FINAL: Ole Miss 2, Arkansas 0
More in a bit.
It's not a good thing to celebrate two runs in a game as an outburst. That's not what Ole Miss players were doing in postgame interviews.
It was clear, though, that players felt a sense of relief in getting on the board and at least putting some pressure on the Razorbacks.
They left three stranded in the first inning against Arkansas' DJ Baxendale, who was 7-3 with a 3.14 ERA going in. Even with three stranded it felt like a productive inning. As you hear Yarbrough talk about the Sikes Orvis at-bat above, he's on the mark. The ball was hit hard enough to get into the corner and clear the bases. The Arkansas first baseman made a good play. It wasn't hit left or right, it was right at him, but it was hit hard.
The Rebels did other things in that inning. Zach Kirksey took a walk, and Yarbrough had a stolen base. Auston Bousfield reach on an error. Baxendale worked out of the jam with help from his defense, but that's how big innings are made.
Kirksey narrowly missed a home run in the fourth and turned it into a triple. He scored on a 1-out ground ball by Orvis, another well-struck ball, this one to deep second base.
It's good to see the quality at-bats for Orvis late in the season. He is Matt Snyder's replacement.
The Rebels missed a chance to add to the lead in the fifth, stranding three.
The offense fell short of the "explosion" category, but it was enough for Mike Mayers, who turned in another quality start. After a string of starts where he didn't get past five innings, Mayers has gone 6.0 and 7.0 in his last two starts.
This team still needs to hit better with runners in scoring position.
The Rebels finished with eight hits total, three by Yarbrough who got off good swings multiple times.
Will Allen had a double, the only extra-base hit other than Kirksey's triple.
About a half hour away from the first elimination game of the tournament. Significant changes to the Ole Miss lineup and batting order.
SS Tim Carver .314
1B Dominic Ficociello .313
3B Matt Reynolds .347
LF Brian Anderson .298
DH Jacob Mahan .272
3B Bo Bigham .282
RF Sam Bates .250
C Jake Wise .243
CF Matt Vinson .220
RHP DJ Baxendale 7-3, 3.14, 80.1 IP, 17 BB, 74 SO, .240 Opp BA
RF Tanner Mathis .348
2B Alex Yarbrough .381
1B Matt Snyder .340
LF Zach Kirksey .288
CF Auston Bousfield .281
DH Sikes Orvis .286
C Will Allen .306
3B Andrew Mistone .233
SS Blake Newalu .351
RHP Mike Mayers 4-3, 3.84, 77.1 IP, 25 BB, 52 SO, .228 Opp BA