Fayetteville, Ark. – Arkansas pitchers Charley Boyce and Jay Sawatski combined to hole Ole Miss to one run as the eighth-ranked Razorbacks evened the series with a 3-1 victory over the 12th-ranked Rebels Saturday afternoon.
Arkansas improved to 33-15 overall and 16-7 in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss dropped to 34-15 overall and 13-10 in the SEC.
Boyce (7-1) allowed one run, earned, on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings of work. Boyce did not issue a walk and improved to 5-0 in league play.
Sawatski notched his fourth save of the season after pitching three and one-third scoreless innings. Sawatski allowed just three hits and fanned five.
Anthony Cupps (2-2) took the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, on 10 hits in six innings of work. Cupps was a scratch starter for scheduled starter Stephen Head.
After being shutout Friday night, the Razorbacks ended the scoring drought early when Clay Goodwin singled home Jake Dugger in the top of the first inning.
Dugger walked and moved to third on a single by Danny Hamblin. Goodwin then followed with a single through the right side to give the Hogs their first run of the series.
A walk to Scott Hode loaded the bases with no outs. A pair of called strikeouts to Haas Pratt and Casey Rowlett put the Hogs down to their final out in the inning. The Rebels got out of the inning without another run crossing the plate when Devin Day grounded out to second base.
Arkansas made it a 2-0 game in the second inning when Hamblin singled home Dugger from second base. Dugger singled with two outs and moved to second on a balk by Cupps to set up the RBI hit by Hamblin.
Boyce was strong on the mound for the Razorbacks as he scattered four hits through the first four innings of play. The Rebels did not get a runner into scoring position until the fourth inning and he was quickly erased with an inning-ending fielder’s choice by Charlie Babineaux.
The Razorbacks put two on to open the sixth inning. Blake Parker reached on an error and was lifted for pinch runner Scott Bridges. Brady Toops then put down a bunt single to move Bridges to second with no outs.
A sacrifice bunt by Dugger moved the runners to second and third for Hamblin who was called out on strikes for out number two.
With one ball and two strikes, Goodwin swung and missed but Cupps’ pitch was wild allowing Goodwin to reach and Bridges to score for a 3-0 Arkansas lead. Ole Miss ended the inning when Hode flied out to center.
Seth Smith put Ole Miss on the board when he took Boyce’s 1-2 offering over the wall in right field for his seventh home run of the season and second of the series.
Still in the sixth, singles by Head and Chris Coghlan to chase Boyce from the game. Sawatski was put in with runners at first and third with two outs.
Sawatski ended the rally when he got Babineaux to fly out to center to end the inning with Arkansas holding a 3-1 lead.
Sawatski kept the Rebels at bay in the seventh despite hitting a batter with two outs. Ole Miss was unable to take advantage of the miscue, however, as Sawatski fanned Matt Tolbert to end the inning.
A pair of two-out singles gave the Rebels runners at first and second in the bottom of the eighth inning. Sawatski ended the scoring threat when he struck out Babineaux.
Ole Miss got a leadoff infield single from Alex Presley to open the ninth inning. Sawatski then got Barry Gunther to fly out to center for the first out of the inning. Cooper Osteen then lined into a double play to end the game.
Arkansas and Ole Miss conclude the series with a 1:30 p.m. game Sunday.