JONESBORO, Ark. –Zach Kirksey hit his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot to give the Rebels the early lead, but a big fifth inning from the Red Wolves proved to be too much to overcome as No. 22 Ole Miss (34-19) fell to Arkansas State (29-21) by a score of .
Casey Mulholland (0-2) took the loss for the Rebels in relief, allowing two runs on three hits in 1.0 inning of work. Mulholland entered the game in the fourth inning to relieve starter Josh Laxer with a man on first base and no outs.
Chandler Hawkins (2-2) picked up the relief win for the Red Wolves, working 1.2 scoreless innings with a hit and a strikeout. He entered the game in the fifth to relieve starter Cody Woodhouse.
“We gave ourselves no shot tonight on the mound,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We gave up a couple of big innings which is the kiss of death. We don’t usually give up a ton of hits, and we added two errors on top of that to boot. It’s tough when you don’t put zeros up on the board when you’re on the mound.”
Ole Miss got on the board first when Zach Kirksey cranked a two-run shot to right field to give the Rebels the 2-0 lead in the second inning.
Arkansas state answered with a single run in the bottom of the inning when Claude Johnson came home on a wild pitch to cut the lead in half. Johnson walked to open the inning before a second walk and a sac bunt would move him to third and set up the score on the wild pitch to make it 2-1.
The Red Wolves took the lead in the fourth with two more runs to make it 3-2. Johnson again led things off, this time with a single, before moving to third on a double from Ryan Emery. He scored on a groundout to second that put Emery at third. Another wild pitch brought Emery home and gave Arkansas State the lead.
The Red Wolves then broke things open in the fifth inning, using five hits and a pair of errors to plate five runs and take the lead out to 8-2 on the Rebels.
Ole Miss cut the lead in half in the seventh inning when Auston Bousfield came up with a two-RBI double to right with two outs to make it 8-4. Austin Anderson and Tanner Mathis scored on the play after reaching on a walk and a single before the Bousfield hit. Alex Yarbrough then hit a double down the right field line to drive in Bousfield and cut the lead to 8-5.
Arkansas State responded in the bottom of the frame, getting a two-out double down the left field line that was just out of reach of a diving Tanner Mathis to take the lead back out to four at 9-5. Dustin Jones scored on the play after reaching on a single through the left side in the previous at bat before Michael Jones doubled to score him from first.
The Rebels would load the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Arkansas State got a groundout to end the inning and held on to the 9-5 lead.
Arkansas State would add a 10th run in the eighth inning to take the lead out to five runs and the final margin of victory of 10-5 as Ole Miss could not answer in the ninth.
The Rebels will close out the regular season this weekend with a three-game series at Vanderbilt. Ole Miss and the Commodores will start the series with game one at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday night in a game televised by ESPNU.
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