Double plays and some middle-inning run production, coupled with another solid performance on the mound from Dylan DeLucia, spelled success in NWA Friday night as Ole Miss defeated No. 4 Arkansas 4-2 at Baum-Walker Stadium.
A two-run home run was the only blemish on an otherwise excellent outing from DeLucia, who struck out a career-high nine batters over seven-plus innings, scattering eight hits. Brandon Johnson went the rest of the way, securing his fifth save of the year.
The Rebels (24-17, 7-12 SEC) utilized double plays in the first three innings while DeLucia found his footing and in the fourth, broke through to give the righty a lead to protect. Kevin Graham led off the inning with a down the right field line and came home on the very next pitch as Kemp Alderman shot a single to right.
DeLucia stranded the tying run at second in the home half, allowing his team to provide some cushion with three runs in the fifth. Hayden Dunhurst and Justin Bench singled before Tim Elko hammered a double to the right field corner. Kevin Graham followed with a single through the left side to plate a pair and just like that it was 4-0.
After Ole Miss failed to capitalize on opportunities to add to the lead, a pivotal moment came to a head in the seventh after the Razorbacks led off the frame with a single and a walk to put two aboard. With his back against the wall, DeLucia rolled a 463 double play to release the pressure and induced a fly out center field to escape the inning.
The Razorbacks (32-10, 12-7 SEC)cut the Rebel lead in half in the eighth on Braydon Webb’s two-run homer but Johnson quickly cut down the budding momentum, striking out back-to-back batters before rolling a ground ball to Peyton Chatagnier at second. Johnson finished things off in the ninth, retiring the side in order.
The Rebels and Razorbacks will reconvene on Saturday, squaring off at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN2. The call of the game can be heard through the Ole Miss Radio Network.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports