. Anderson reached on a single before his run would put the score at the 8-2 final margin of victory.
GAME TWO: Ole Miss 1, Arkansas 0
In a contrast of styles, it was a pitcher’s duel in game two after the offensive output and big hits from both teams in game one.
Mayers (4-2) picked up the win as he worked 6.1 innings and allowed only two hits with two walks and four strikeouts in his time on the mound. Hively then picked up his first save, closing out the final 2.2 innings without allowing a hit as he tallied three strikeouts to only one walk.
Ryne Stanek (6-2) suffered the loss for Arkansas, allowing the game’s only run on five hits with two strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.
Ole Miss pushed its only run across in the sixth inning when Andrew Mistone scored on a Yarbrough single to left with two outs. Mistone opened the inning with a single before the Rebels would use back-to-back sac bunts to push him to third base to set up the score on the Yarbrough hit.
It would prove to be all the Rebels would need as Hively and the Rebels defense held Arkansas off the board the rest of the way. Ole Miss turned a pair of double plays in the third and seventh innings and came up with a big groundout to short with a man on third in the eighth inning to preserve the shutout win.
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