From Ole Miss Athletics
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 5 seed Arkansas Razorbacks turned in an impressive performance to advance to the College World Series, eliminating No. 12 seed Ole Miss’ season with a 14-1 defeat in Game 3 of the Fayetteville Super Regional.
The Rebels scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, but unfortunately, that continued a trend at Baum-Walker Stadium. In all three games of the series, the team to score in the top of the first ended up on the wrong side of the scoring column.
Ole Miss saw its season end with a 41-27 record, including a 4-2 mark in the NCAA Tournament and an 8-4 record in the postseason.
Ole Miss got on the board early, but the Rebels couldn’t muster much after that opening run. Ryan Olenek earned his way on first via the 40th hit by pitch of his career. Cole Zabowski then pulled a single into right field, and Cooper Johnson sat back and took a 1-2 pitch up the middle to send Olenek home and make it 1-0, Rebels. Gunnar Hoglundresponded with a one-two-three frame, getting a pop-out and two long flyouts to post a zero.
After two quick outs to start the second, Knox Loposer made his way on with a hit by pitch, and Thomas Dillard drew the 135th walk of his career, tying the program record, set by Jason Huisman in 1998. After a wild pitch sent the pair to scoring position, Arkansas pulled left-handed starter Patrick Wicklander in favor of right-hander Cody Scroggins. Scroggins escaped the jam with a strikeout to keep it a one-run game, the first out of an outstanding outing by the Razorback reliever.
Arkansas claimed the lead in the bottom of the second and never let go. Heston Kjerstad a terrific day at the plate with a one-out double that found its way down off the glove of a sliding Dillard. Then, a hit by pitch and an RBI single by Casey Opitz knotted it at one. Jacob Nesbit followed with a double down the line to put Arkansas in the lead. The Razorbacks extended the lead on a two-out base hit into right by Trevor Ezell, making it 4-1 in favor of the home team.
Scroggins turned around and retired the Rebels in order in the top of the third. The Razorbacks started the third with a single and a walk, bringing Austin Miller out of the bullpen. Kjerstad then drove a double down the right field line to clear the bases and make it 6-1. After a flyout allowed Kjerstad to tag to third, another hit down the right field line by Opitz made it a 7-1 Razorback lead. Ole Miss escaped the inning with a five-four-three double play.
Tyler Keenan led off the fourth with a base hit out to left, but a flyout and a pair of strikeouts left him stranded at first. The Razorbacks added one in the bottom half, when Christian Franklin came around to score after reaching with a leadoff walk.
Kjerstad made it an eight-run Hog lead with a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth. The Razorbacks added five more in the sixth on a two-RBI double by Dominic Fletcher, a sacrifice fly by Kjerstad and a two-run home run by Opitz.
– Ole Miss ends the season with a 41-27 record, including a 4-2 mark in NCAA Tournament play and an 8-4 record in the postseason.
– Ole Miss split its season-long series with Arkansas, 4-4.
– Thomas Dillard drew the 135th walk of his career to tie the program record set by Jason Huisman in 1998.
– Dillard reached base in the last 14 games.
– Tyler Keenan recorded his 17th multi-hit game of the season.
– Cooper Johnson notched his 12th multi-hit game of the year.
– Zach Phillips turned in 2.1 scoreless innings with just one baserunner allowed on a hit by pitch, giving up no hits and striking out one.