With intermittent rain falling at Baum Stadium, Arkansas couldn't handle the conditions. They made five errors and probably as many other defensive mistakes that didn't show up in the score book in a 6-4 loss to the No. 5 Rebels.
Among the miscues were botched double plays, a bases loaded walk to give Ole Miss the tying run in the eighth and a misjudged fly ball in left field. The errors were spread between catcher Jake Wise, first baseman Eric Fisher, center fielder Jacob Morris, shortstop Brett McAfee and pitcher Brandon Moore.
On the double play bids that didn't work, Jacob Mahon pulled Fisher off the base at first and Fisher threw high to second after touching the base at first. There were two errors in the 13th that could be partly attributed to the wet field.
Moore, with his plant foot slipping, gave up a leadoff walk in the 13th. When his first pitch sailed behind and above the head of the second batter, attempting to bunt, the plate umpire halted the game to have the mound reworked with drying agents.
But they didn't do any work to the area in front of home plate where Wise slipped trying to make the throw to second on the bunt two pitches later. It slipped away from the Hogs when Moore threw wildly behind Jordan Farris, breaking from second, trying to cover first base. The lead run came around on that play. The Rebels got an insurance run on a sacrifice fly.
"Really, we made three (errors)," said Dave Van Horn, Arkansas coach. "The two in the 13th wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been wet. Jake Wise fielded the bunt in front of home plate, but his front foot slipped when he threw. That was a pefect bunt that Brandon fielded and he should have just held it.
"It was a tough loss. We played hard. Both teams did. It was a tough game. Both teams tried extremely hard. Neither one wanted to give it up."
But the Hogs did in the 13th, when it was probably raining the hardest. Van Horn said there was no doubt that it would be a completed game.
"The grass was wet," Van Horn said. "But the infield was alright in front of the players. We had played in those conditions the entire game."
It wasted a great performance by left fielder Matt Vinson, three for six with a beautiful diving catch in left field to take away a double on a slicing line drive near the foul line. Vinson ended up on the warning track next to the wall in front of the stands about 10 yards in front of the foul pole.
"Matt had a great game," Van Horn said. "He started us rolling. He had a pretty good weekend."
Vinson didn't want to hear about it.
"That was an alright catch, but I misjudged one earlier I should have caught," Vinson said. "The one I caught, it never crossed my mind I wasn't going to catch.
"We made too many errors. It's hard to win with five errors, especially an SEC game. That lost us the game."
The No. 15 Hogs (14-7, 1-2) outhit the Rebels (20-2, 2-1) by a slim, 10-9, but gave up four unearned runs. They didn't support a decent start by Ryne Stanek. Relievers Barrett Astin, Jalen Beeks and Moore also deserved a better fate.
"Stanek was OK, but we didn't score any runs," Van Horn said. "And we had a chance to turn some double plays behind him."
Astin left after 2.2 innings. He had a line drive bounce off his rib cage in his second inning. Dominic Ficociello did not play for the second straight day after a starting assignment at second on Friday night.
The Hogs trailed 3-1 after five innings, but took the lead with a three-run seventh. Vinson singled, Wise doubled and Fisher walked to load the bases. Morris greeted reliever Tanner Bailey with an RBI single. Joe Serrano delivered a two-run single to give the Hogs a 4-3 lead.
Bailey, from Little Rock Christian, was lights out after that. He had nine strikeouts over the next five innings. He dodged trouble in the seventh when Vinson singled and Wise sliced one down the line in right. Outfielder Will Jamison made a running catch, tumbling at the line.
"That was a great play by their right fielder," Van Horn said. "Bailey did a great job getting out of a couple of jams."
Vinson said he'd faced Bailey in high school.
"I got him once, he got me once," Vinson said. "He's a great pitcher. He shut us down. We got a couple off of him early, but he got us after that. He'll be really good for them."