By Rick Harvey/Special to the Daily Journal
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Mike Mayers’ fastball was ineffective on Saturday, and that didn’t bode well for No. 6 Ole Miss.
No. 15 Arkansas got to Mayers early and beat the Rebels 10-1 in front of 7,621 at Baum Stadium, snapping their 12-game winning streak and knotting the opening SEC series 1-1.
The decisive third game is set for 1:05 p.m. today.
“It was just one of those days that I didn’t have anything,” said Mayers (2-1), who gave up 7 runs, 5 earned runs and 3 walks while striking out 5 over 51⁄3 innings. “I didn’t have any fastball command whatsoever. As a guy who pitches off his fastball a lot, that’s not a good thing. I tried to battle through it the best way I could. I take responsibility for this one. I let this one get away.
“I left my fastball up and they did a good job of hitting it all over the park.”
A day after Bobby Wahl shut down the Arkansas bats in a 7-1 victory, just about everything was working for the Razorbacks, including four successful bunts. Arkansas (14-6, 1-1 SEC) built a 5-1 lead through five innings.
“Arkansas executed extremely well in the early innings, and after that, it got out of hand,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said.
Arkansas, which was 0-2 against Mayers last season, got the momentum against him early as Arkansas led 3-0 after two innings.
“We were on a mission today,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said.
Fant still dominant
Arkansas junior Randall Fant (1-0), meanwhile, continued his success against the Rebels. After giving up just two runs and one walk in 12 innings against Ole Miss last season, Fant scattered 7 hits and allowed no walks in 6 innings Saturday.
He retired the side in order in the third and sixth innings and finished with five strikeouts.
“I thought Fant was terrific really mixing up his pitches,” Bianco said. “He kept us off balance.”
Stuart Turner was 2 for 4 to lead the Rebels (19-2, 1-1), extending his hitting streak to 16 games.