By Rick Harvey/Special to the Daily Journal
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 6 Ole Miss scored two unearned runs in the top of the 13th inning and beat No. 15 Arkansas 6-4 Sunday to win the opening SEC series 2-1.
Tanner Mathis led off the 13th with a walk and moved to second on an Arkansas error as Auston Bousfield reached on a fielder’s choice. Austin Anderson then hit a sacrifice bunt to Arkansas pitcher Brandon Moore.
Moore, attempting to throw Anderson out at first in a steady rain, made a bad throw allowing Mathis to score. Bousfield scored a batter later on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Mistone to give Ole Miss the 6-4 lead.
Brett Huber (2-0) worked a perfect bottom of the inning to seal the victory for the Rebels (20-2, 2-1 SEC) .
“It was just a great college game,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “Obviously, it was a big win for us on the road. I thought neither team played great today, but both teams played their hearts out. It’s what the SEC is all about.”
Arkansas (14-7, 1-2 SEC) led 4-3 through seven innings, but Ole Miss tied game on an RBI single from Will Allen, who went 3 for 5.
The score remained tied until the 13th thanks to solid pitching from each team’s bullpen on a day which saw temperatures in the 40s and the steady rain throughout. Arkansas finished with five errors; Ole Miss had none.
“It was getting pretty slippery,” Ole Miss shortstop Austin Anderson said. “It was good we got some popups. It’s a lot easier to catch a popup in the rain than ground balls.”
After Ole Miss won the first game of the series 7-1 on Friday, the Razorbacks tied the series with a 10-1 victory on Saturday.
“Yesterday was tough. We didn’t do a lot of things right,” Anderson said. “It means a lot we came back and fought.”
Ole Miss reliever Tanner Bailey, an Arkansas native, threw 51⁄3 innings of scoreless relief. He scattered five hits while striking out nine.
“The defense just played great behind me,” Bailey said. “I wanted to throw well coming back home.”
Rebels catcher Stuart Turner went 1 for 5, extending his hitting streak to 17 games.
Ole Miss opens its home SEC schedule on Friday against Texas A&M.