Arkansas Holds Off No. 12 Ole Miss 5-4
BY ANDRES FOCIL
OXFORD, MISS. – Arkansas relief pitcher Kyler Pomeroy recorded the final three outs in the ninth inning including a game-ending double play with the tying run aboard to preserve a 5-4 victory over the 12th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels Friday night at Swayze Field.
The win moved the Razorbacks to 26-21 overall and 9-13 in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss fell to 35-14 overall and 14-11 in the SEC. The win, coupled with a Mississippi State loss, moved the Razorbacks to within a game of the final spot for the SEC Tournament.
The win was also the first win in a conference series opener on the road since May 12, 2000, when Arkansas recorded an 6-1 victory over Ole Miss, a span of nine league series games.
Charlie Isaacson picked up his second win in a row to move to 4-6 on the year. Isaacson tossed a season-long eight innings allowing three runs, all earned, on nine hits with five strikeouts. Isaacson’s five strikeouts gives him 203 for his career and moves him into seventh place on the Arkansas all-time list.
Pomeroy picked up his third save of the season after pitching a perfect ninth inning. Pomeroy entered the game with runners on first and third and nobody out with the Razorbacks leading 5-3. Pomeroy got Charlie Waite to fly out to center, allowing Bryce Morrison to score to make it a 5-4 game. With the tying run on first, Pomeroy forced Chad Sterbens to hit into a double play to end the game.
Pete Montrenes took the loss for Ole Miss to drop to 8-5. Montrenes allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings of work.
The Razorbacks wasted a scoring opportunity in the top of the first inning. Kirk McConnell walked to begin the inning and moved to second on Scott Bridges’ infield single. With two on and no outs, McConnell was picked off second for the first out and Michael Conner popped out to short for the second out.
Nick Pitts was hit by a pitch and Ryan fox walked to load the bases with two down. Andrew Wishy then flied out to right to end the inning.
Ole Miss touched up Isaacson for two runs in the bottom of the third. Matt Tolbert (single) scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Burney Hutchinson. Chad Stephens (single) then scored on a single through the left side by Drew Rogers for a 2-0 Ole Miss lead.
Arkansas tied the game in the top of the fifth on Clay Goodwin’s two-run home run that scored Cody Clark (walk). The bomb traveled 361 feet and was the first career dinger for Goodwin and his first hit since coming back from a dislocated shoulder which he suffered on March 16, at Georgia.
The Razorbacks took a 4-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning. Conner walked and moved to second on a ground out by Pitts. Fox then hit a fly ball to left that was dropped by Josh Christian allowing Conner to move to third and Fox to advance to second.
Wishy walked to load the bases with one out. Clark then plated Conner and Fox with a single through the left side to give the Hogs a 4-2 lead.
Arkansas added to its lead in the top of the ninth. Goodwin reached on a fielding error by the first baseman and moved to third after a walk to Scott Hode and a single by McConnell. With the bases loaded on one out, Ole Miss relief pitcher T.J. Beam dropped the ball while standing on the mound to balk Goodwin home and give the Hogs a 5-2 lead.
Beam then walked Bridges to load the bases for the second time in the inning. Conner went down swinging for the second out of the inning. With Pitts at the plate, the pitch got away from catcher Charlie Waite. Hode broke for home but was tagged out by Beam to end the inning.
In the ninth, Isaacson gave up a lead-off single to Bryce Morrison and was relieved by Jarrett Gardner. Gardner gave up a single to Jonathan Swearingen to put runners on first and second. Pinch hitter Clint Farrar then singled to right to score Morrison to cut the lead to 5-3. Swearingen moved to third on Fox’s throw to home to give the Rebels runners on the corners with no outs to set up Pomeroy’s dramatic finish.
Arkansas and Ole Miss continue the series with a 4 p.m. game Saturday. Gary Hogan, Jr., will take the mound for the Razorbacks. Hogan is 3-6 on the season and is coming off a strong performance against Kentucky last Sunday. Hogan allowed just one run on six hits with six strikeouts in taking the 1-0 loss.
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