OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel offense got the early lead and the pitching staff held things in check Friday night as No. 10 Ole Miss (34-13, 14-8 SEC) defeated Arkansas (29-19, 10-12 SEC) by a score of 3-2 to take the series opener at Swayze Field.
Freshman J.B . Woodman went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored as the Rebels picked up the win and scratched out three runs on nine hits.
Chris Ellis (7-0) picked up the win with his fourth consecutive quality start, working 6.0 innings and allowing two runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Aaron Greenwood then picked up his second save of the season, holding Arkansas hitless with four strikeouts in the final 3.0 innings.
Trey Killian (2-8) suffered the loss for the Razorbacks, allowing three runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
“We had the bullpen up and ready to go, but the way Greenwood pitched in the seventh and eighth it looked like the ball had a lot of zip on it,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “He looked like he had all four pitches tonight.”
“Back before the season started we said we don’t really have a closer, but Greenwood could be that guy that could come in at a big time in the game and get you nine outs,” Bianco said. “He’s not just a ninth inning guy.”
Ole Miss struck first with a single run in the third inning. Woodman started things off with a two-out double to right center before Auston Bousfield hit one back up the middle to bring the freshman home from second and put the Rebels on top.
The scoring continued in the fourth with two more runs across the plate for the home team.
A double to left center from Will Allen got things started before Woodman delivered a double of his own to left center that brought the senior home. Will Jamison then singled up the middle in the next at bat to score Woodman and give the Rebels a 3-0 lead.
Arkansas answered in the top of the fifth, getting to the Rebel pitching staff for the only time on the night with a rally that cut the lead to one at 3-2.
A leadoff single from Eric Fisher put the first man on for the Razorbacks before Ellis would get a pair of fly balls to put two outs on the board. Bobby Wernes then singled to right to put two men on and keep the inning alive as the lineup flipped back to the top for Arkansas. Tyler Spoon then hit a triple to the gap in right center to score both runners.
The next two Razorbacks would reach on a hit batter and a walk to load the bases, but Ellis got out of the jam by coaxing a ground ball to third from Brian Anderson to end the inning and keep the Rebels on top.
Ellis then worked the sixth inning, again getting out of a jam with two men in scoring position and one out before turning the ball over to Greenwood for the final three frames.
Ole Miss and Arkansas will take the field for game two of the series at 2:15 p.m. Saturday at Swayze Field. The game will be televised by Fox Sports and available on ESPN3.
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