Ole Miss pitchers too much for UA
Mississippi pitcher Aaron Greenwood reacts to the final out against Arkansas at an NCAA college baseball game in Oxford, Miss., Friday, May 2, 2014.
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss right-hander Chris Ellis pitched out of trouble in the sixth inning Friday night, and Aaron Greenwood slammed the door.
Greenwood retired all nine batters he faced, four with strikeouts, as the No. 11-ranked Rebels edged Arkansas 3-2 in their SEC series opener before 9,224 fans at Swayze Field.
The Rebels (34-13, 14-8 SEC) led 3-0 against Razorbacks right-hander TreyKillian after four innings but were never able to extend the lead and get him out of the game.
Killian went the distance and followed a theme that has been familiar for him this season as he dealt with another lack of run support. It was the fourth complete game of the season for Killian, who has won only twice in 10 decisions.
Ellis left some pitches up the strike zone, and the Razorbacks (29-19, 10-12) squeezed him for two runs in the fifth on a two-out triple by Tyler Spoon.
Ellis appeared rattled when he followed with a hit-batter and a walk to load the bases, but he kept the Razorbacks from tying or taking the lead when he got a ground ball from No. 4 hitter Brian Anderson.
The Hogs got the first two on base in the sixth with an error and a walk. They bunted the runners ahead, but Ellis struck out Michael Bernal swinging on an offspeed pitch and retired Bobby Wernes with a fly ball.
“We had our chances,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. “We had the bases loaded, the four-hole hitter up, and he grounds out. The next inning we had second and third with one out, and we don’t make contact, then we fly out.
“That was the game.”
Arkansas managed six hits and three walks off Ellis (7-0). Eric Fisher and Wernes led the Razorbacks with two hits each.
Ole Miss had timely offense against Killian with a two-out RBI hit from Auston Bousfield in the third and back-to-back run-scoring hits from J.B. Woodman - he had three on the night - and Will Jamison in the fourth.
Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco said he was proud of the way Ellis battled but would have liked to have seen more efficiency.
“One of the goals was to keep the leadoff guy off base, and that didn’t happen much,” Bianco said. “He pitched out of jams, but those pitches can take a toll on you.”
There was far more efficiency from Greenwood even though he had some help from the Hogs, who swung at some balls out of the zone.
“We swung at ball four to lead off the eighth and a few other pitches,” Van Horn said. “He had good stuff, but we went out of the zone way too much offensively.”
Greenwood picked up his second save of the season. He never allowed a runner and showed the form that allowed him to string together almost 20 scoreless innings before an abdominal injury forced him out for three weeks. His return last week at Kentucky was less dominant.
Fisher agreed that Arkansas’ hitters could have been more patient but defended their late-game approach.
“There were some pitches that, if we take them and their balls, they could have changed the game,” he said. “Just making [Greenwood] throw more pitches could have helped us out. Jumping out early on pitches may have hurt us, but it’s good to be aggressive.”
After halting the Hogs in the seventh and eighth, Greenwood wasn’t sure he’d finish the game but jumped at the chance.
“I was just thinking two good innings,” he said. “Coach B came up to me after the eighth and said, ‘Do you feel good enough to finish?’ I said, ‘For sure, yes sir.’ ”
Kentucky 15, Tennessee 1
Mississippi 3, Arkansas 2
Tennessee 8, Kentucky 2
Mississippi State 3, Auburn 0
Georgia 3, South Carolina 1
Vanderbilt 8, Missouri 3
LSU 5, Texas A&M 4 (10)
Florida 7, Alabama 3
TODAY’S GAMES All times Central
Kentucky at Tennessee, 11 a.m.
LSU at Texas A&M, noon
South Carolina at Georgia, noon
Vanderbilt at Missouri, 2 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi, 2:15 p.m.
Florida at Alabama, 3 p.m.
Mississippi St. at Auburn, 6 p.m.
ARKANSAS AT OLE MISS WHEN 2:15 p.m. Central WHERE Swayze Field, Oxford, Miss.
RECORDS Arkansas 29-19, 10-12 SEC; Ole Miss 34-13, 14-8 RANKINGS Ole Miss is ranked No. 11 by Baseball America and No. 10 by Collegiate Baseball TV Fox Sports Net RADIO RSP statewide radio network.
Not all games will be carried by affiliates. Check local listings.
Sports, Pages 19 on 05/03/2014