Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Hogs down Ole Miss
Arkansas' Alex Gosser, right, celebrates with Jacob Stone after Arkansas defeated Mississippi 2-1 at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college baseball tournament Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Arkansas is 2-0 at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
The Razorbacks beat No. 10 Ole Miss 2-1 Wednesday to move into the winner's bracket in Hoover, Ala. Arkansas will play LSU on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Pitching was again the story as the Razorbacks won for the eighth time in their last nine games. Chris Oliver pitched 6 1/3 innings in a start for Arkansas, while relievers Michael Gunn and Jacob Stone recorded the final eight outs.
Stone, who was credited with the save, struck out the league's batting average leader Will Allen to end the eighth inning with runners on first and second base. Stone also worked around a two-out single in the ninth.
Ole Miss had seven hits and three walks, but Arkansas worked around them in a variety of ways. Oliver picked off two runners and the Razorbacks turned their league-leading 56th double play of the season to end the seventh inning.
Arkansas (37-21) loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first inning, but only crossed the plate once when Brian Anderson's sacrifice fly scored leadoff hitter Clark Eagan. The Razorbacks added another run in the sixth when Eric Fisher scored on a wild pitch after leading off the inning with a hit and advancing on a stolen base.
Ole Miss starter Chris Ellis allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings and lost his first game of the year in 15 starts. Arkansas had runners on the corners with one out in the top of the eighth inning, but reliever Scott Weathersby made a diving catch on a bunt attempt and threw out a base runner to end the threat.
The Rebels (40-17) scored their only run in the seventh inning to chase Oliver. Sikes Orvis led off the inning with a single and advanced on a passed ball and a wild pitch. Michael Gunn replaced Oliver, but gave up a pinch-hit RBI single to Colby Bortles.
The Ole Miss run snapped a streak of 21 2/3 scoreless innings for Arkansas' starting pitchers. It was the first run given up by the Razorbacks in the SEC Tournament after shutting out Texas A&M 4-0 on Tuesday.
Arkansas evened the season series against Ole Miss at two games apiece. The Rebels will play Vanderbilt in an elimination game Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
LSU beat Vanderbilt 11-1 Wednesday in a run-ruled seven-inning game. The Tigers will throw right-hander Aaron Nola (9-1, 1.42 ERA) against the Razorbacks on Thursday. Nola had 13 strikeouts in a win over Arkansas earlier this season.
Sophomore Colin Poche will start on the mound for Arkansas.
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.