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No. 4 Ole Miss Wins Series Against No. 5 Razorbacks

Love is Gone, Photo by Steven Gagliano

No. 4 Ole Miss and No. 5 Arkansas went blow for blow on the diamond in an enormous offensive outpour in Game 3 of the series. That Rebels pulled out a nail biting 11-10 victory to win the series in front of the fifth-largest crowd at Swayze with 11,146 fans.
In the first four innings, both teams were trying to figure each other out as they were deadlocked at one run apiece. The Razorbacks scratched the first run across in the second inning as Heston Kjerstad came into score off of a sacrifice fly off the bat of Grant Koch.
Ole Miss (25-4, 6-3) got on the board in the fourth inning as Grae Kessinger came into score on a sacrifice fly by Nick Fortes.
The Rebels’ starter James McArthur shut down the Razorbacks after giving up the run in the second by putting up goose eggs on the board through the next three innings.
In the fifth, Ole Miss got the offense going as Cole Zawboski smashed a ball over the center field wall to open the inning. Chase Cockrell and Tyler Keenan followed back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Kessinger reached on an error that brought Cockrell in to score. Ryan Olenek flew out to center for a sacrifice fly that plated Keenan, and Thomas Dillard sent a ball back through the right side to score Kessinger. The Rebels took a 5-1 lead into the sixth.
The Razorbacks answered with a home run in the sixth off the bat of Kjerstad. When Ole Miss came to the plate, they added three more to the scoreboard pushing the lead to six runs.
Arkansas bats came to life in the seventh as they scored four runs to cut into the lead. The Razorbacks opened with a home run that lifted McArthur from the game. McArthur moved to 4-0 on the year giving up three runs in six innings of work.
The potent Razorback offense jumped on two of the Rebels’ top arms, Will Ethridge and Dallas Woolfolk, who both saw action in the inning. Arkansas allowed Ethridge to go just 0.2 of an inning, giving him three earned runs on a home run and an RBI single. Woolfolk took over for Ethridge, but after a single and hit batter, Coach Mike Bianco elected to go with Will Stokes.
Stokes turned the ball over to Parker Caracci in the eighth inning with the Rebels lacking five outs for the win. Caracci answered the call by  giving up one hit to lead off the ninth and striking one batter out to pick up his fifth save of the season.


Game 2 Wrap up

On Friday, the Rebels evened the series with Arkansas in a 5-4 win. The Rebels starter Brady Feigl limited the potent Arkansas bats for the first five innings, and the dependable Rebel bullpen managed to stave off any hope of a Razorback comeback.
Ole Miss’ offense power came in the fifth on a two-run home run from the bat of Nick Fortes. The two runs in the fifth proved to be the final runs for the Rebels, just after a hot start with three runs in the first two innings.
Feigl had another consistent outing, going 5.1 innings only allowing two runs. All seven hits he gave up were singles. The bullpen behind him was able to pass the rock from pitcher to pitcher until Parker Caracci slammed the door shut in the final two innings. Greer Holston worked 1.1 innings recording four outs while Dallas Woolfolk’s 0.1 innings of work proved to be just as vital with a strikeout with a runner on base to seal the seventh inning.
Ryan Olenek had a 3-for-4 day at the plate with a pair of singles and a double, going a perfect 3 for 3 in his first three appearances at the plate. Fortes added his sixth home run on the season for a tie with Cole Zabowski for second most home runs on the team, behind Thomas Dillard. The home-run leader also extended his team-high RBI lead, recording his 26th on the year with an RBI single in the first. Keenan added the Rebels’ last runs of the game with a hard hit ball to Razorback second baseman. The ball skipped off his glove to plate two. 
Arkansas threatened early as they put two runners in scoring position in the first, until Tyler Keenan gunned out a runner at home after a ground ball. The Razorbacks then end the inning with a fly ball.
Ole Miss answered immediately in the first inning with singles from Grae Kessinger and Olenek, followed by an RBI from Dillard. Arkansas responded in the top of the second, scoring a pair of runs on three singles to take their first and only lead of the day, but again the Rebels had a response.
The bottom of the second saw a Golsan walk followed by a double down the line by Chase Cockrell, and Keenan brought them both home on a hard hit ball to second that glanced off the Razorback second baseman’s glove and into the outfield, bringing both runners home.
The score remained 3-2 in favor of the Rebels until the fifth inning, that just earlier had seen Feigl exit after 5.1 innings pitched with four strikeouts, four walks and seven hits.  Holston took over in the top half and silenced any hope for a Razorback offensive charge with two strikeouts. Fortes added a pair of insurance runs with his homer in the bottom half, and the Rebels held the three-run lead until the seventh.
Following a Razorback RBI double off of Holston, head coach Mike Bianco elected to bring in Woolfolk for the one-out situation, and he didn’t disappoint. Woolfolk got the immediate strikeout but allowed a double to open the eighth, opening the door for Caracci’s six-out save opportunity.
Caracci made quick work of the Razorbacks in the ninth as he struck out the side to close the game.


Game 1 Wrap Up

Arkansas came to Oxford Thursday night and took Game 1 of the series by the score of 6-4 behind the play of starter Blaine Knight and the Razorback bullpen.
Ole Miss fell behind early as the Razorbacks were able to jump out to a four-run lead on the Rebels ace Ryan Rolison in the first two innings. He then found his rhythm as he retired 12 of the next 15 sluggers he faced by striking out eight and giving up one walk.
The Rebels were able to climb back into the ballgame in the third inning as Cole Zabowski hit a home run. Chase Cockrell and Jacob Adams delivered back-to-back hits. Grae Kessinger laid down a bunt and made it to first on a thrown error by Knight that knotted the game up at four runs apiece.
The Razorbacks scored the last two runs of the game in the sixth inning to secure a win.
Ole Miss tried to respond in the ninth as Will Golsan opened the inning with a single, but got cut down on a fielder’s choice to the third baseman.
Ole Miss now stands at 25-4 overall and 6-3 in the SEC and first in the west. The Rebels return to action on Tuesday as they travel up I-55 to Memphis to take on the Tigers. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.


Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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