FAYETTEVILLE – Ole Miss pitchers Matt Crouse and Jake Morgan combined to allow just one run as the Rebels defeated No. 23 Arkansas 2-1 on Thursday night at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas drops to 34-18 overall and 13-15 in the Southeastern Conference, while Ole Miss is now 30-23 and 13-15 in league play.
The loss spoiled a magnificent outing on the mound by Arkansas sophomore DJ Baxendale (8-2). The Jacksonville, Ark., native threw 8.1 innings, allowing just two runs on six hits and striking out a career-high eight batters.
Crouse (7-4) earned the win for the Rebels, giving up a run on five hits with four strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Morgan picked up his sixth save of the year, throwing 2.2 shutout innings and allowing just one hit, while striking out four.
Collin Kuhn led Arkansas at the plate, going 2-for-4, including hitting his fifth home run of the season. Matt Vinson also added two hits. Dominic Ficociello had his 12-game hitting streak snapped, going 0-for-4.
Matt Snyder went 2-for-4 and drove in a run for Ole Miss. Alex Yarbrough also went 2-for-4 and scored a run.
Neither team was able to produce a scoring threat until the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Kuhn sent a solo home run into the Razorback bullpen down in left field to put Arkansas in front 1-0.
Ole Miss was able to get its two runs in the top of the seventh. With one out, Yarbrough reached on an infield single to second and then advanced to second on a base hit to left field by Matt Smith. A RBI single to right-center field plated Yarbrough with the game-tying run. Tracy drove in the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Arkansas had its best chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Matt Reynolds walked and then moved to third on a base hit to right field by Vinson. A walk to Jarrod McKinney loaded the bases with one out. Morgan was able to get out of the jam as Tim Carver grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Razorbacks got a two-out base runner when Reynolds singled into left field. However, Morgan struck out Vinson swinging to end the game and give Ole Miss the 2-1 win.
Arkansas and Ole Miss continue the three-game series on Friday with a 6 p.m. first pitch. Sophomore left hander Randall Fant (2-3, 3.58) will start for the Razorbacks, while junior right-handed pitcher David Goforth (4-7, 5.03) will start for the Rebels. CSS and CST will televise Saturday’s game.