MINNEAPOLIS – No. 5 Arkansas saw three different leads disappear on Friday afternoon as No. 16 Ole Miss rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat the Razorbacks 5-4 in front of a sparse crowd at the Metrodome.
The loss went to Hogs’ closer Jess Todd (1-1), who allowed two runs on two hits and a wild pitch.
The bottom of the eighth inning started with Chris Rhoads surrendering a single to Fuller Smith. Rhoads was then replaced by Todd.
Todd was greeted by a bloop hit to left field by C.J. Ketchum and a RBI double down the right-field line by Andrew Clark. Todd then uncorked a wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4. After striking out Jordan Henry, Evan Button lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to take the 5-4 lead.
Clark and Jordan Henry led the way for the Rebels with two hits each with Clark driving in two runs. Jake Dugger and Casey Coon also had two hits each while Coon drove in two runs to give him an SEC-best 22 on the season.
Arkansas right-hander Shaun Seibert, making his first start in three weeks, found his stride on Friday. He pitched five innings, allowing just one run on three hits. Seibert fanned four and walked two in a no decision.
Ole Miss right-hander Will Kline matched Seibert almost pitch-for-pitch. He worked seven innings allowing two runs on four hits while striking out eight. Scott Bittle worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his fourth save of the season.
Travis Hill relieved Seibert and worked a scoreless sixth inning before surrendering a solo home run to Andrew Clark to leadoff the seventh inning, tying the game at 2-2. After allowing two more singles, Hill was lifted for Rhoads.
Rhoads struck out the first batter he faced and after an unintentional, intentional walk to left-handed hitter Justin Henry, got Zack Cozart to fly out to center field to end the inning.
The Razorbacks responded with two runs in the top half of the eighth inning on three straight hits from Dugger, Ben Tschepikow and Coon. Coon’s double plated Dugger, who had doubled with one out in the inning. Tschepikow also scored on the play with the help of an error on second baseman Justin Henry to give UA a 4-2 lead.
A leadoff walk to Dugger became the Razorbacks first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Tschepikow sacrificed Dugger to second base and redshirt freshman Brad Secrist lined a RBI single to left-center.
Ole Miss tied things up at 1-1 in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of shortstop Cozart. Justin Henry led off with a solid single to left and then stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch from Seibert.
Dugger led off the sixth inning with a single to right and then swipped second base. He moved to third on a ground ball to second by Tschepikow. With just one out, the Rebels moved the infield in and Casey Coon drilled a single through the hole between third base and shortstop for the go-ahead RBI.
The Razorbacks will take Saturday off before facing host Minnesota in a doubleheader beginning at noon on Sunday.