OXFORD, Miss. – On the final day of the 2000 regular season, Arkansas starter Jared Manatt allowed just one run (earned) and scattered six hits to earn the victory as the Razorbacks defeated Mississippi 8-1 on Sunday to win the three-game Southeastern Conference series at Oxford-University Stadium two games to one.
Eliminated from SEC Tournament contention last week, the Razorbacks (24-30, 8-20 SEC) knew Sunday’s game would be their last of the year. But with two losses to Arkansas and Kentucky’s three-game series sweep at Vanderbilt this weekend, the Rebels (20-25, 12-17 SEC) let the eighth and final spot in next week’s SEC Tournament slip away to the Wildcats.
The win gave the Hogs their fifth-consecutive series win over the Rebels.
Manatt (3-2) matched a career high with seven strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings – his longest outing in two years as a Razorback. North Little Rock (Ark.) High School product Ronnie Goodwin started for the Rebels but lasted just 2 2/3 innings after giving up seven runs (earned) on nine hits.
Arkansas scored four runs in the top of the first inning on Brian Kirby’s two-run single and a two-run double by Nick Pitts. The Hogs stretched the lead to 7-0 in the third on an RBI single by Kyle Washburn and a two-run single by Brad Hagedorn.
Scott Crossett added an RBI single in the fourth to give UA an 8-0 lead. Crossett went 3-for-4 to extend his career-best hitting streak to 12 games, the longest by a Razorback this season. Washburn also had three hits for the Hogs while Pitts and Hagedorn had two hits each.
Mississippi finally got on the scoreboard with Clint Farrar’s RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Head coach Norm DeBriyn, who endured just his second losing season in his 31 years at Arkansas, saw his career win total improved to 1,099 with Sunday’s victory and will try for career win 1,100 on opening day of the 2001 season.
Although this season marks the first time the Razorbacks have failed to qualify for a conference tournament since missing the 1991 Southwest Conference tourney, the Hogs won seven of their last nine games and eight of their last 11 while winning their last three SEC series.