Arkansas travels to Oxford for a three-game series against the Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels are 35-13 overall and 14-10 in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss lost two of three at South Carolina last weekend and did not play any mid-week games. The Rebels have posted a 5-5 record in their last 10 games and are currently in sixth-place in the overall conference standings. Ole Miss’ magic number for clincing a spot in the SEC Tournament is two. The Rebels have posted a 26-6 record at home this season and are ranked 12th by Collegiate Baseball. Game times for this weekend are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Last Time Out
Kentucky’s Rob Corrado threw a complete-game two-hitter as the Wildcats claimed a 1-0 victory over the Razorbacks in the Sunday finale. The win gave the Wildcats a 2-1 series win over Arkansas. Michael Conner and Brett Hagedorn had the Razorback’s only hits of the day. It marked the fourth time the Razorbacks had been shutout this season.
SEC Tournament Update
With Sunday’s loss to Kentucky the Razorbacks fell two games out of the eighth spot for the SEC Tournament. Despite the loss, Arkansas actually lost only a half game in the race. The Razorbacks trailed Auburn by one and a half games entering Sunday, but the Tigers swept Vandy to move into seventh while Mississippi State was swept by Florida and dropped to eighth. Instead of trailing Auburn by two and a half games, the Razorbacks fell two back of the Bulldogs. Mississippi State holds the tie breaker against Arkansas after winning the head-to-head series 2-1.
Razorback Bats Stuffed
The Kentucky Wildcats silenced the Arkansas bats in the Saturday and Sunday contests. Joseph Blanton held Arkansas to two runs on four hits and fanned 14 in taking a 5-2 win on Saturday. Rob Corrado then threw a two-hit shutout on Sunday to take the series win. Arkansas only managed to get four runners into scoring position in Sunday’s loss and struck out nine times. It was the first game since 1992 the Razorbacks had been held to two hits. Mississippi State held the Hogs to a pair of hits in a 2-0 win in Starkville.
Hogan Strong in Loss
Senior RHP Gary Hogan, Jr., had an impressive outing despite taking the loss against Kentucky Sunday. Hogan allowed just one run, earned, on six hits in six and two-thirds innings against the Wildcats and retired 12 of the first 15 batters in the game. In four appearances prior to Sunday, Hogan had gone 0-3 and given up 15 runs, all earned, in nine and one-third innings of work.
Rare 1-0 Loss
Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Kentucky was the first for the Razorbacks since losing to the Oregon State Beavers 1-0 in the 1986 NCAA Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Okla. It was the 11th time since 1967 the Razorbacks have lost 1-0. Arkansas had nine 1-0 losses between 1967-1979, including a season-high of two in 1969, 1970 and 1976. The 1-0 loss was not only the first for the Razorbacks in 16 years, but it was the first in the SEC this season and the first in the conference since May 19, 2001, when Mississippi State beat South Carolina 1-0 in the SEC Tournament. That game was one of six 1-0 contests in the conference last year.
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss
The Razorbacks have dominated the series history against the Rebels, holding a 22-10 mark. Arkansas won the first meeting between the two teams 7-2 in Fayetteville in 1982 and the first three-game conference series against Ole Miss in 1992. Arkansas has only lost two of the 10 conference series against the Rebels, with those coming in consecutive years in 1994 and 1995. The Razorbacks are 9-6 all-time in games played in Oxford. Arkansas also won the only post-season meeting against Ole Miss with a 5-2 victory in the 1995 SEC Western Division Tournament in Starkville, Miss.
Last Time vs. Ole Miss
Arkansas posted wins over Pete Motrenes and Ronnie Goodwin to take a 2-1 series win in Fayetteville. Brett Hagedorn paced the Razorbacks offensively going 6-for-13 (.462) with three RBI in the three-game set. Ryan Fox tripled, homered and had a .333 average for the series. Gary Hogan, Jr., pitched seven innings allowing one run on two hits to earn the win in the Friday night game, while Jeremy Rankin went five innings allowing one run on three hits to get the win on Sunday. Charlie Isaacson took the loss in Saturday’s game after giving up six runs, all earned, in three innings of work.
Isaccson vs. Ole Miss
In two career starts against the Rebels, senior Charlie Isaacson is 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA. Isaacson won his first start against Ole Miss in 1999 in Fayetteville. Isaacson threw a complete-game, allowing one run on five hits as the Razorbacks cruised to an 8-1 win. Isaacson fanned eight in the game. Last season, Ole Miss roughed up Isaacson for six runs on seven hits including three home runs en route to an 11-6 victory in Fayetteville. Isaacson did not make an appearance against Ole Miss in 2000 due to injury.
Hogan vs. Ole Miss
Gary Hogan, Jr., has had two strong outings against the Rebels in his career. Hogan pitched two innings of relief in 2000 and did not give up a hit as the Razorbacks captured a 6-1 victory in Oxford. Last season, Hogan tossed seven innings giving up two runs, both earned, on two hits with five strikeouts as the Hogs took a 3-2 victory. Hogan has a career 2.00 ERA in nine innings of work against the Rebels.
On the Road
Junior 1B Nick Pitts has made the road his home this season going 23-for-59 for a .390 batting average away from Baum Stadium. Pitts’ .390 average leads the squad and is nearly 100 points higher than the second leading hitter Ryan Fox who is hitting .297 (19-for-64) in road contests. Pitts has only driven in seven runs in those games, but has scored a team-high 14 runs and has a .464 on-base percentage. Pitts is batting 232 points higher on the road than at home this season. The Mountain Home, Ark., native has a .158 average in 24 games at Baum Stadium.