By Adam Brown
Ole Miss and Arkansas went back-and-forth on the diamond trading run for run in the Rebels’ second game of the SEC tournament. Arkansas found a way to get out on top with a win and remain in the winner’s bracket with a 5-3 victory.
Ole Miss (34-24) fell behind early in the game as the Razorbacks plated single runs in the first and third innings.
Junior Thomas Dillard continued his hot stretch at the top of the order going 2-for-4 on the afternoon with an RBI.
For the second game in a row, the Rebels’ bats came to life in the fifth inning. Anthony Servideo singled to start the rally, followed by a walk given up to Justin Bench. Dillard followed with an RBI base knock that scored Servideo. Kessinger lined out to right center that plated Bench to tie the game.
The Arkansas starter Patrick Wicklander worked 4.1 innings. The southpaw kept Ole Miss off the scoreboard until the fifth where Ole Miss strung together two runs on two hits against the Razorback starter. He retired four Ole Miss batters by strikeout.
Ole Miss continued to attack the Arkansas hurlers as they took the lead in the sixth. Cole Zabowski reached on a wild pitch after going down on strikes, and Ryan Olenek reached on a single back to the pitcher. Zabowski came in to score on an RBI groundout off the bat of Kevin Graham.
Junior left-hander Zack Phillips battled the Razorbacks’ sluggers by only giving up four runs on four hits in 5.2 innings of work. Phillips struck out three batters and walked only two as he faced 24 batters on the afternoon.
The Razorbacks found a way to regain the lead in the sixth as they plated two runs on an RBI off the bat of Jack Kenley.
Coach Mike Bianco made the call to the bullpen in the sixth and brought right-hander Austin Miller into the game. Miller only allowed Arkansas to garner one run on a hit in his 1.1 as he struck out one and allowed a walk.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ole Miss called on the arm of Oxford native Houston Roth to close out the inning. Arkansas was able to score a run on an infield hit to first. Roth worked a frame and recorded a strikeout.
Ole Miss returns to the diamond in the morning as they take on the Texas A&M Aggies at 9:30 a.m. on SEC Network.