With one swing of the bat Ole Miss gave preseason all-American Bobby Wahl all the help he needed Friday night.
Preston Overbey hit a two-out grand slam in the second inning and Wahl pitched seven strong innings as the No. 6 Rebels beat No. 15 Arkansas 7-1 at Baum Stadium in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Wahl allowed just one run on three hits and five walks. The junior right-hander struck out five in front of several scouts on-hand, and allowed only three base runners after the second inning.
Scott Weathersby pitched the final two innings, allowing only a two-out walk in the ninth.
The Rebels (19-1, 1-0 SEC) roughed up Razorbacks freshman Trey Killian, who gave up seven runs on five hits. Making his first Friday night start, the right-hander also allowed a home run to Sikes Orvis to leadoff the fourth and left the game later in the inning with a pair of base runners and no outs.
Landon Simpson pitched four scoreless innings in relief of Killian, allowing five hits. The redshirt freshman struck out four.
Arkansas started well against Wahl, getting a leadoff double from Jacob Mahan in the first inning and scoring when Tyler Spoon hit a single two at-bats later.
Killian retired all three batters he faced in the first inning, but ran into trouble when he walked Will Allen to load the bases in the second.
Overbey, the nine-hole hitter, lifted the second pitch he saw into the wind blowing out to left field and just above the leaping glove of Brian Anderson. Matt Vinson had given Killian some life with a running catch near the wall in dead center two batters before the grand slam.
Arkansas (13-6, 0-1) nearly responded in the bottom half of the inning, but stranded the bases loaded when Dominic Ficociello flied out to deep center field.
Ficociello, who started against a right-handed pitcher for the first time this season, went 0-for-4. Arkansas had only three hits and none after the second inning.
Ole Miss won its 12th straight game and is off to the best start in program history. The Razorbacks had a six-game win streak snapped.
The two teams will play again Saturday at 2:05 p.m. Arkansas will start senior left-hander Randall Fant (0-0, 0.90 earned run average), while Ole Miss will throw junior right-hander Mike Meyers (2-0, 1.52).
Brian Anderson missed this grand slam by inches.
Track coach threw out the first pitch, a strike.
Jacob Mahan makes a play from third base.
Photos by Marc F. Henning, Hawgs Illustrated