OXFORD, Miss. - For only the eighth time in 49 games this season the Rebels didn't come out on top when scoring first as No. 10 Ole Miss (35-14, 15-9 SEC) fell to Arkansas (30-20, 11-13 SEC) by a score of 11-1 to miss out on a series sweep of the Razorbacks.
Ole Miss claimed the weekend series with wins on Friday and Saturday to move into first place in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference with two weekends to play.
After scoring in the first inning, the Rebels couldn't keep things going as Razorback pitcher Christopher Oliver stymied the Ole Miss batters and the Arkansas offense put together four big innings to pick up the win.
Sam Smith (5-4) took the loss, allowing five runs - four earned - on six hits with a strikeout through 3.0 innings of work in the start. Jeremy Massie held the Razorbacks in check through the next 4.0 innings, putting zeros up on the board until the eighth inning when Arkansas would again cross the plate.
Oliver (6-4) picked up the win, allowing the one run on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work.
"Sam (Smith) just didn't have any command today," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "Last week, he just ran into a very hot team, a team that was due to hit for two games. It would have been tough for anybody to pitch that day. We had trouble putting up zeroes in any frame of the scoreboard. Today was different. Sam just had a tough day on the mound. For Sam to have success he has to command the ball. They really made him pay for it. On the other end, (Chris) Oliver was terrific. Just a tough day."
Ole Miss got on the board in the first inning when Braxton Lee came home on a groundout from Will Allen to put the Rebels on top 1-0. Lee was hit by the first pitch of the game and took second on a single from Auston Bousfield. A double steal then moved both men into scoring position before the Allen ground ball brought him home.
Arkansas answered with two runs in the second with a two-out rally to move on top of the Rebels. Tyler Spoon was hit by a pitch to put him on before Blake Baxendale would deliver a two-out single. Back-to-back RBI singles from Bobby Wernes and Michael Bernal brought the two runners home and Arkansas led 2-1.
The Razorbacks pushed three more runs home in the third, using back-to-back singles to put the first two batters on and a sac bunt from Brian Anderson to move them into scoring position. Eric Fisher then drove them both in with a single through the right side. A bunt single from Spoon advanced Fisher to second and a throwing error on the play allowed Fisher to scamper to third. He then scored the third run of the inning on a ground ball to first from Clark Eagan.
Ole Miss turned to left-hander Jeremy Massie in the fourth with the Rebels trailing 5-1. The southpaw gave the home team a chance, keeping the Razorbacks off the board through the next four innings, but Ole Miss couldn't string together the hits against Arkanasas' Oliver to rally.
The Razorbacks then got on the board again in the eight, pushing two runs home before adding four more runs in the ninth to claim the victory in the series finale.
Ole Miss will return to action next weekend, hosting the Georgia Bulldogs in a three-game series at Swayze Field. First pitch for the series opener is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday night. Saturday's contest is set for a 4 p.m. start with Sunday's finale slated for a 1:30 p.m. first pitch.
The student were off for the first week of winter break, but Observations from the Best Seat in the House press on, as the football teams moves closer to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the men's and women's basketball teams... read more
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games. Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more